“ Brand: Scholl / Type: Blood Pressure „
I have previously had a DVT (deep vein Thrombosis) and so when I get on a airplane I now need to wear compression socks. The best that I have found are made by Scholl.
So what exactly do these flight socks do and are they worth wearing. Well, according to their website, Scholl Flight Socks are medically proven to help prevent DVT by helping to improve blood flow. Designed for continuous comfort, they help relieve tired arching legs and swollen ankles so that you arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and your legs feel revitalised.
This is good because when you are in an airplane you are often sitting still for long periods of time, especially as I fly to Los Angeles a few times a year. Also in an airplane the pressure is different and you can often suffer from dehydration and so these are prime reasons why DVT's occur. Also, sitting in a car can cause a DVT which is where I think mine occurred so these flight socks are good for in the car too.
The great thing about these socks from Scholl is that they actually look like socks and do not look like the hospital ones that I was given to wear (awful white tight material that made me look about 80!!). These are real socks and are also quite comfortable too, you cannot really feel the tightness of them but you know that they are working. The top of these socks has a comfort top so they do not dig in as much as you think they would. Obviously I would still recommend stretching your legs as much as you can but the socks are a great help too.
According to their website Scholl recommend that you wear them in place of normal socks throughout your entire journey. Always wear both socks and ensure they are pulled up to just below the knee. I have the Compression level 14-17 mmHg (18.7-22.7hPa). Made to conform to Bristish Standard:BS6612:1985
Now, they are fairly expensive, one pair will cost you £12.99 but for your health and to not develop any leg problems I definitely recommend them.
Scholl flight socks are a good purchase if you are flying, or indeed if you are going to be travelling in a car for any length of time. It's strange really because they are marketed as flight socks, but the condition of "Deep Vein Thrombosis" is also more common when any person remains inactive for long periods of time. Flying is a major risk factor, but there are many.
So just for a moment I'll pop my nurse's hat and explain what "Deep Vein Thrombosis" or DVT is all about. If you are a driver and have ever been on the M6 north of Lancaster, at quiet times, you will appreciate the wide open 3 lane motorway and the ease of driving. It is pure pleasure and difficult to adhere to the speed limits, because the bottle necks of the Midlands and The North around Manchester are far behind you. This is what you want your blood system to be doing, flowing like this, freely and easily.
Now the M25 on a Friday is a different story. Clogged lanes all fighting to pay for the toll at the Dartford crossing, and the Birmingham M6 is the same- a bottle neck. Thank goodness for the toll road they have now, which again allows the traffic to flow freely and with ease.
So what you want on long journeys (and every day) is this free flowing scenario in your own blood system. However, sitting on a plane in "Economy", getting dehydrated from the dry air in the cabin can trigger a very unpleasant, and potentially fatal, series of events. Blood in the legs returns north to the upper part of the body thanks partly to the muscles in the legs, which when you are active contract and help the blood to return, and also due to the valves in these veins which stop the blood going back to the legs. Since gravity is not in its favour this aspect is vital. Stagnating thickened blood is more likely to clot in these deep veins. Remember you can't see these veins; they are deep inside the leg and not those superficial ones you can easily spot on the surface.
If this blood clots it will sometimes go unnoticed as the body will break it down. However if this does not happen and you see any of these signs/symptoms you must get to a doctor quickly.
1. Any kind of calf swelling (Note that the ankle swelling sometimes experienced on planes is not the same, and is not connected with this. However, if severe it should be seen by a doctor)
2. The leg may also feel warm and it may be red, but not always.
3 Pain in the affected leg which can be severe, it may mean you can't stand on it without generating more pain.
The reason this must not be ignored is that if there is a clot it may travel to the lungs. This is then a medical emergency and is called a "Pulmonary Embolism". It can be fatal, and it may cause chest pain, breathlessness, coughing up blood and collapse. For this reason it is vital to think about prevention, and this is where these Scholl stockings are a real bonus.
To purchase these go to a chemist. They retail for about £12 and you can choose from a range of 2 colours. This is great because when they first came out they were all black, but now ladies can get some in a natural flesh shade, which look aesthetically better. They are available in different sizes, and it is really important to measure yourself correctly and to purchase the right one.
To wear them you carefully put them on -this will be hard as they are meant to be close fitting, but whatever you do make sure they are rolled up to the knee, and never be tempted to wear them half mast, as this will make matters worse by placing pressure around the calf and will be counterproductive.
With all the right attitudes about safety it is still possible to shun these as they are not a fashion item, in fact they are reminiscent of my grannie's stockings drawer, and do not excite me on a flight to wear them. So I think it is really important to think what you are going to wear so that they are disguised. For ladies I would suggest some lovely linen trousers which are cool, but loose, so that they are covered up in flight; and if you buy some with a turn up capability you can always roll them up on arrival, remove your socks on landing, and then pop your summer shoes back on.
The socks wash really well and can be used many times so they are good value for money.
