Why do we fart more on an airplane?

What changes happen to our body when we are traveling on a plane?

Traveling on a plane at 35,000 feet is the equivalent of being on an 8000 foot mountain.  At the same time, the humidity is on a plane is lower than being in the desert!

Here are some of the changes that occur to our body when we fly:

-The reduced air pressure decreases our oxygen level by 6-25%.  For healthy passengers this is not a problem, but can cause difficulty for those with lung or heart problems, as well as the elderly.

-Our vision can be affected by the reduced oxygen level, causing our eyes to feel strained.

-The sensitivity of our taste buds decreases by up to 30% due to the low air pressure and low humidity on the flight.

-Our sense of smell also decreases, which can cause food to taste bland.

-The change in air pressure can cause increased flatulence (farting).  When we fly, the gases in our digestive system expands by 30%, resulting in this problem. Planes often have charcoal filters to reduce the odors.

-Our skin dries out by 37% from its baseline, which leads to itchiness.

-Studies have shown that our immune system can be affected by the change in air pressure, making it more likely for us to become sick after flying.  In addition the re-circulated area spreads bacteria and viruses throughout the plane.

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