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Travel Advice for Individuals with Heart Disease

people traveling in an airplane

Although most people pack their bags and hit the road while on holidays, there are often situations when individual need to board a plane or take the train for a long distance work travel. No matter what goal you have, you’ll always need to double your preparations if you’re one of those suffering from a disease. Many people with an illness or health condition face extra worry when it comes to booking a holiday or paying a visit to a remote location.

As well as arranging travel insurance to cover existing illness, they might worry about whether they will be able to fly to far flung and exotic destinations. While the average traveler will most likely concern himself with baggage allowance and sun cream, there are important things that an individual with heart disease has to consider. Here is some advice for holiday makers that have been diagnosed with heart disease.

When it comes to taking any prescribed medication on holiday, it is always advisable to make sure you take a little extra, in case of delays. In addition, make sure you make a note of your medication before you travel and keep it in your purse or wallet, as this information would be vital should an emergency situation arise.

Precautions on the Plane
When anyone travels on a long flight and sits immobile for a long period of time, they are at an increased risk of blood clots forming in the legs. However, if this person has heart disease, the risk of a clot increases. When you fly, make sure you get up and walk around at regular intervals, or do some basic exercises. It is also worth discussing destinations and flight times with your doctor before you book, as they may recommend additional precautions, such as avoiding alcohol.

Accessible Accommodation
The location of your hotel or villa is important if you have heart disease. It is a good idea to book accommodation that is close to amenities and find out the location of the nearest medical assistance point, whether this is a hospital, pharmacy or doctor’s surgery. Then you can relax and enjoy your holiday, knowing that you have covered all bases.

Avoid High Altitudes
The higher land is above sea level, the thinner the oxygen. This can be troublesome for people with heart disease, as in these locations there will be less available oxygen in your blood. This can increase your symptoms and in extreme cases, even cause angina.

Mind The Temperatures
One more important thing for those suffering from heart disease is to consider the climate of your holiday location. If it’s very hot it might not be a good idea to adventure yourself because heat will make your heart work overtime, to maintain your body in optimal working conditions. If you do end up in hot summer climates, make sure that you stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol, especially during daytime!

Airport Security
If you have a pacemaker or an ICD, then you must carry your device card and inform airport staff before going through security. You may be asked to pass through the normal screening process, or alternatively, scanned using a hand-held metal detector. If the latter, the detector should never be passed directly over your device.

I almost forgot to mention that there also are a series of health issues that can arise while traveling. So, even if you’re perfectly healthy when you take off, prepare yourself to cope with potential health threats which can be found at your destination. Remember that it’s always better to prevent than treat!

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