In recent years, more and more Americans are choosing to travel to more remote and exotic locations for longer periods of time. If you are considering taking a vacation to a beautiful, faraway place and suffer from heart disease, there are many things to consider before and during your trip. Read on to learn more about staying heart healthy throughout your vacation.
Before You Go
For those with cardiovascular disease, the first and most important step to take before traveling is to visit your primary care physician or cardiac specialist. Your doctor will be able to evaluate the state of your overall health and provide information about your cardiac status. Although most patients with heart disease are safe to travel, it may not be recommended for those suffering from unstable conditions, such as angina or congestive heart failure. During your meeting with your physician, you may also consider asking him or her about any vaccinations you may need or if you should purchase emergency evacuation insurance.
Another important precaution is to document your relevant medical information and keep it with you at all times during your trip. Include any medications you may be taking, a baseline electrocardiogram, the name and contact information of your doctor, and a brief letter from your doctor describing your condition. Carry all of your medications with you and pack enough to last for the entirety of your trip.
During Your Flight
Traveling in the pressurized cabin of an airplane exerts certain forces on the body that are important for heart patients to consider. When traveling via airplane, be sure to:
- Stay hydrated
- Move around frequently, especially on longer flights
- Make advanced arrangements to acquire oxygen if needed
- Ensure that your pacemaker can safely make it through airline security, if applicable
When You Arrive
Once you have arrived at your vacation spot, be careful not to overexert yourself or cause your body any undue stress. Stay hydrated and avoid ingesting too much salt when eating out.
Remember, one of the most important things you can do is to relax and enjoy your vacation. If you have any further questions about your health or how to travel safely with a chronic illness, please contact Riverside Community Hospital. Our healthcare professionals are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call—simply dial (951) 788-3000 today.