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Flying with Migraine: 12 Useful Ideas


An airplane headache — a short however intense headache throughout take-off or touchdown because of cabin strain modifications — sometimes comes on out of the blue and solely lasts about half-hour.

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

Every kind of travel-related issues can set off migraine. A migraine episode can final anyplace from 4 to 72 hours, which means it may well critically derail your journey plans for those who aren’t geared up with preventive and defensive ways.

Whether or not you’re attempting to keep away from a migraine assault throughout your flight or must rapidly deal with one, listed here are some ideas for dealing with air journey when you’ve 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.

Figuring out this may increasingly show you how to forestall a migraine earlier than you board your flight.

1. Get loads of sleep

It could be onerous relying on the timing of your flight, nevertheless it’s vital to get sufficient sleep earlier than air journey.

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

In case you can’t keep a daily sleep routine, attempt to a minimum of nap earlier than your flight.

2. Carry water and snacks

So simple as it sounds, water is a crucial instrument in overcoming migraine. Dehydration could be a set off, so you should definitely drink loads of water.

Equally, skipping meals or consuming sugary or processed meals can set off migraine. Pack an arsenal of wholesome snacks with loads of protein, entire grains, and wholesome fat. This can show you how 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 extreme quantities 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 ranges. Be sure you plan the small print of your journey out properly upfront.

Go away your self loads of time to get to the airport, verify your baggage, and discover your terminal. Dashing round pre-flight will depart you extra susceptible to an episode.

4. Pack your medicines

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

Pack an emergency package of migraine medicines to your carry-on, not the baggage you’re checking. You wish to make certain you’ve 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 be capable to forestall it from getting worse for those who take your rescue remedy instantly.

Discover a darker, quieter, and extra comfy 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, brilliant lights, and rancid in-cabin air. Right here’s the best way 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 stage from the strain contained in the cabin.

There’s no surefire method to forestall this imbalance. However some individuals 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

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

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

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

Even for those who do all you’ll be able to, migraine is unpredictable. You should still find yourself with one mid-flight. What do you have to do?

8. Deal with migraine as quickly as doable

Don’t hesitate to take your rescue remedy as quickly as you are 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 instantly.

9. Speak with the flight attendants

Folks with migraine typically really feel embarrassed about their situation. However letting the flight attendants know that you simply’re in the course of an episode could make your expertise far more comfy.

They’ve seemingly helped loads of different passengers with migraine or airplane complications earlier than. They may be capable to carry you issues that may give you some additional consolation, comparable to:

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

If the flight isn’t overly crowded, they could even be capable to relocate you to a different seat the place you’ll be able to lie down or escape one thing that’s triggering you.

10. Settle your abdomen

In case you’re liable to nausea and vomiting throughout a migraine episode, equip your self with an air illness bag and deal with retaining your abdomen settled. Useful actions embody:

  • sipping ginger ale
  • consuming saltines
  • sucking on peppermint candies
  • taking any anti-nausea remedy 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 the best way to cope for those who get a migraine episode — or wish 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 follow slightly 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 by a easy mindfulness routine, or name a pal for those who really feel anxious.

12. Get some additional relaxation

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

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

Can flying trigger a migraine episode?

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

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

Do migraine assaults worsen on a aircraft?

In case you board a aircraft with an present migraine assault or develop one mid-flight, the inside cabin atmosphere of a aircraft can actually make issues worse.

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

Being proactive about treating your migraine may also help you handle it.

Am I allowed to take migraine remedy 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 comply with 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 remedy?

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

Many kinds 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 migraine. Migraine is unpredictable, and air journey is rife with doable triggers.

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



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