An airplane headache — a short however intense headache throughout take-off or touchdown on account of cabin strain adjustments — sometimes comes on all of a sudden and solely lasts about 30 minutes.

However having a migraine episode earlier than, throughout, or after a flight is one other story.

All types of travel-related issues can set off migraine. A migraine episode can final anyplace from 4 to 72 hours, that means it could possibly critically derail your journey plans when you aren’t outfitted with preventive and defensive ways.

Whether or not you’re attempting to avoid a migraine attack throughout your flight or must rapidly deal with one, listed below are some ideas for dealing with air journey when you’ve got this situation.

The whole lot concerned with preparing for air journey — from the crowds and noisy fellow vacationers to the less-than-healthy airport meals choices — might set off a migraine episode.

Understanding this may increasingly enable you to stop a migraine earlier than you board your flight.

1. Get loads of sleep

It may be laborious relying on the timing of your flight, but it surely’s vital to get sufficient sleep earlier than air journey.

Attempt to maintain it throughout the boundaries of your standard sleep schedule since lack of sleep is a typical migraine set off.

When you can’t preserve an everyday sleep routine, attempt to not less than nap earlier than your flight.

2. Convey water and snacks

So simple as it sounds, water is a crucial software in overcoming migraine. Dehydration could be a set off, so you’ll want to drink loads of water.

Equally, skipping meals or consuming sugary or processed foods can set off migraine. Pack an arsenal of wholesome snacks with loads of protein, complete grains, and wholesome fat. It will enable you to keep away from hitting up the airport snack bar and indulging in junk meals.

Good choices embody:

  • nuts
  • oat or protein bars
  • recent fruit and veggies
  • popcorn
  • whole-grain crackers

Make sure to keep away from alcohol or excessive amounts of caffeine, too, whilst you’re ready round to your flight. Each are migraine triggers.

3. Plan forward

Stress and migraine are related, presumably due to fluctuating serotonin levels. Ensure you plan the small print of your journey out properly prematurely.

Depart your self loads of time to get to the airport, examine your baggage, and discover your terminal. Speeding round pre-flight will go away you extra weak to an episode.

4. Pack your medicines

Earlier than you fly, examine your prescriptions to make sure you have sufficient of your preventive and rescue medicines. Discuss along with your physician about refills, if crucial.

Pack an emergency package of migraine medications to your carry-on, not the baggage you’re checking. You need to be certain you’ve got these medicines with you in case you want them.

5. Be prepared to reply

If a migraine episode begins whilst you’re ready to your flight, it’s vital to be proactive in treating it. You would possibly have the ability to stop it from getting worse when you take your rescue medicine immediately.

Discover a darker, quieter, and extra snug nook of the airport to relaxation in for some time earlier than your flight.

You’ve made it onto the aircraft with out a migraine, however that’s solely half the battle. There are many triggers on board the aircraft as properly, like altering barometric strain ranges, shiny lights, and off in-cabin air. Right here’s methods to cope.

6. Put together for take-off and touchdown

Whereas migraine can strike at any time, take-off and touchdown are the 2 phases of air journey almost definitely to impress head ache. Once more, that is pressure-related.

The strain contained in the cabin is completely different from that exterior. An analogous distinction may additionally be occurring inside your physique. The strain inside your sinus cavity stays at a special degree from the strain contained in the cabin.

There’s no surefire technique to stop this imbalance. However some folks discover that chewing gum and utilizing earplugs, particularly throughout take-off and touchdown, can offset it sufficient to keep away from a headache.

7. Block out triggers

Possibly you’re sitting beneath the blowing air con fan. Possibly your seatmate orders the tuna salad sandwich. Possibly the individual in entrance of you is holding their overhead mild on for your entire flight.

Regardless of the supply, being on an airplane can set off sensory overload. Being ready to counteract your greatest triggers can go a good distance towards stopping migraine. Listed here are some frequent triggers and methods to beat them.

