Do you know how your body reacts when you are in an airplane cabin thousands of feet above sea level? If you feel an energy drop, drier skin and mouth, or popping ears, it’s not your imagination. We explain why.
Air pressure is lower at higher altitudes, which means your body absorbs less oxygen. Airlines “pressurize” the air inside airplanes, but it will never be like on the ground. An artificial, pressurized environment with lower oxygen levels can actually interfere with your body’s normal functioning. Drink water regularly.
Changes in cabin pressure also have their effects. Bloating is one of them, as the gases in your body expand. Therefore, you should avoid caffeine and carbonated drinks.
Heavy legs and swelling in the lower body
Swollen legs and feet are caused by sitting for too long, causing blood flow to decrease and blood to pool in the veins in the legs. Most of the time, this is a harmless phenomenon and easy to relieve by standing up whenever possible and avoiding the use of tight clothing.
And who doesn’t expect to feel pressure in their ears when the plane takes off or lands and when there is a sudden change in altitude? Yawning, swallowing, or resorting to chewing gum are good resources.
General dehydration is another effect felt by most passengers, which occurs due to the dry environment inside the cabin. Dehydration can make your skin drier and more sensitive and can even cause bad breath as there is less production of saliva, an antibacterial agent that keeps your mouth clean. Nothing that water and chewing gum can’t solve.
The extremely dry environment also encourages the production of static electricity, which can literally leave you with a hair-raising experience.
Changes in taste
Finally, we leave one of the most curious effects: the change in taste buds. It is scientifically proven that the dry environment and low pressure on the plane change your taste buds, especially when it comes to sweet and salty flavors.
Follow the recommendations to minimize some of the possible effects experienced on board and remember that once on land, your body will return to normal. However, if you have any questions or concerns regarding your health, contact your doctor before traveling.