Flying When You Have Varicose Veins – Everything You Need to Know

varicose veins and flyingWhat better way to beat those January blues than to book a faraway holiday? However, if you are planning on flying this year, you might want to get your varicose veins treated first.

There have been cases where people flying for long periods of time with varicose veins, have developed pretty serious blood clots. If left untreated, these can become potentially deadly. So, it’s certainly safer to have the veins treated prior to flying. However, if you don’t have time to seek treatment before you jet off, there are a few tips you can follow to reduce the risks.

What are the risks of flying with varicose veins?

Provided precautionary measures are taken, flying with varicose veins isn’t generally considered dangerous. However, there are some potential dangers and symptoms you should be aware of.

Most commonly, flying with varicose veins can lead to numbness in the legs, aches, itching, pains and burning. There’s also a chance that ulcers could develop, and in more severe cases, blood clots.

The dangers of flying with varicose veins increase however, if you’ve also been diagnosed with a condition known as Deep Vein Thrombosis. This causes blood clots to form within the deeper veins in the legs. When flying, the pressure from the cabin can cause these blood clots to dislodge themselves and travel up to the body. If they travel up to the heart, it could prove fatal.

So, if you do have Deep Vein Thrombosis, it’s highly recommended you seek advice from a doctor prior to flying.

Precautionary measures you can take

If you want to ensure you’re safe from the potential dangers varicose veins pose while flying, the good news is there’s a number of preventative measures you can take.

Compression stockings are great at protecting the legs against the pressure changes in the cabin. If you’re taking a particularly long flight, they can really help to lower your chances of developing blood clots. You’ll also want to ensure you drink plenty of water. This helps to regulate blood flow and pressure. Also, dehydration is known to worsen the symptoms of varicose veins, so staying hydrated is one of the best tips you can follow.

Finally, try to move around as much as you can, especially on long flights. Getting up and walking around for a few minutes will help to get the blood flowing correctly and prevent potential clots from forming.

Of course, the best thing to do to prevent varicose veins posing a problem whilst flying, is to have them treated. Although they’re often seen as purely a cosmetic issue, they can in fact become problematic and potentially dangerous over time. There’s so many different treatments available these days, including great non-invasive procedures. So, if there’s time before you are due to fly, book a consultation with a vein specialist and seek to get the problem treated.