*This post is a collaboration. Disclaimer: I am not providing medical advice, please consult your doctor.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common condition among adult men and women worldwide. Unfortunately, the condition does not have a cure. This means that people diagnosed with hypertension must learn how to manage it by making lifestyle changes and perhaps taking medication. However, you can still live a normal and long life despite suffering from this disease. Having this condition does not have to hinder you from traveling. But many people worry about flying after they are diagnosed with this condition.
Can flying affect someone with hypertension?
Yes, flying can affect someone with hypertension. At high altitudes, you are at a higher risk of low oxygen concentration in the blood. Someone with hypertension could feel the effects of this. However, the effects of flying are not that bad that you may be asked not to fly.
How to fly with high blood pressure
While you are free to fly even if you suffer from hypertension, it would help if you practiced the precautions below;
Contact your doctor before flying
One of the first things you should do before boarding a flight if you have hypertension is talking to your doctor. Disclose your traveling plans with your doctor and get recommendations on precautions that you should take when flying. Most of the time, your doctor will help you control the condition with medication. It would also be wise if you found out about the severity of your hypertension before flying. The severity of your situation will determine the precautions you need to take.
Ask for an oxygen mask
At high altitudes, you are at a higher risk of blood oxygen deprivation. This could trigger your blood pressure levels. Most airlines usually have oxygen masks on board. You can also for the oxygen mask to help keep your breath in optimal amounts of oxygen throughout the flight. Therefore, you do not have to worry about experiencing less oxygen in your bloodstream.
Carry some snacks from home
As someone with hypertension, it would be wise to carry snacks from home. This is important because most airlines usually serve salty snacks and crackers. Salty snacks tend to increase blood pressure levels. This is obviously something you do not want if you already suffer from hypertension. Therefore, the best solution would be to carry snacks from home. In addition to the snacks, you should also ensure that you take plenty of water during the flight.
Avoid consuming alcohol and sedatives
It would also be a good idea to avoid consuming alcohol or sedatives while on the flight. Taking these items can make you more prone to falling asleep or staying in a single position for the entire flight. This is something you should be avoiding if you suffer from hypertension. For someone with hypertension, you need to be active during the flight. This will lower the chances of the occurrence of adverse symptoms. Furthermore, studies have shown that alcohol consumption increases the risk of elevated blood pressure.
Pack your medication in your hand luggage
Another must-do when flying with hypertension is keeping your medication close. The last thing you want is to start suffering from symptoms of hypertension and cannot reach your prescription. For this reason, your hand luggage is the best place to pack your medication when flying with hypertension.
Carry a blood pressure monitor
It would be wise if you carried a blood pressure monitor on your flight. This way, you can keep track of your blood pressure levels at all times and determine when you need to take your medication during the flight.
Buy travel insurance
You may also benefit from buying travel insurance that covers pre-existing medical conditions like hypertension. This means that if you fall ill while flying or at any point of your travel, all medical costs will be covered.
Most people worry about flying with hypertension because its symptoms can become aggravated at high altitudes. However, practicing the precautions mentioned above will help ensure you don't suffer any issues.