What Are The Risks of Travelling With High Blood Pressure?

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High blood pressure is an extremely common health issue, with 75 million people now being treated for the condition according to the American Heart Association. With this level of prevalence, it’s natural that it’s something many travellers need to take in to consideration when planning their vacation.

If your high blood pressure is under control and being properly medicated then the relative risks are fairly small. However, as will any chronic health condition it’s important to be aware of the risks and take a few precautions to ensure your health isn’t at risk.

For example, hypertension symptoms may be worsened at higher altitudes. Even those with no history of high blood pressure can experience temporary symptoms of hypertension when at high altitude. This is commonly caused by increased levels of adrenaline and other stress hormones in your body as a result of slightly lower oxygen levels.

The majority of people being treated for high blood pressure should be completely fine on flights, and shouldn’t need to alter their medication at all. If you’re spending an extended length of time at a higher altitude as part of your vacation you should check with your doctor before your trip to see if you’re at risk.

High Blood Pressure Travel insurance

If you are travelling with high blood pressure and your situation is managed though medication, it might be easy to forget that you need to state it as a pre-existing condition when purchasing travel insurance. Failure to do so could result in any claim you make being denied, so take this in to consideration.

Your insurance company will likely check your medical history to assess your risk, and it may result in a slight increase in the cost of your insurance policy. While this can be an inconvenience, it will be a whole lot worse if you end up liable for your medical bills if you fall ill.

Visit with your Physician Prior to Travel

Visit your doctor before you book your vacation to get a quick check up and some guidance if you are at all undecided about whether your vacation might affect your health. Your doctor is the best individual to determine your risks and can advise you on any changes to your medication. You shouldn’t travel against your physician’s assistance.

Treatment

For those who have started being treated for high blood pressure in the last three months, your doctor might advise you to not travel. In the early days of treatment your dosage may need to be changed to ensure it’s working as intended. Placing additional stress on the body prior to having your blood pressure under control can be an unnecessary risk.

It could be worthwhile investing in a blood-pressure monitor. If you’re thinking about travelling for an extended period of time, bringing a monitor to keep an eye on your levels is probably a good idea.

Adventurous Activities

If you’re going on a more active holiday rather than sitting on the beach for two weeks, there are a few additional factors to consider. For example, because of change in pressure, diving could be harmful for your health if you suffer from blood pressure. Any ambitious activities that create immediate changes in pressure or altitude (such as paragliding or parachuting) could be harmful for people with high blood pressure.

If you are unsure how your high blood pressure may affect your ability to travel and participate in adventurous activities, check with your doctor. They’ll be able to advise what is appropriate for your condition and can recommend the best ways of mitigating any risks involved.

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