Lymphedema Travel Tips to Make the Most of Your Summer

With summer vacations in full swing it’s important for those affected by lymphedema to consider some important travel tips before hitting the road, or plane! Here are four things to ensure a happy and healthy voyage.

Up in the Air: It is important to wear compression during and after a flight. The pressurized air in the plane cabin will have an impact on the venous and lymphatic circulation. More fluid will tend to accumulate in the limbs. If you can, choose an aisle seat so you can move freely and have more leg room. If it’s a long flight, you’ll want to make sure that you stand up and move a around to help keep things flowing, and don’t keep your bent limbs in one position for too long. Set a timer so you don’t forget! Also, wear loose fitting clothes.

Your Destination: Heat and humidity can make you swell more. Tropical destinations with a pool or the ocean are great, as swimming is a great exercise for lymphedema. But, be aware of how long you keep your compression off, you’ll start to feel it when it’s time to put it back on! Long and flowy dresses and skirts are great allies to hide your compression garments!

Hydration: While many people think drinking water will cause water retention and make their swelling worse, remember that lymphedema is a build-up of lymphatic fluid due to impaired lymphatic function. Regardless of your lymphedema, your organs and cells thrive on proper hydration!

Food for Thought: Remember to leave with antibiotics (ideally both oral and cream), just in case you might suspect an infection. Also remember that in case you decide to expose your lymphedema to the sun, it is crucial that you use sun block. If you have leg lymphedema, it might be a good idea to wear sandals in the water and on the beach. Last thing: beware of mosquitoes and other insects’ bites. Look out for my next blog post on that topic!

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Emmanuelle Ravez Gomez    RMT,CDT
 Tel: 416-533-2639
 358 Dufferin Street Suite# 111  Toronto, ON M6K 1Z8
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