Travel Blog

Can you fly with angina

Taking a holiday and getting away from it all can be the perfect way to relax if you’ve been suffering with health problems. However, the biggest consideration is often concerned with how much your condition will impact your travel plans.

The good news is that there shouldn’t be any reason why angina should prevent you from travelling abroad, unless it is very severe. You should just make sure that you are safe to travel by paying your doctor a visit before you book a holiday, so that they can perform a check up and run through your recent symptoms with you.

What is angina and what are the symptoms?

In order to stay fit and healthy, your heart needs a steady flow of blood to the heart through two large blood vessels. If it doesn’t receive this, then you will feel chest pain which may also travel to your jaw, back, left arm and neck.

It can usually go away within a few minutes, however, it can often be accompanied by feelings of sickness, dizziness or breathlessness.

It can be brought on by stressful situations or physical exertions, so – if you’re rushing around an airport, carrying heavy luggage and worrying about your flight, it could all aggravate your condition.

However, if you plan accordingly and take steps to prepare so that you minimise this all as much as possible, then you should still be fine to fly.

You should just be aware that being in an aircraft cabin may impact your angina. For example, it’s a well-known fact that the air is dryer due to lower pressure, which can sometimes become problematic for travellers with cardio diseases.

However, for some patients, their doctor might discuss how it could affect your oxygen levels and therefore present an issue.

For this reason, it is best to raise any concerns with your doctor before booking a holiday.

Types of angina

The two main types of angina are classed as stable and unstable.

Angina pectoris is the medical name for stable angina, which is also the most common and is usually caused by a trigger such as stress and stops within a couple of minutes. The chest pain experienced is caused by not enough blood flowing to the heart.

Unstable angina is medically referred to as acute coronary syndrome – and is the more serious of the two. This doesn’t necessarily have a specific trigger, can cause pain for a longer period of time – and even during resting. This type should always be treated as an emergency.

There are also another couple of types of angina, namely microvascular angina and prinzmetal’s angina, which is the rarest type.

Can I fly with angina?

Providing your condition is under control, you are taking your medication and haven’t had any recent spells in hospital, you should be perfectly fine to fly.

However, you should always check with your doctor first, as previously mentioned. They will have all of the relevant information to hand regarding your medical history in order to be in a position to make an informed decision.

If you have unstable angina, have had surgery or any attacks recently, then unfortunately, this will probably be a warning sign for your doctor that you aren’t medically fit right at this moment to fly.

However, if your doctor says it is okay for you to fly, you should take steps to make sure that your experience at the airport is as stress-free as possible. Having someone assist you with your luggage or arranging speedy boarding, for example, can all help to keep your condition under control as much as possible.

What happens if I have an angina attack on the plane?

It will have surely crossed your mind that if the unthinkable happens while you’re onboard a flight, you need to be prepared and know what to do.

First of all, you should have any medications to hand. You may need to take aspirin or another form of medicine in tablet form or a spray, such as glyceryl trinitrate. You should immediately stop whatever you are doing, notify airline staff on board the flight and either take your medication yourself – or let them help you to take it and try to rest.

Flights have a couple of medical kits on board also and are trained to assist in certain situations, although if your symptoms do not settle after a few minutes, they may put a call out to see if there are any medical professionals on board.

It is important to take whatever steps are necessary to get your symptoms under control as quickly as possible, so that you prevent any further complications. Hopefully, this will work fast and you can return to normal, however, if not – you may need further medical treatment.

Compare Angina Travel Insurance

Making sure you have specialist angina travel insurance will mean you have adequate cover and complete peace of mind while you are away. You should declare your condition and be as open as possible in order to find the right level of cover that provide you with the best protection.

If you state you have a pre-existing medical condition, it will allow you to be matched with the insurance providers that can cater to your specific needs. So, don’t wait around – compare angina travel insurance and start looking forward to your holiday.


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