Most people don't have any problems when they fly, but it's possible to make airplane travel safer and more comfortable. Here are some tips:
Melatonin may help with jet lag, but no one knows how long it can be used safely. Tell your doctor if you plan to take melatonin or any other herbal or alternative medicines.
If your ears hurt when you fly, try taking a decongestant medicine (such as pseudoephedrine) before you get on the plane. You can also swallow often and chew gum during the flight. Babies can suck on bottles or pacifiers during the flight.
Even healthy people can get blood clots in their legs after long flights. Try to walk every now and then during your flight (unless the crew tells you not to). It also helps to drink water, stretch your calf muscles while you're sitting and wear support stockings.
If your doctor wants you to take oxygen when you travel, remember to tell the airline about this well in advance of your flight. The airline will probably provide oxygen for you for a fee. Federal air regulations don't allow you to carry your own oxygen unit on a plane. You'll have to make arrangements ahead of time for oxygen at your destination and also for layovers between flights. You can also arrange for special meals or a wheelchair ahead of time if needed.
It's dangerous to fly immediately after scuba diving. You'll need to wait 12 to 24 hours after diving. Ask your doctor or diving authorities for guidelines on flying after scuba diving.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff