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Holiday Travel and Vein Disease

shutterstock_256478011-e1447712214260Thanksgiving week is one of the busiest travel times of the year across the U.S., so you may be spanning great distances to see your family and friends –– by planes, trains or automobiles.

If you suffer from the contributing factors of vein disease, Maryland Vein Professionals wants you to know that you can be at risk for developing life-threatening conditions like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and even a pulmonary embolism.

Both can be caused by any of these contributing factors, such as prolonged standing or sitting, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, heredity, hormonal fluctuations, higher blood volume because of pregnancy, untreated venous insufficiency (varicose veins), or more.

Recognizing the symptoms of serious complications
In about 50% of cases, there are no warning signs that a DVT or a pulmonary embolism is occurring. Either can result in sudden death. This information serves as a crucial reminder to have any vein diseases evaluated and treated by a specialist before you travel for the holidays or on a vacation.

Typically, blood clots that form within a superficial vein dissolve by themselves. However, blood clots that develop within a deep vein are a cause for concern, because if  a DVT breaks free, it can travel through your bloodstream and to your lungs to cause a pulmonary embolism and block your blood flow. It’s important to know these symptoms of pulmonary embolism and DVT, as they can be serious as well as fatal:

  • Dizziness or fainting spells
  • A rapid or an irregular heart rate
  • Chest pains or chest discomfort
  • Trouble breathing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Anxiety

Symptoms of DVT are normally felt in specific areas of the body and can typically include:

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

Minimizing complications of DVT and pulmonary embolism

When you’re flying:

  • If you’ve had a DVT in the past, use a blood-thinning medication
  • Take breaks during the flight to walk and exercise
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes
  • Wear properly fitted compression stockings
  • Drink plenty of water and other fluids
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Avoid sleeping aids

Exercises while flying:

  • Bend and straighten your legs and feet every 30 minutes
  • Walk up and down the aisles once every hour, when safe to do so
  • Massage your calf muscles frequently
  • Only sleep for short periods of time
  • Wriggle your toes often

If you have more concerns about DVT and pulmonary embolisms, call the vein specialists at Maryland Vein Professionals today in Sycamore at 877-303-VEIN (8346) to schedule your initial consultation. Or make an appointment online.

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