Many travellers face air sickness. Find out what are some of the root causes and what can you do to prevent or minimise air sickness whilst in the air.
How planes can make you sick
Flying isn’t such a healthy activity after all. What is it that might make you sick?
The high altitude, of roughly 8,000 feet above sea level, has its effects. The air will be super thin and dry. Since most planes are made of aluminum, the air needs to be dry and pressurised at that height. The side effects on humans are that we feel dehydrated and our body will swell a little. Some people may feel light-headed as well.
What happened to Icarus when he flew too close to the sun? Funnily, he apparently didn’t get radiation. When we are high up in the air, the earth’s protective shield gets weaker. This gets worse for flights over the North Pole and during solar flares. This is unfortunately a health hazard for flight crew as they incur the highest risk of radiation.
How fresh can the air in the cabin be? If one of the passengers carries his or her sick germs on board (very likely to happen), the chance of you catching it is higher. It might comfort you to know that cabin air is actually filtered through a system that is similar to what’s used in hospitals, but if you are sitting in close proximity to an ill person, then good luck.
Whatever your jet runs on is not healthy for a human body. Inhaling gasoline can result in severe headaches and nausea as they are toxic. Another health hazard for flight crew, airlines have worked to ensure that their emission levels are within safety standards so that any toxic poisoning is negligible, thankfully.
What you can do
Not many frequent flyers or air crew have experienced bad after-effects of their jobs, so it is still relatively safe to work on planes. Except an occasional bug, there isn’t any huge health risk onboard. You can’t control the plane, but you can control how much caffeine or alcohol you consume. These are the two to avoid if you are prone to dehydration. Having a bottle of hand sanitizer also keeps germs away. Use the sanitizer generously if that gives you a peace of mind.