Have you ever heard of pilots wearing a special type of sock called, “flight socks” because they spend all hours of the day flying? Did you know that just because you’re a passenger, you should consider wearing them, too? Flights from one end of the country to the other can be long and hard on your body – even if it doesn’t feel like it and you’re young; however, those with medical conditions, and those that are young and healthy, can easily benefit from wearing what a pilot does – despite not being in the air as long.
When a human’s body is in the air, the muscles in the leg push the blood back to the heart when sitting and can slow down the circulation immensely from the long periods of time. Those that have blood issues like anti-thrombin III deficiency or deep-vein thrombosis may suffer from clotting if the flight is long enough (sometimes, ones that are just one to two hours can harm them)!
Conditions as such don’t target those that are unhealthy and elderly, in fact, there are many young and thriving youth that have blood issues like this, as well. Of course, the staff on these flights know that there are health hazards when flying, and it’s recommended that flight socks be worn by said staff members. There are plenty of hosiery beyond socks, too, to aid in better circulation during flights.
Benefits of Wearing Flight Socks
There are quite a few benefits of wearing flight socks, besides the obvious. Some of these include:
- Prevention of blood pooling in ankles
- Improve your venous blood flow/circulation
- Lessen the symptoms of vein disease
- Decrease any swelling you may have – not just in flight
If you’re someone that doesn’t suffer from a blood circulation problem, but suffers from an edema problem, then you may want to invest in a nice pair of flight socks.
“But Do I HAVE to Wear Socks?”
The answer is: no. While you can choose some form of compression sock, no ones holding you down and forcing you to wear any; however, it’s incredibly important that some form of graduated compression hosiery is worn to help ensure the blood circulation is far better than without. If you get a blood clot, you could suffer from a near-fatal or fatal experience; especially if you’re unaware of what this feels like and don’t get it checked out!
If you suffer from any of the following issues when you’re flying or when you get off of a long flight, you should seek medical attention immediately as you may be suffering from a blood clot or similar issue:
- Severe swelling in your ankle, thigh, or calf
- Tenderness and pain in the entire leg, or around a certain area
- Very warm touch and redness to the affected area
- Discoloration (along with redness) in the same leg
During flight, if a blood clot forms, it can break off because of the elevation and go straight to your heart or lungs. When this happens, you may suffer from a pulmonary embolism.