The Reason Why You Should Wear Compression Socks on Your Flight

flight socks
Flying is one of the safest and most preferred ways to travel today. It is fast, affordable and comes with extra perks absent in other modes of travel e.g. entertainment such as music, games and television shows to while the time away.

Notwithstanding, flights can also be exasperating for everyone – including the most seasoned travelers, especially if they’re very long.

Sitting still on a plane for several hours is not only unenjoyable but it can also cause blood clots to form in the legs which can subsequently pose health risks.

When blood clots form in the lower extremities the condition is known as deep vein thrombosis. 

The longer you sit still, the greater the risk of developing this condition. 

Cue Compression Socks

Compression socks or compression stockings are similar to tights or pantyhose but they are made from a special material to fit tightly around the thighs, calves and ankles. 

While ordinary stockings/socks are made from a mild elastic fabric to cover the legs uniformly and to help generate warmth, compression socks are designed to be tighter (apply more pressure) to the ankles, calves and shins and slightly less pressure around the thighs.

This pressure helps to prevent swelling and pain that tends to occur on the legs of passengers taking long flights. The pressure promotes good circulation around the legs by continually pushing the fluids upwards. This action ensures blood does not pool in the legs thus minimizing the possibility of swellings and clot formation i.e. deep vein thrombosis.

This is the primary reason why flight passengers should wear compression socks aboard a plane.

Are Compression Socks Safe For Everyone?

Compression socks have no adverse effects to most people on a flight when used to prevent deep vein thrombosis. However, the following classes of people need to exercise caution or totally avoid using compression socks altogether.

Pregnant Women:

Pregnant women can wear compression stockings to prevent the pooling of blood in their lower extremities during flights. In addition, the stockings also help to minimize the achy feeling that is usually experienced in the third trimester of their pregnancy.
compression socks for pregnant women

To be safe, pregnant mothers need to choose socks with a light compression gradient of between 8mmHg and 20mmHg.

Elderly People:

Elderly people can also use compression socks to prevent deep vein thrombosis and swellings. However, if they suffer from venous insufficiency i.e. their veins don’t function properly, they should only use socks with a mild compression gradient between 8mmHg and 16mmHg.

People with Peripheral Neuropathy:

Anyone whose peripheral nerves in their legs are damaged or anyone who has had a peripheral artery disease should NOT wear compression stockings.

In addition, anyone with dermatitis, a skin infection, pulmonary edema or any sensory problem should also NOT use compression stockings since the pressure may worsen their condition.

Other Reasons Why You Should Wear Compression Socks on Your Flight

1. They’re FDA Approved.

This means that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has examined the socks and decided that the benefits far outweigh any potential risks they might pose when they're used. The FDA stamp of approval is also an indicator that the socks have been subjected to a rigorous quality process that guarantees they are safe for long term use.

2. They Energize Your Legs.

In addition to the risk of suffering from deep vein thrombosis, prolonged sitting is guaranteed to cause your legs to feel tired. To minimize this feeling, especially if you’re taking a long flight, the best solution is to wear compression socks. This footwear will rejuvenate your tired legs by promoting blood flow in your leg muscles.

3. Aesthetics

Compression socks can also be used as a superficial covering just like regular socks. The socks can act as a barrier that helps keep the body temperature constant.

Still on aesthetics, compression socks can also be worn to reduce the appearance of spider veins and varicose veins. With age, the veins on the feet tend to become weaker. This makes them less efficient in transporting blood. As a result, blood will occasionally pool in the veins causing the vessels to bulge and appear blue.

Compression socks will squeeze the veins causing blood to flow more smoothly. This will also prevent any unsightly marks from appearing.

4. Fashion Accessory

As a bonus benefit, compression socks can also be worn as a fashion accessory. The socks are comfortable and snug and can easily complement just about any attire. This makes them easy to wear not only on a regular day but also on a plane to your chosen destination. 

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