What Really Happens to Your Body on a Flight

From oxygen deprivation and cosmic radiation to loss of taste, your body can suffer some worrying effects during air travel. But how can they be avoided? . . .

Dr Richard Dawood, Telegraph Travel’s travel health expert, says the “virtually moisture-free” conditions inside a plane cabin increase your vulnerability to airborne infection. You’re more susceptible to colds and respiratory infection, and viruses which are known to thrive in conditions of low-humidity.

The findings of Auburn University in Alabama in 2014 revealed that disease-causing bacteria can survive for up to a week inside plane cabins, on surfaces such as seat pockets, tray tables, window shades and armrests. Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a bacteria that could cause infections, skin disease, pneumonia and sepsis, lived the longest (168 hours). Escherichia coli (E. coli), which can cause urinary tract infection, respiratory illness and diarrhoea, was found to survive for 96 hours . . .

Aircraft cabins are pressurised to 75 per cent of the normal atmospheric pressure, a recent study claimed. Lower levels of oxygen in your blood can lead to hypoxia, which can leave you feeling dizzy, fatigued and with headaches . . .

A third of your taste buds are said to become numb at high altitudes, while dryness and cabin air pressure also affect your ears, sinuses and sense of taste, according to the latest research. (Read more from “What Really Happens to Your Body on a Flight” HERE)

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