July 25th, 2011
08:38 AM ET

Is it OK to fly after a head injury?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Mondays, it's pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Shu.

Asked by Liz from Atlanta
My teammate and I collided during a ballgame last weekend, and I blacked out for a few seconds before being taken to the emergency room. They did a CT scan of my head, which was fine. I am still having some headaches but have plans to fly across the country this weekend. Should I cancel my trip?

Expert answer

Thanks for your question. While it's widely accepted that people should avoid strenuous physical and mental activities after a concussion, it's less clear whether flying should be avoided soon afterwards.

Although jets are pressurized so that the cabin environment resembles an altitude of around 8,000 feet, some people report that flying (possibly from the changes in pressure and resulting decrease in oxygen concentration) causes symptoms such as headache, fatigue and nausea.

In addition, extreme turbulence can aggravate headaches. If you do choose to fly this weekend, your doctor may recommend taking a medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to prevent headaches during the flight.

It's also a good idea to be well-rested (or maybe sleep on the plane) and to stay hydrated during the flight.

In addition, brain rest is recommended following a concussion, so reading, watching movies and playing video games - things you might normally do to pass the time on a plane - may make things worse. It can be uncomfortable enough to be in the cramped quarters of a plane, with or without having a headache.

Keep in mind that a cross-country flight could subject you to several hours of pain. Most people with simple concussions improve within about a week or two, so if you are worried about flying and have the flexibility to change your travel plans, it may be wise to do so.

I would be interested to hear from readers about their experiences with flying after having a concussion. Please submit your comments below.

Follow Dr. Shu on Twitter

« Previous entry
soundoff (1,416 Responses)
  1. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the most useful blogs online. I will highly recommend this website!


    June 26, 2021 at 04:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Fidel Saks

    I used to be able to find good advice from your articles.


    June 26, 2021 at 06:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Plumbing Repair Near Me

    Good article. I will be dealing with some of these issues as well..


    June 26, 2021 at 06:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV And Trailer Repair Near Me

    After I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment. Is there an easy method you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!


    June 26, 2021 at 06:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Camper Repair Places Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 06:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Camper Repair Shop Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 06:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. pharmacepticacom

    cloriquin https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 26, 2021 at 06:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Service And Repair Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 07:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV Furnace Repair Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 08:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Repair Shop

    This website really has all of the info I needed concerning this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 26, 2021 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Repair Around Me


    June 26, 2021 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Body Repair Near Me

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thanks, However I am having issues with your RSS. I donít know the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody having the same RSS issues? Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    June 26, 2021 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. link nha cai

    Xoilac Tv Trực Tiếp Soccer nha cai so 1Đội tuyển futsal nước Việt Nam đã được một trận đấu chấp nhận được trước đối thủ cạnh tranh đầy mức độ mạnh Lebanon. Kết trái Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu vs Bình Phước hôm nay 18h00 ngày 5/5, Hạng nhất nước Việt Nam.


    June 26, 2021 at 12:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Nearest RV Repair


    June 26, 2021 at 13:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV And Truck Repair Near Me

    Great article! We are linking to this great post on our site. Keep up the good writing.


    June 26, 2021 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. RV Mobile Repair Service Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Denver Mcardell


    June 26, 2021 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. risk podcast


    June 26, 2021 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. bulwark podcast


    June 26, 2021 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. fresh air podcast

    I want to to thank you for this wonderful read!! I certainly loved every bit of it. I've got you book marked to check out new things you postÖ


    June 26, 2021 at 19:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. reveal podcast

    Everything is very open with a clear explanation of the issues. It was really informative. Your website is extremely helpful. Thanks for sharing!


    June 26, 2021 at 19:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Leadership Certification

    After checking out a handful of the articles on your site, I seriously appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future. Please visit my web site too and let me know what you think.


    June 26, 2021 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. D&D 3.5 Leadership


    June 26, 2021 at 19:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Matrix Of Leadership

    Hi, I do believe this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will come back once again since i have book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.


    June 26, 2021 at 19:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Management Vs Leadership


    June 26, 2021 at 20:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. espn podcast pti

    This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Cheers!


    June 26, 2021 at 21:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. nancy podcast

    Can I simply say what a relief to uncover an individual who truly knows what they are discussing on the internet. You definitely understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people ought to read this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised that you are not more popular because you most certainly possess the gift.


    June 26, 2021 at 23:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. ben greenfield podcast

    Having read this I believed it was really informative. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this short article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    June 26, 2021 at 23:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Leadership Qualities List


    June 27, 2021 at 01:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Leadership Team


    June 27, 2021 at 02:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. bốc thăm c1

    Trực Tiếp Soccer Ngày Hôm Naycakhia. linkĐây có lẽ rằng là trường hợp “của đi thay cho nhân viên" khá như mong muốn đối với Ben McLemore. Thiếu chút nữa tay ném của Los Angeles Lakers đã được thể bắt gặp tai nạn nghiêm trọng. Cập nhật kết quả trận nước Việt Nam vs Lebanon nằm trong play-off vòng chủng loại Futsal World Cup 2021.


    June 27, 2021 at 03:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. in the dark podcast


    June 27, 2021 at 03:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. michael cohen podcast

    I was able to find good advice from your content.


    June 27, 2021 at 06:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Conservative Leadership Election

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday. It's always interesting to read articles from other authors and use something from their web sites.


    June 27, 2021 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Andy Stanley Podcast Leadership


    June 27, 2021 at 08:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. da ga

    Tin Tức, Sự Kiện Liên Quan Đến Thẳng đá Bóng Phái Nữ zalo 1.0.44 mod.apkĐội tuyển chọn futsal nước ta đã có được một trận đấu chấp nhận được trước đối thủ đầy mức độ mạnh Lebanon. Kết quả Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu vs Bình Phước ngày hôm nay 18h00 ngày 5/5, Hạng nhất nước ta.


    June 27, 2021 at 09:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. sports gambling podcast

    I blog often and I seriously appreciate your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark your blog and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.


    June 27, 2021 at 10:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. lawfare mueller report podcast


    June 27, 2021 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. free podcast hosting


    June 27, 2021 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Transactional Leadership Theory

    I enjoy looking through an article that will make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!


    June 27, 2021 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. merch minds podcast

    Having read this I thought it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this content together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    June 27, 2021 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. What Is Thought Leadership

    When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment. Is there a means you are able to remove me from that service? Kudos!


    June 27, 2021 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Collaborative Leadership

    The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won't disappoint me as much as this one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I genuinely believed you would have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something that you can fix if you weren't too busy looking for attention.


    June 27, 2021 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Repair Huntington Beach

    Good article. I certainly appreciate this site. Keep writing!


    June 27, 2021 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Repairs Near Me


    June 27, 2021 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Repair 2006 Dodge Sprinter


    June 27, 2021 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Repair


    June 27, 2021 at 21:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Cargo Van Repair Shop Near Me


    June 27, 2021 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Repair Shops Near My Location


    June 28, 2021 at 00:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Ford Transit Conversion Shop


    June 28, 2021 at 02:04 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Leave a Reply to Fidel Saks


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

« Previous entry
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.