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9 Weird Things That Traveling on a Plane Does to Your Body

Although traveling by plane is one of the fastest ways to get to another country, it may not always be comfortable for you and your body. And there are certain reasons behind it. So whether you are enjoying sky-high views out of the window or listening to the music playlist you prepared for the flight, during your trip through the air, your hearing may weaken or you may experience a sudden toothache.

Our Bright Side team has decided to do the research and collected a number of curious facts about what happens to our bodies when we travel by air.

1. Your legs may swell.

While on board, you can’t walk freely and stretch your legs. Unfortunately, lack of motion leads to blood stagnation in your legs, and this may cause swelling and even clotting. Foot swelling isn’t a serious problem if it lasts only a short time, however, if you want to relieve it, try a short walk every hour or so.

2. Your hearing may weaken.

In addition to dizziness, your ears will be almost permanently blocked. The symptoms will worsen if you get on a plane with a cold or sinusitis, as mucus stagnates with increased pressure. So avoid taking a long flight if you are sick.

Long flights can cause severe ear pain, loss of hearing, and hearing loss. If you are healthy, chewing gum may help. The movement of the chewing muscles will reduce the load.

3. You may suffer from skin problems.

Traveling by plane can also cause an imbalance in your skin. First of all, the humidity can make your skin dry, and the stress you experience while on board can increase redness and acne breakouts. Moreover, excessive sitting may cause not only foot swelling but also facial puffiness. So try to stay hydrated and take moisturizer with you.

4. You may get bad breath.

Another problem that you may have during a flight is bad breath. Our bodily systems, including saliva production, work slower while we’re on board, and that allows bacteria to spread. Pieces of food left in your teeth may encourage halitosis. To prevent airplane breath, bring a toothbrush and toothpaste with you.

5. You may become dehydrated.

One of the biggest problems you may encounter on a flight is dehydration. That’s why many flight attendants usually walk around throughout the flight offering water to passengers. During a 3-hour flight, people typically lose 1.5 liters of water. Researchers even say that mild dehydration that might be expected on a flight can also influence your mood. So try drinking more water while you are on board.

6. Your head may spin.

During a flight, you may feel lightheaded. The pressure fluctuations in the cabin can make you dizzy or not bother you at all. You may also experience nausea or even vomiting during a flight because the static picture you see doesn’t correspond to the feeling of movement.

7. Your tastes in food may change.

The likelihood of you describing food on a plane as being tasty is quite low. And it’s not because the plane food is tasteless — it’s just that as you reach a cruising altitude, the change in cabin pressure reduces the sensitivity of the taste buds. Your ability to taste sweet and savory food decreases by about 30%. But still, one can enjoy their food on the plane with proper hydration.

8. You may feel a sudden toothache.

Many air travelers notice pain in their teeth during flights. The reason for this is the difference in pressure: the air gets into small orifices and presses your teeth from inside. Tooth pain on an airplane is often caused by air getting trapped in a filling. This can happen if your dental work did not completely fill your cavity.

9. You may become nervous.

Even those who aren’t afraid of flying may become agitated or even angry while on board. The reason is simple: we aren’t in control of our safety, and that makes us anxious. To tackle anxiety, you may want to focus on your breathing or distract yourself with a movie or book or organize images on your phone or computer.

Which of these things irritates you the most when you’re traveling by air?

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