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Ncs Verses Pots


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Flying can be problematic for anyone with any type of dysautonomia--dress in layers so you can cool off or warm up as needed, as well as doing the other things you mentioned. You can also request a wheelchair to get to your gate if you want... expect to wait a while for the wheelchair and attendant to arrive, so leave yourself AT LEAST an hour before your flight boards if you're flying inside the US, and two hours for international.

I fly a few times a year without problems as long as I stay hydrated and don't stand for long in line (I sit on top of my suitcase when the line isn't moving).


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I rarely fly but staying hydrated is the main essential - the air in planes is some of the driest in the world so you loose water just breathing. Drink plenty of water over the days before the flight and avoid alcohol!!

I find that the pressure changes on takeoff and landing make me really dizzy. I think this is because the vagal nerve also supplies part of the ear, so I guess the pressure change in the ear might stimulate the vagus nerve??? Anyway I have found that popping my ears regularly on both take-off and landing helps. Don't wait until your ears feel funny, just pop them regularly (divers do this every 30-60 seconds whilst changing their dive depth). If they won't pop easily suck on a large boiled sweet, this often makes them pop.

On long flights we (and everyone else) are at risk of forming blood clots (DVT). Wearing compression stockings will improve the venous return and reduce blood pooling. Try to exercise either by walking to the bathroom or marching on the spot at your seat. If you have enough room, lifting your feet up can help, make sure nothing causes pressure on the back of your legs.

I'm not sure what the rules are about taking water onto planes now? If you aren't allowed to take your own drinks on board, notify the airline that because of a medical condition you need to have access to drinking water throughout the flight. I remember taking a 4 hour flight where they only brought the drinks trolley round just after take-off and I couldn't get a drink for the rest of the journey - that really didn't help.

Most of all - don't worry. Loads of POTS and NCS patients fly every day - if we all collapsed you would have heard about it in the media or they would ban us from flying. Just factor in some rest time in your schedule to allow you to get over the trip.


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Thanks all.

This is really helpful.

My doc has told me to take a baby aspirin a few days prior to flight, while on the trip, and a couple of days after returning to address the risk of blood clots.

The water issue is a big one now that you cannot take your water from home.

However, you can purchase really expensive water/gatorade, whatever, at the airport shops and take it on the plane. This is my solution to the one small cup of water allowed on planes. International flights are the best as far as fluids go . . . there are drinks available all the time AND you have to get up and serve yourself which gives us an excuse to walk around a bit. Of course they are longer and take longer to recuperate.

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