Traveling by air always re-awakens a few of my anxieties, specifically that I'll miss my flight or that I'll develop Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), a potentially deadly condition that can affect anyone without warning.
According to the Mayo Clinic “Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain or swelling, but may occur without any symptoms.”
The danger is the blood clot will break loose from your vein and travel to your lung, where it can cause a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism. Not fun!
Aside from doing leg exercises and standing up periodically during your flight, I thought there was little one could do to mitigate the risk. Then, earlier this year, I was invited to test a pair of TravelSox® graduated compression socks.
Compression socks are specially designed to increase circulation in the legs and reduce swelling.
In the past, I associated them more with those who were sedentary for medical reasons or due to old age, but they're becoming an increasingly popular option for travelers who want to protect against DVT.
I recently had the opportunity to test a pair of the TSS6000 TravelSox Soft Padding ($35) on a trans-Atlantic flight. The compression rating was 12-20 mmHg, which based on my reading about compression socks for flying, was just right.
It's important to choose a pair that will fit you properly, as too tight a fit can increase the likelihood of circulation problems, not decrease it. I made sure to try them on before the flight to make sure they fit me well (and they did).
Aside from the fact that I'm not use to wearing socks up to my knees, they felt extremely soft and comfortable.
I always imagined compression socks to be ugly, but these come in a variety of colors, including black, brown, gray, khaki, navy and white.
In addition to wearing compression socks, it can also be a good idea to remove your shoes on a flight and give your feet and toes room to wiggle. The last thing you want to do when that happens is reveal less than pleasant smelling socks.
To avoid receiving any disapproving looks from your seatmates, TravelSox incorporates a quick-drying, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral material called Silver DryStat®.
Overall, I had a positive first experience with my pair of TravelSox.
For travelers who prefer not to have knee-high socks, TravelSox also offers a crew-length compression sock ($15) that offers similar benefits. Given how light I travel, this option would make more sense for me personally,
Given how light I travel, this option would make more sense for me personally, however, those at greater risk for DVT may want to stick with the full length version.
In addition to travel, Arcosox also produces compression socks for everyday use, industrial use, sports and medical purposes. All of the socks are 100 percent made in Italy.
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Offer expires August 12, 2015.
This post was written in partnership with Travelsox.