What the HHT?

A Voice for the HHT Community

Travel and HHT

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By Janice Lee Jones

There are several things that everyone must take into consideration in preparation for travel. However, for those individuals that have HHT, special precautions should be considered.

Fluid Retention

Whether driving, traveling by train, bus or airplane, please ensure that at least two pair of compression socks are worn. Fluid retention is very common during travel due to restrictions in movement and being sedentary for long periods. Since HHT patients usually have issues due to blood loss and low iron with fluid retention, travel can be a serious aggravation to the body. In addition, before and during travel, avoid salty foods as much as possible. This can aid with keeping uncomfortable fluid retention at a minimum.

Medicine and Check-ups

Ensure that the supply of necessary medicines and vitamins are abundant and that if refills should be required, that it is accessible during travel. Furthermore, it is pertinent that all required doctor appointments be taken before travel and refills are current. It is a good idea that one’s physician is made privy to travel plans so he can advise and make recommendations for care. In addition, the doctor can also inform on medical facilities and other physicians that can be referred to in case of emergency.

Planning Ahead

Long lines are very common at airports, train stations, etc. It is wise to arrange for accommodations such as a wheel chair or assistance with going through security check points especially if traveling alone. When making reservations, request for reasonable accommodations. I always do this with travel plans that involve the airport. Due to the lobectomy and breathing challenges, it is difficult for me to quickly move and catch connecting flights.  Assistance in the airport makes my travel more comfortable and less stressful on my body.

Nose Bleedings

It is crucial that consultation with one’s physician be followed regarding nose bleeds as well as preparations made to handle them. The doctor will advise on how to best manage sudden nose bleeds during travel and methods for controlling them.

Whether traveling for business purposes, personal reasons or vacation, having control and understanding about how to circumvent the challenges of HHT are necessary and can be successfully implemented with patience, knowledge and well planned efforts.

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