Air Sickness: 7 Ways for How to Not Get Sick on a Plane
Since Arthur Hailey’s 1970 novel Airport, airline travel has long been the subject of great drama. Comedians have remarked on the hectic, awkward lead up to a flight, movies have often climaxed during heartstopping races through the airport and dangerous in-plane disasters and music has dramatized the drama of picking up and leaving your old life to fly into the great unknown.
Most notably and tragically, the events of September 11, 2001 brought the real dangers of air travel home to all travelers. Forget television and film, this was really happening. Forget the threat of engine trouble, the real danger could well be your fellow passenger. As a result, like the shootings at Columbine, a tremendous overreaction occured. No-fly lists grew longer, airport searches more extensive, a policy of if “you see something, say something” became the standard mantra. Since then, airline travel has been nothing if not fraught with paranoia and fear.
Even though airplanes have grown more sophisticated in its software and technology, airline travel can still make one physically become ill during a flight. Given that airplanes are also long tubes full of people breathing the same air, one can also contract an illness after a flight. Here are seven different ways for how to not get sick on a plane:
1. Avoid Using the Bathroom on Short Flights
Realize that, though waste is disposed of on a plane, you’re still sharing a bathroom with a great many people. According to research, germs reside after every flush, lingering on handles, sinks and seats. If at all possible, it’s best to avoid the bathroom altogether. However, sometimes this is not an option. For such an occasion, rely on paper towels on whatever surface in the outhouse-sized room with which your body comes into contact.
2. Stay Hydrated
Nervous flyers will often rely on mini-bottles for cocktails during flights. This may get you through the flight with relative calm, but it also dehydrates you. When you’re onboard, air humidity is around 15 per cent, as opposed to the 30 to 60 per cent you experience on land. Low humidity in the fuselage can cause the mucous membranes in your nose to dry out more easily, making your airways more susceptible to viruses and bacteria.
New regulations on the amount of liquid you can board a plane with only worsens matters, so it’s best to stick to water when the flight attendant comes by, reserving cocktails or coffee for landing.
3. CBD Oil
Access to CBD Oil wil depend on where you are flying, but there are countless studies – and more all the time – that it helps with anxiety. So for those who are likely to panic during turbulence, some companies even offer a flight kit to bring about the sense of relaxation and even sleep one might require to avoid nauseau. Just a few drops sublingually is enough to last you a long flight.
4. Keep Your Hands Clean
This should be self-explanatory, as it’s the same advice given by any physician for any given situation. However, given the enclosed space and liklihood you will be handling a lot of objects others have touched, keeping a small bottle of hand sanitizer nearby has never been more important. The CDC recommends an alcohol-based santizer with 60 to 95 per cent alcohol such as Purell.
5. Don’t Touch Your Face
No matter how careful you are with your hands, it’s best to keep them away from your face if possible. Even if your hands have been in contact with some of the dirtiest surfaces of the plane, there’s still a chance you won’t get sick. That is, unless they make contact with your face. So stay out of the habit of rubbing your eyes and touching your nose of mouth. Doctors believe this is the best way to avoid catching a virus while flying.
6. Avoid Certain Areas of the Plane
You may not get a say in where you sit – but if you do, try for a window seat, as aisle seats have much more traffic. You can, however, control how much you come into contact with. Don’t use a tray table unless absolutely necessary, wiping it down with a sanitary wipe if you do. Don’t use the backseat pocket to store objects. Essentially, wipe down everything you come in contact with, including the overhead air vents.
7. Keep Your Air Vent On
It may seem counterintuitive to spread around recycled air, but keeping the air vent on, particularly straight down, can actually create some protection from floating air particles containing germs. Air vents on planes use High Effeciency Particulate Air (HEPA) that studies show can remove 99.97 per cent of airborne viruses and bacteria.
Before you even set foot on the plane, there are preventative measures to be taken. A regime of probiotics, vitamin C and a zince supplement is a good place to start. It’s also advisable to get a flu shot at least two weeks before travel.