Now also to consider is the other risk factors for developing DVT. Undoubtedly dehydration is a major killer, and for reasons I will outline now. I don't know whether you have noticed but long haul economy flights are the worst for serving small drinks. Tiny glasses and minute dinky soft drinks. I am sure this is to keep the weight down, as fluids weigh a lot, and have to be transported, but it seems ironic to me that when dehydration is a major health risk that it is crazy to serve tiny soft drinks. So to get round this make sure you are hydrated well before you fly. Start a few days before, have extra drinks and allow enough time at the airport before you board to pop into Boots to buy some water After security you can do this, and it makes sense, especially of you are going long haul /economy.
Walk round the plane a lot on route, and do the exercises they suggest in your seat. Sadly alcohol makes matters worse so try to avoid it, and take extra care on the way home from tropical destinations as you may be much more dehydrated than you were before you left from home, having beach bathed for a fortnight!
If you have had any form of circulatory disorder you must check with your GP as to the suitability of these flights socks and your personal risk factors for flying at all. Also check with your GP if you have diabetes.
Certain groups are more likely to develop DVT and these include those taking the pill or HRT, those over 40, and anyone who is immobile in general, or who has had recent surgery. This also includes anyone with a previous history or indeed a family history of DVT. Also if you are very overweight, have had cancer or cancer treatment, or heart disease, and there are many more including smoking. However it is important to remember anyone is at risk.
Keeping mobile is your best friend with this. It is why in hospital now patients are dragged out of bed so early and mobilised to prevent many conditions, DVT being one of them. It is really advisable to become the annoying flight goer who always seems to need the toilet!
Scholl Flight socks are part of the armoury we have in fighting this condition. For a modest price you can lower your risk of developing DVT and improve safety for yourself when flying. They have a British Standard mark on the box which is vital. Although they are not fashionable they are comfortable to wear, and an added bonus I find is that on long haul flights they are quite warming, which is lovely as it can get chilly in the early hours if you are flying overnight.
Just make sure they fit really well and are comfortable. If they slip down they are too big, and don't be tempted to buy them too small as you will find them really difficult to put on and could restrict the blood flow.
I think they are a small price to pay for reducing your risk and they could save your life.
This review is also published on Ciao by myself under my user name there which is Violet1278.
Scholl flight socks
With all of the hype about these I am always amazed when i get onto an aeroplane that i seem to be about the only one wearing them. I know this because I see people in their shorts, although it's more tricky to decide on business flights when people are suited and booted.
WHAT DO THEY DO?
When on an aeroplane, the long periods of inactivity, combined with often cramped conditions and dehydration can cause circulatory problems including Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). DVT risks increase as you get older, during pregnancyand with a previous history of blood clots, but it is recommended that everyone wears the socks unless medically advised against it.
These socks are apparently medically proven to help prevent DVT by helping to improve the flow of blood and ensure correct circulation. They will also help reduce the build up of fluid and alleviate heavy aching feelings in the legs which you can experience after a long flight
WHO ARE THEY FOR?
They are designed for men and women of all ages and come in a range of sizes from shoe size 3 to shoe size 12.
THE SOCKS THEMSELVES...
The socks come in a sealed plastic packet with lots of information on the bag and a scary leaflet inside telling me all the dangers of DVT.
The socks themselves are described as being discreet and comfortable and like normal socks. Not so! They are long (up to the knees0 and look like the very thickest of support tights. In fact, even if I catch a glimpse of my feet, I can see they are most definitely not normal socks.
I have the black socks, and when i do don my rather attractive garments, they do feel quite comfortable and if it weren't for they fact that they look so shocking, i could forget I am wearing them.
HOW TO PUT THEM ON...
Because these incorporate compression it's important that they are worn correctly. Firstly, ensure you have the correct size. There are 3 different sizes taking into account foot calf and ankle size, so tape measure at the ready!
The socks should, without forcing them, be pulled to just below the knee, and when I put them on they are not like normal socks because they are tighter and have to be pulled up more carefully. Make sure there are no wrinkles, and don't roll them down while wearing them because there will be a build up of compression.
LOOKING AFTER THEM...
These can be washed at 40 degrees and you can use them and wash them afterwards for 30 washes, so you do get your moneys worth.
Consult a health profession before wearing them if you have heart or circulatory problems, are pregnant, have sever varicose veins or reduced mobility.
There are also several warnings on the leaflet about walking about during the flight, keeping hydrated and keeping an eye on your legs and temperature when you leave the aeroplane.
As I mentioned before the socks are available in 3 sizes, and 2 colours (black and sheer medium. I would imagine they both look as bad as each other!
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Available in airports and chemists ,they cost around they £12 mark but if you take into consideration they are good for 30 flights 9assuming they are washed after each flight) then they are not an expensive purchase.
They are made by scholl, but the socks can be bought online by doing a general search for scholl flight socks
It has become quite a habit of mine to wear them regardless of the length of the flight. My most recent flight was Newcastle Heathrow and naturally I donned my socks for an hour. They are comfortable to wear and reagrdless as to whether they are helping me, I feel better when I wear them, but I am one of those people who does the in flight exercises! They are easy to take care of and whilst not the best looking things, as long as I wear trousers, i am sure I'm not offending anyone.
As I have been using these flight socks (not these specific ones0 for many years, i would recommend anyone who wants to reduce the risk of DVT to wear them.
Thanks for reading
Daniela x x
Sheer Natural. Compression socks help support blood flow in the legs to prevent clots from occuring.