Traveling with Vein Disease


With the holiday season comes long-distance traveling to visit relatives and loved ones. But if you suffer from vein disease, it’s important to know the effects of limited movement and constant sitting with travel, as they can increase your chances of developing blood clots. In serious cases, this puts you at risk for developing life-threatening conditions like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism.

Signs of serious complications

Keep in mind that half the time, there are no warning signs that DVT or pulmonary embolism are occurring, which can result in sudden death. This serves as a crucial reminder to have any vein diseases evaluated and treated by a specialist prior to traveling.

Usually, blood clots formed within superficial vein dissolve by themselves, but blood clots that develop within a deep vein are a cause for concern. If a clot formed within a deep vein (DVT) breaks free, it can travel through the bloodstream and to the lungs (pulmonary embolism), where it can block blood flow. It’s important to know the symptoms of pulmonary embolism and DVT, as they can be serious and fatal. Symptoms of pulmonary embolism include:

  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Rapid or irregular heart rate
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Trouble breathing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Anxiety

Symptoms of DVT are normally felt in the affected area of the body. They include:

  • Swelling of the affected area
  • Skin that is warm to the touch
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Redness of the skin

Minimizing complications

While flying:

  • Use a blood-thinning medication if you’ve had DVT before
  • Allow breaks for walking and exercise
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing
  • Wear properly fitted compression stockings
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Avoid sleeping aids

Exercises while flying:

  • Bend and straighten legs and feet every half hour
  • Walk up and down the aisles once every hour, when safe
  • Massage calf muscles frequently
  • Only sleep for short periods of time
  • Wriggle toes often

Call the vein specialists at Northern Illinois Vein Clinic today at (877) 999-7912 to schedule your first consultation.