  • Mild: Convey a sleep masks or darkish, wrap-around sun shades.
  • Noise: Convey earplugs or noise-canceling headphones.
  • Smells: Convey a small quantity of a odor you want or one which relaxes you, like a roll-on bottle of peppermint important oil.

Even when you do all you possibly can, migraine is unpredictable. You should still find yourself with one mid-flight. What must you do?

8. Deal with migraine as quickly as doable

Don’t hesitate to take your rescue medication as quickly as you’re feeling the primary indicators of migraine mid-flight. This isn’t the time to “wait and see” if it will get worse. Deal with your migraine immediately.

9. Discuss with the flight attendants

Individuals with migraine generally really feel embarrassed about their situation. However letting the flight attendants know that you simply’re in the midst of an episode could make your expertise rather more snug.

They’ve seemingly helped a whole lot of different passengers with migraine or airplane complications earlier than. They could have the ability to carry you issues that can provide you some further consolation, similar to:

  • ice or warmth packs
  • a blanket or pillow
  • ginger ale
  • further water

If the flight isn’t overly crowded, they might even have the ability to relocate you to a different seat the place you possibly can lie down or escape one thing that’s triggering you.

10. Settle your abdomen

When you’re liable to nausea and vomiting throughout a migraine episode, equip your self with an air illness bag and concentrate on holding your abdomen settled. Useful actions embody:

  • sipping ginger ale
  • consuming saltines
  • sucking on peppermint candies
  • taking any anti-nausea medicine you introduced in your carry-on

You’re virtually out of the woods! However all that sensory enter mixed with the stress of attempting to keep away from a migraine episode for hours on finish can set off one after your flight.

Right here’s methods to cope when you get a migraine episode — or need to keep away from one — within the post-flight letdown.

11. Pause and recharge

Whether or not you’re hungry, thirsty, achy, or simply plain irritable, take a while post-flight to observe a bit self-care. Your vacation spot can often wait lengthy sufficient so that you can hydrate, refuel with a wholesome meal or snack, stretch your physique, and get some recent air.

Step off to a quiet, uncrowded space and take some deep breaths. Run via a easy mindfulness routine, or name a good friend when you really feel anxious.

12. Get some further relaxation

When you attain your vacation spot, resist the temptation to leap proper into unpacking or transferring on to the following exercise.

Discover a place to chill out and let your physique acclimate. A well-timed nap could make all of the distinction.

Can flying trigger a migraine episode?

Many typical every day actions could cause a migraine episode, together with air journey. Not solely are you extra prone to be confused about flying, however you’re additionally extra prone to encounter migraine triggers and have much less management over them.

There’s additionally the difficulty of barometric strain and the way regularly it adjustments throughout a flight. This will set off a headache for anybody, particularly these liable to migraine.

Do migraine assaults worsen on a aircraft?

When you board a aircraft with an current migraine assault or develop one mid-flight, the inside cabin setting of a aircraft can definitely make issues worse.

Triggering lights, noises, smells, and strain adjustments can rapidly make a migraine go from reasonable to extreme.

Being proactive about treating your migraine might help you handle it.

Am I allowed to take migraine medicine in my carry-on?

Sure. Per the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), all prescription and most over-the-counter medicine are allowed on airplanes.

The one restriction pertains to liquid medicines, which should observe the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule or be declared to the TSA officer for inspection as you undergo the screening course of.

Can I take different medicines, like Dramamine or Xanax, with my migraine medicine?

You must all the time examine along with your physician about interactions between your migraine medicines and different medicine generally taken or prescribed for air journey.

Many sorts of drug interactions can happen with frequent migraine medicines.

As a result of they fall into a number of completely different drug classes (antidepressants, beta-blockers, anti-epilepsy medicine, and so forth.), every mixture must be thought of case-by-case by a healthcare skilled.

It may be formidable to get on a aircraft when you’ve got migraine. Migraine is unpredictable, and air journey is rife with doable triggers.

However there are a lot of methods to forestall and deal with migraine throughout air journey. Be ready to keep away from triggers, have a plan of motion for treating an episode, and handle your self earlier than, throughout, and after flying.


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