SEOUL, Jul. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — Experts are emphasizing the importance of the health risks onboard aircraft as summer vacation is bringing more people to travel by air.
Staying onboard an airplane over long hours may lead to dehydration and slower blood circulation.
Unlike the conventional belief that airplanes are safe from ultraviolet rays, those that enter through airplane windows are actually much stronger than those on land, and are more likely to cause skin cancer and other skin diseases when people are exposed to them over long periods of time.
Experts, therefore, recommend closing window shades and applying sunscreen while onboard.
In addition, indoor air pressure and dry air can dehydrate the mucous membranes in the skin and can cause dry skin, so applying lotion and moisturizer is crucial.
Eyes may also dry up easily onboard the aircraft, so passengers are recommended to wear glasses instead of contact lenses, and apply artificial tears on a regular basis.
Air travelers should also look out for inflammation in the middle ear that may occur during take-off and landing due to sudden changes in the atmospheric pressure.
Middle ear inflammation refers to a disease that is caused by the difference in air pressure between the external auditory meatus in the eardrum and the tympanum.
It involves a sharp, stinging pain in the ear along with nausea, ringing, and hearing deficiency.
Continued gaps in the atmospheric pressure over a long period of time can cause edema on the mucous membrane, and result in otitis media with effusion, where water or pus begin to fill the eardrums, and requires emergency treatment.
Children, in particular, are more exposed to the risk of middle ear infections since they have shorter auditory tubes.
Experts advise taking children to a local hospital before getting onboard the aircraft to look for any potential ear infections or a cold.
“Eating or swallowing during take-off and landing opens up the closed auditory tubes and helps reduce pressure gaps,” said Prof. Mun Seog-kyun from Chung-Ang University Hospital.
“Earplugs can also help control pressure in the external and internal ear to alleviate pain and prevent irritations by blocking outside noises.”
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)