Summer travel has arrived


Busy airports and booked hotels are signs that the months of shutdowns, closures and travel restrictions due to the COVID19 pandemic are coming to an end.

Whether you are planning to make the long flight to the Big Island of Hawaii or hoping to make your way to Heathrow Airport in London, consider these tips to enjoy your travel activities without complications from varicose veins.

Travel preparations include more than dusting off luggage and buying travel-size toiletries for varicose veins sufferers, because travel can aggravate the venous system.

Laser vein therapy is a great option for any patient who wants to look and feel their absolute best during vacation travel. San Diego Vein Institute specializes in treating venous concerns and is ready to discuss your treatment options with you. Treatments are performed in the office by a vascular physician.

To slow the progression of varicose veins and manage their effect, stay active while traveling by plane, car or train. Sitting for long periods creates pressure in the lower body especially the legs where varicose veins usually appear. So, be sure to alternate sitting with standing and walking.

Longer flights can make you more vulnerable to dangerous DVT (deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot that can move to the heart or lungs). Get up and move when allowed during your flight.

While in your travel seat try this simple effective exercise to circulate the blood. Flex your feet by pulling your toes back toward your body, hold the pose for 10 seconds, then point your toes forward for 10 seconds. Then, rotate your ankles clockwise and counterclockwise. Do these exercises every 30-60 minutes.

Make sure your legs have plenty of room to move while seated too. On an airplane I recommend that you store your carry-on bag in the overhead bin to ensure that the floor space intended for you to stretch your legs is open. During car trips make frequent stops to stretch your legs.

Another easy yet effective tip is to invest in a pair of compression socks to wear during travel. These tight-fitting socks promote circulation in the legs and ankles.

Above all, drink plenty of water. Remember that traveling dehydrates the body. Dehydration causes the body to retain fluids, and swelling can lead to blood clots. Begin hydrating as soon as you board the plane – and reach for the water bottle or choose water when offered a beverage on the airplane. All those extra fluids likely will mean more trips to the restroom – and that movement helps your body circulate blood from head to toe.

Dr. Van Cheng is a Harvard University educated medical doctor who specializes in treating venous concerns. Dr. Cheng is located at 336 Encinitas Boulevard, Suite 130, Encinitas, CA 92024. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (760) 944-9263 or visit