While a relaxing break does us good, there is one hazard you do need to know about if you are travelling any distance: deep vein thrombosis, or DVT for short.
Deep vein thrombosis, when a blood clot forms in the leg veins, can affect one in 12 people.
There is a risk that the clot could break off, flowing straight up to the heart and lungs. This event is called a pulmonary embolism, and it can be very dangerous.
If you have experienced unexplained pain and swelling in your leg, this could the symptoms of DVT — you must seek medical help quickly in order to be properly diagnosis and treatment.
Even if the clot does not break off, it can still scar the veins in the leg and result in permanently swollen and uncomfortable legs, discoloured skin and even leg ulcers.
You may have assumed that DVT could only happen when travelling on long-haul flights, but we also need to be aware of the condition when travelling by other methods.
It’s important to note that sitting in a car or on a coach for a long period poses just as great a risk. And this is especially true in hot weather.
Research suggests that train journeys don’t carry the same dangers, but that may simply be because travellers are free to get up and move around.
How can you protect yourself?
- Wear graduated pressure stockings or travel stockings, which have been properly fitted.
- Stay hydrated with plenty of non-alcoholic drinks.
- Get up to walk around and stretch your legs at regular intervals.
- If you have a family history of blood clots, speak to your GP before you travel.
- Stop smoking.
- Keep your weight down. Being overweight is a risk factor.
For more health advice from “The People’s Friend”, click here.