A Jet Airways aircraft Boeing 737, travelling from Mumbai to Jaipur with 166 passengers on board, had to return to the airport as the crew forgot to turn on the cabin pressurisation system which maintains air pressure inside an aircraft to a comfortable level.
The mistake led to several passengers suffering from nosebleed, bleeding from ear and severe headache. Some of the passengers were even admitted to the hospital with these complaints.
What does Air Pressure mean?
Air pressure, also known as Barometric pressure or atmospheric pressure, is the weight of the atmosphere pressing down on earth. It is measured by a barometer in units called millibars. The standard or average atmospheric pressure at sea level on the earth is 1013.25 millibars per square inch, which is about 14.7 pounds.
What are the causes of Air Pressure?
Air pressure is caused due to air molecules present in the atmosphere. The higher the altitude, the lower is the air pressure, which makes it tough for humans to survive without proper equipment.
The aircrafts use cabin pressure by pumping in ‘bleed air’ to maintain barometric pressure. This pressurisation becomes highly necessary when the aircraft touches altitude above 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) from sea level.
What health issues do low Air Pressure cause?
Low air pressure can cause mild as well as death threatening conditions which include:
Blood pressure: As the air pressure reduces, the blood pressure also starts falling. It can be observed if you are feeling dizziness or a blurred vision.
Severe headache: Change in barometric pressure can lead to severe headache or migraines by creating a pressure difference between the atmosphere and air-filled sinuses.
Joint pain: As per a study, the change in barometric pressure increases the severity of joint pain and arthritis.
Blood sugar: Change in air pressure bring cold fronts , which is not good for a diabetic person.
Hypoxia: The lower oxygen pressure reduces the oxygen tension in the lungs, subsequently in the brain. This can lead to dimmed vision, sluggish thinking, loss of consciousness and eventually death.
Altitude sickness: In the most common response to hypoxia, the human body starts hyperventilation. It does help in partially restoring oxygen in the blood but it also leads to carbon dioxide to out-gas which increases the blood pH level. In this condition, people may suffer fatigue, nausea, headache, sleeplessness and even pulmonary oedema.
Decompression sickness: It leads to tiredness, forgetfulness, headache, stroke, thrombosis and subcutaneous itching.
Barotrauma: As the aircraft climbs or descends, passengers may face discomfort or acute pain as gases trapped inside their bodies try to expand. The most common problems faced due to this situation include air trapped in the middle ear or paranasal sinuses by a blocked Eustachian tube. It can also cause pain in gastrointestinal tract or even the teeth.
What emergency steps should be taken in situation of low air pressure?
The effects of low air pressure may vary from person to person. Some people do not feel any health problems even while being at an altitude as high as 8,000 feet while some would start feeling restless from 5,000 feet onwards.
There may be many precautions including carrying an oxygen cylinder always while travelling to the high altitude places. In aircrafts, oxygen masks are provided to each passenger but if you are planning to go on a trek, you must know some important aspects of surviving at high altitude places. Have a look:
Emergency tips to keep yourself safe at high altitude places:
These things can help you keep your mind and body fit even at the reasonably high altitude places.
All you need to know about infections of the uterus, vagina and cervix
The uterus, vagina and cervix are major components of the female reproductive system. Their functioning impacts the overall growth and health of the female body as well as sexuality.
There are a number of infections and diseases that affect the female reproductive organs. Most cases require clinical care and treatment in consultation with a gynaecologist.
Following are the symptoms of infection in the uterus, cervix or vagina:
There are three main types of infections that affect the organs of the female reproductive system. They are as follows:
This is an infection that affects the vagina. It occurs when the walls of the vagina get inflamed and irritated. It is caused by bacteria, viruses, yeast, chemicals and even clothing. It often occurs due to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The different types of infections that occur as vaginitis are yeast infection, viral vaginitis, bacterial vaginitis, trichomoniasis vaginitis, etc.
This infection affects the cervix. Cervicitis can either be acute or chronic in nature, depending upon what causes the cervix to get inflamed. It occurs most commonly due to sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia and herpes. This condition is often confused with vaginitis as the two have similar causes and symptoms.
3. Pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease (pid) is a serious infection that affects the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. It is caused by sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhoea and can lead to severe complications. It often causes scar tissue to grow between the internal organs and may even lead to ectopic pregnancy. If not properly diagnosed, it can cause infertility and other chronic problems.
Treating the various infections that affect the female reproductive system depends on a number of factors such as nature of the problem, age and medical history of the patient, and the root causes. Early detection and diagnosis ensure effective treatment which makes it important to see a gynaecologist at the onset of symptoms.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!