Travelling with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) can be frustrating for anyone, especially when it comes to navigating through an airport. POTS affects the body’s ability to regulate blood pressure and heart rate, which can lead to dizziness, fatigue, and fainting spells. In this post, we will share five tips for POTS travellers to make their airport experience more manageable and enjoyable.
Before embarking on your journey, it is essential to inform the airline about your condition. Airlines have policies in place to accommodate disabled passengers, including those with POTS. Airlines typically require passengers to inform them of their special needs at least 48 hours in advance.
You may need to provide a doctor’s note or a medical form to confirm your condition. Informing the airline ahead of time will ensure that the airport staff is prepared to assist you with any necessary accommodations during your journey.
Use a Mobility Scooter
Navigating a large airport can be challenging for anyone, but it’s even more challenging for POTS patients who experience symptoms like dizziness, lightheadedness, and fatigue. Renting or bringing your own mobility scooter can help make the airport experience more enjoyable and manageable.
Most airports offer mobility scooters for a fee, so make sure to bring your scooter if you have one already. Not only will you save energy and avoid standing for an extended period while waiting in lines, but the scooter can also help you zip through the airport quickly.
Dehydration can trigger POTS symptoms, such as dizziness, fatigue, and low blood pressure. It’s essential to stay hydrated before, during, and after your flight. Bring an empty water bottle in your carry-on, and after passing through security, fill it up at one of the airport’s water fountains. You can also purchase water from one of the airport vendors or ask a flight attendant for a cup of water or a bottle of water during your flight.
Wear Compression Socks
Compression socks are a must-have for POTS patients travelling on a plane as they can help improve blood circulation and prevent blood from pooling in the legs, a common problem for POTS patients. The compression socks apply pressure to the feet and legs, maximizing blood flow and reducing swelling. It’s a simple and effective way to help manage POTS symptoms while travelling.
It’s essential to rest and take breaks during your journey, especially if you are feeling tired, dizzy, or lightheaded. Find a quiet corner or a bench and take a few minutes to rest or lie down. You can also take breaks by requesting a wheelchair if needed, and the airport staff will assist you. Remember that taking breaks can help you conserve energy and reduce the likelihood of a POTS flare-up.
Travelling with POTS can be overwhelming, but by taking these five tips into account, you can make your airport experience smoother and more comfortable. Remember always to plan ahead, inform the airline, use a mobility scooter, stay hydrated, wear compression socks, and take breaks when needed. With proper preparation and care, you can enjoy your travels with peace of mind, even when living with POTS.