Will being on an airplane effect my migraine?

I am asking this because I will soon be flying for the first time since I got any kind of migraine. I have no idea what it feels like to have a migraine while flying. I know that the noise, lights, and crowds at the airport will make the migraine worse, but I am worried about what will happen from when the airplane takes off to when it lands.


Community Answers
  • hobbitgirl
    2 months ago

    I am a chronic migraine sufferer, with over 50 identified triggers, and up to 28 days/mo of pain. Now that I am retired, I can mitigate better, have many good hours/days.

    When younger with more intense pain, flying made no difference. Hiking and camping at 5000 ft higher altitude diesn’t affect.

    But I recently flew two hr flight for first time in 20 yrs. I took most pre-flight precautions listed in articles here, except meds, because the last time I took triptan it made me feel more horrible than without, and I can get rebound migraines from other meds.

    Flight was delayed on tarmac 2 hrs. Still was fine, although a little thirsty, warm.

    But take-off made head feel weird, in non-migraine way… really don’t know how to describe.

    Woke next day with one of worst migraines I’ve had in long while, and that has set up a cycle going on three weeks (some last months). Some good days, but more severe than have had in long while.

    Have to fly again soon, so need more suggestions. Thanks

  • FOXONTHERUN
    1 year ago

    For me personally, the airplane ride itself seems to be painless. If I drink while in the air (curse you, free in-flight beer and wine!) then I am very ill.

    I get a migraine a few hours after touching down again in my destination due to the multiple altitude changes. Usually, I prepare for a day or two of illness after arrival either way on every trip where I take a flight.

  • Joanna Bodner moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi there @Rin.Morrow,
    Thanks for your question! Flying when living with migraine can sure cause a good deal of anxiety! You are not alone in worrying about this! I thought I’d share some great articles we have dedicated to this topic by one of our contributor’s Janet, who does quite a bit of traveling! I hope you find some of them useful!

    The Migraine Girl’s Tips for Air Travel, Part I: Before the Flight
    The Migraine Girl’s Tips for Air Travel, Part II: In the Air
    Annoyances on the airplane
    Noise-cancelling headphones FTW (for the win)!

    Good luck with your travels and let us know how things go!
    Take care,
    Joanna (Migraine.com Team)

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