NHS Choices reports that around 30 per cent of the British population has high blood pressure so you are not alone. Like others with high blood pressure, you will be used to managing it at home, so flying to foreign countries needn’t be a problem provided you take a little care.
Here are some useful tips to make your trip as stress-free as possible:
Consider staying at an airport hotel – Keeping as relaxed as possible is important when you have to contend with long queues and security checks. If your flight departs early or you have to make a lengthy journey to the airport, you might consider staying overnight at an airport hotel located near to the terminal you are leaving from. This should keep your stress levels to a minimum.
Ask for an aisle seat – This enables you to have a little more leg room for stretching during the journey, therefore reducing the potential for swelling in the legs, feet or toes. Flex them and move around the cabin as much as possible to avoid and aid circulation on longer journeys.
What to pack:
Your medications – Keep medications in original packaging and place them in your hand luggage so they’re easily accessible at airport security and during your journey. We recommend packing extra to cover yourself for any delays. Your doctor’s contact details, including a list of all the medications you are bringing is important as a quick reference in a medical emergency.
Flight socks – Especially useful during long-haul journeys, flight socks with appropriate compression can improve blood circulation and reduce your chances of getting Deep Vein Thrombosis.
Portable blood pressure monitor – Portable monitors are handy to pack because travelling at high altitudes can trigger an increase to your blood pressure. The latest wireless models from ihealth and Withings even connect with your mobile phone/tablet so you can store readings and share with your doctor if required.
Oxygen – If you have pulmonary hypertension, you may need to bring oxygen on board the aircraft. Make sure you contact the airline beforehand to check their policy on carrying oxygen – bear in mind there may be a charge for this.
Travel insurance documents – Travel insurance is a must if you have high blood pressure and want peace of mind on holiday. Costs can easily sky rocket if you need to pay for medical treatment, be flown home after a medical emergency or have to stay in hospital.