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I am a healthy 45yr old with no circulation problems. I'll be taking long flights (Washing, DC, Bhutan) and wonder if I should wear compression socks as a precaution. would drugstore grade be adequate or should i order medical quality?
Try the drugstore grade first. If not satisfied, then a medical grade
10-15mmHg or 15-20mmHg graduated compression stockings would do. These are
intended for everyday use and quite supportive. you can get them from any
reputable vein practice.
Compression stocking use during long flights is always a good idea. Knee highs, 15-20 mmHg compression would be the recommended support.
Usually the Drug store variety are of a lesser compression and quality.
Generally blood clots that do occur during prolonged immobilization start in the Calf (Soleus veins).
Also, I recommend that patients avoid dehydration (excess alcohol),and frequent walking, as well as, calf/ankle pumps periodically/frequently while seated.
I generally recommend the Sigvaris, Jobst, Juzo, or medi brands.
You do not need an Rx for this level of compression.
Michael D. Ingegno, MD
15-20 mm ok. 20-30 better but a little tight. Knee high ok.
We recommend all longer distance travelers wear a 15-20mmHg pressure knee high hose. It is better to have your legs measured by a professional fitter. You will be more comfortable with the fit and less chance of an inappropriate hose causing constriction. The medical compression companies have comfortable sport type hose which are perfect for such travel.
Along with the hose we recommend staying well hydrated, getting up and walking when you can and doing the exercises mention in all the airline magazines. Anything you can do to compress and stretch the calf and thigh muscles will help.
Norman N. Bein MD FACS RVT
If your trip is longer than 3 hours, then yes, it is a good idea to wear compression stockings to help prevent deep vein thrombosis. Drugstore stockings should be adequate if they are in the 12-18 mmHg range of compression. You do not necessarily need higher compression for that purpose. As per usual, you can discuss this with your physician to ensure there is no contraindication to wearing compression stockings.
I would encourqge all adults who have normal pulses at the feet and no numbness in the feet to wear 30-40 mm Hg compression calf length support hose for travel. Frequent ankle pumps with contraction of the posterior calf muscles while sitting or standing would also be helpful. Avoid dehydration while flying as well.
Stephen F. Daugherty, MD, FACS, RVT, RPhS
It will definitively recommend you to wear compression stockings. You need knee-high, at least 20-30mm Hg. They are available with prescription from a medical supply store.
...Remember, Sabrina Williams is also healthy, younger than you and without circulatory problems and she had a pulmonary embolism after a long flight.
Compression stockings for flights greater than 2 hours is a good idea. While flying, the muscle compression function of the calf is lost. Knee length compression stockings can help to compensate for this. 15 to 20 mmHg compression should be enough.
There have been several studies that compression stocking help prevent blood
clots from forming when you are immobilized as occurs on a long flight. The
compression socks sold at drug stores if they fit right and are at least
20mmHg pressure will likely work.