Wearing compression stockings during a flight might help prevent deep vein thrombosis from developing.

The advantages of wearing compression stockings typically pertain to improving blood flow in the legs. Blood circulation can slow in the legs as the result of a number of health ailments, such as diabetic ulcers, blood clots, extreme swelling or surgical complications. According to the National Institute of Health, using compression stockings after experiencing any of these conditions can assist in aiding symptoms such as:

  • aching and pain in legs
  • preventing blood clots from progressing
  • reducing swelling in legs
  • loosening sensations of muscle constriction

From preventing these side effects to diabetic foot care, there’s a lot that compression stockings may be used for, and many of their capabilities are unknown.

Reducing obstructive sleep apnea

In a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers found that wearing compression stockings may be a cost-effective way to improve symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, particularly with patients experiencing chronic venous insufficiency. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where breathing can abruptly stop during sleeping, and those with inefficient blood circulation in their legs may only be increasing their side effects of sleep apnea.

After reviewing the test results, the researchers discovered that those who wore the compression stockings at night experienced a 62 percent reduction in overnight leg fluid volume change when compared to those who didn’t wear the dressings. Compression stocking wearers also were reported to have a 60 percent reduction in neck circumference increase, as well as a 36 percent decrease in the number of apnea episodes per hour of sleep.

Deep vein thrombosis risk during flights

Another alternative use for compression stockings may significantly lower your risk of deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, during a long flight. DVT is essentially when blood clots form in veins deep inside your body, mostly occurring in the lower leg or thigh. A study published in the medical journal The Cochrane Library explored whether or not wearing compression stockings during lengthy airplane travel can ultimately eliminate your odds of developing DVT.

Using more than 2,800 people of different ages, sexes and risk categories, the researchers split the groups evenly in terms of who would wear compression stockings during the study and who would not. Follow up studies were conducted on 2,637 of the participants, ultimately finding that only 3 subjects wearing compression stockings eventually developed DVT, while 47 of the non-stocking wearing participants were diagnosed with the condition.

Purchasing compression stockings

It is recommended by the National Institute of Health that before purchasing compression stockings for a diabetic ulcer or one of these other uses, you should consult with a clinician. After receiving advice, companies such as Advanced Tissue can provide trusted brand names in compression stockings, including Carolon, Jobst, Juxta Lite and BiaCare.  Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.