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Never Fly Without Compression Socks

Best travel compression socks

If you travel a lot (especially on an airplane), it is important to wear compression socks to prevent blood clots and leg fatigue. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), also known as "economy class syndrome", occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in your leg, and is a very serious matter. It can cause leg pain, swelling and can lead to complications like Pulmonary Embolism (PE).

Frequent fliers must be very careful to avoid blood clots. One of the best ways is to wear compression socks or tights. Generally 15-20mmHg compression is recommended for traveling and everyday wear, but may vary by person. Luckily, compression socks come in tons of colors and patterns, so you can always look stylish anywhere you go. Be careful of "travel socks" - socks that do not say what level of compression they provide. These travel socks often do not provide any compression and will not protect you from blood clots. You often find them in convenience stores or grocery stores, so make sure to read the label, even on the ones at the airport!

Even if you are a healthy individual, you are still at risk. Professional tennis player, Serena Williams suffered from a life threatening blood clot after a flight from Los Angeles to New York and back. She was diagnosed with PE, which was caused when part of the blood clot broke off and traveled to her lungs. She had to take a step back from her intense training to recover. Long flights increase your risk of a blood clot from sitting for a long period of time, even if you regularly stay active.

Long periods of immobility and being dehydrated can increase your risk of DVT. Before your flight, make sure you drink lots of water and get some rest. Drinking something with a lot of electrolytes is also a great way to prevent dehydration. You should also try to avoid coffee or soda before your flight. If you are able to stretch or briefly walk around the cabin during the flight, it will also help prevent clotting. If there's room, store your carry-on in the overhead compartment to give you more room to stretch your legs out. Getting an isle seat is ideal to be able to get up and walk around for a few minutes. Lastly, comfort is key. Wear loose clothing so you don't restrict blood flow.

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