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HeadWay Issue #214 🛫 Headaches when You Fly?
July 21, 2022

In this issue:

Headaches when You Fly?

Say what?! Dehydration

Headaches when You Fly?

It might surprise you that a study from 2016 found that only a little over a third of travellers experience headache while flying. But for those already dealing with migraine or frequent headaches, the % is sure to be higher.

So today we're going to cover 7 tips - 4 to think about before you fly, and 3 to think about while you fly. Some of these tips will apply to other travel, but today we're mostly talking about flying.

Before You Fly

  1. Treatments ready to travel: Be sure you have all your medications, supplements, and other treatments ready to go. If you're travelling across borders, keep everything in the original bottles and bring prescriptions along. If travelling for a long period, check regulations about how much you can bring along. And never assume you'll be able to buy the same medications over the counter that you can in your own country.
  2. Think ahead about food and schedule: One of the biggest causes of headache and migraine during travel is the simple change in schedule and food. Of course there's only so much you can control, but do your best to rest up before your trip, and plan to keep as close as possible to a normal schedule. Think about bringing snacks, be aware of your typical coffee/tea drinking (changes in caffeine is a big one).
  3. Watch out for allergies and infections: When you're flying and you're already congested, you can end up with more problems than you bargained for. Be prepared to treat your congestion as you get ready to fly. (This may be a big factor in "airplane headache" - read more here.)
  4. Vitamin/Medication Prep?: Some people have found it helpful to prepare for flying by taking high dose vitamin C for a few days. Aspirin has also helped some. More information here.

While You Fly

  1. Pressure change help: It's not always to blame, but pressure changes are certainly common suspects when it comes to headache. Classic remedies like chewing gum or plugging your nose and blowing may help you. There are also ear plugs specifically designed for helping you avoid pain from pressure changes. Check out Earplanes for adults and Earplanes for children.
  2. Hydration: It is very easy to get dehydrated on your flight, even without realizing it. Make a point of drinking water regularly (that's H2O). There are ways to minimize the bathroom trips, but think about timing that as well. Hydration tips here.
  3. Move: Speaking of going to the bathroom, make sure you move around! Stretch as much as you can in your seat. Walk or stand at regular intervals.
If you have more travel tips, be sure to share them in the HeadWay MailRoom (see below).

Say what?! Dehydration

We talk about dehydration a lot, but what is it? Basically, it's exactly what you may imagine. Your body doesn't have enough water to carry on it's normal work, because you've been losing more than you've been getting.

Interestingly, you may not even be thirsty (or you may be very thirsty!). But common symptoms include (you guessed it) headache, fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness and confusion.

Thanks for reading!  Remember, if you have feedback or ideas for future issues, visit the HeadWay MailRoom.  Your password is nomoache.
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