Flying in Compression Stockings

Thursday, 8 October 2015  |  Admin

Squashed seats, no leg room, crowded like cattle, flying economy is even scarier now Economy Class Syndrome exists.

Fearful Flights

Named after the (since debunked) belief that travelling in coach class seats are more likely to lead to medical complications, Economy Class Syndrome refers to blood clots or Deep Vein Thrombosis caused by long periods of inactivity. With no warning and no symptoms, several perfectly healthy individuals falling victim to fatal blood clots made the hidden dangers of flying a headline hot topic in the early 2000s.

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Since then the risk of developing a lethal clot mid-flight has been proven to be less likely than once feared and also discovered to be just as much a possibility in more expensive travel classes. The simple ways to lessen the risk have also increasingly become common knowledge both to flight providers and their passengers, so you don’t have to be put off your holiday. 

Tights Against Fatal Flights

Travel compression garments, especially socks, have become a firm favourite of many airport terminal shops as they can help guard against the sluggish circulation that leads to clots. More studies have ruled in favour of stockings than for anti-clotting drugs, so a simple travel sock is not only the easiest way to protect yourself from any unpleasant health-risks, but also the best.

Moving around during your flight is also highly recommended, with those who end up in window seats being more at risk of DVT simply because they cannot access the aisle as freely. Stretching during your flight, even if that means simply flexing your foot or crossing and uncrossing your legs a few times will help get your circulation pumping. You should also make sure to keep hydrated, and as brain functions have been proven to also be affected by high altitudes, important decisions are probably best kept until you’re back on solid ground! 

Compression Comfort

Those who are at risk of blood-clots include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Women on the pill
  • Overweight people, the opposite is also true, with athletes being considered high risk
  • Hormone therapy patients
  • Individuals suffering from heart disease, diabetes or cancer
  • Those who have just had surgery or are have just completed a high-performance activity e.g. a marathon where bruising of the muscles can trigger a clot

Not all forms of thrombosis are fatal, but many occur completely undetected. Studies of at-risk patients wearing compression stocks showed that no signs of thrombosis occurred while those travelling without socks had an alarming rate of thrombosis-related symptoms. While none of them proved fatal, increased flying time also increases the risk that such symptoms might yet become serious.

Economy Class Syndrome may not be quite as scary as newspapers once claimed, but their claims about compression stockings being able to help is most certainly true. Take the worry out of your travel and slip a pair of flight socks on so you can get on with important things, like enjoying your journey!

Jetting off somewhere? Make sure your legs are happy when you arrive with a pair of Flight Socks available at our online store!