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. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    I love reading a post that can make men and women think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!


    June 28, 2021 at 06:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Jet Van Repair Shop

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


    June 28, 2021 at 08:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Repair Nearby

    Good article. I will be going through some of these issues as well..


    June 28, 2021 at 08:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Repair Santa Ana


    June 28, 2021 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. keo nha cai .net

    Xoilac Tv Trực Tiếp Bóng Đá letouĐội tuyển nước ta chỉ cần thiết một kết trái hòa có bàn thắng nhằm lần thứ hai góp mặt tại World Cup futsal. Nhưng, nhằm thực hiện được như vậy


    June 28, 2021 at 11:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Repair Shops Near My Location

    Good article! We are linking to this particularly great article on our website. Keep up the good writing.


    June 28, 2021 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Rv Dent Repair Shop Near Me

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who was conducting a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me dinner due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this issue here on your web page.


    June 28, 2021 at 13:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Conversion Van Repair


    June 28, 2021 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Mb Sprinter Blind Spot Detection Repair


    June 28, 2021 at 16:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Repair Shops Near My Location

    Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day. It will always be helpful to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their sites.


    June 28, 2021 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Ram Cargo Van Repair Shop

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you so much, However I am having difficulties with your RSS. I donít know the reason why I am unable to join it. Is there anybody else getting similar RSS issues? Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!!


    June 28, 2021 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. xôi yến

    Thẳng Soccer Việt Nam Vs Lebanon. Coi Truc Tiep Bong Da. Futsal Việt Namlịch phát sóng bóng đá hôm nayXem soccer trực tuyến Trực tiếp Odd BK vs Sarpsborg, 20h ngày 24/5, giải VĐQG Na Uy. Xem lịch vạc sóng trực tiếp đá bóng EURO thời điểm hôm nay được Webthethao update chủ yếu xác nhất.


    June 28, 2021 at 16:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Repair Near Me


    June 28, 2021 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Repair Shops Near Me Now


    June 28, 2021 at 18:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. xem bóng đá trực tiếp trên k+pm

    Xem Trực Tiếp Viettel Vs Bình Dương Trên V League 2021 Ở Kênh Nào? keo 88Đội tuyển nước ta chỉ muốn một kết quả hòa có bàn thắng nhằm lần thứ hai góp mặt tại World Cup futsal. Nhưng, để làm được như vậy


    June 28, 2021 at 19:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. RV Repair Shops Near Me


    June 28, 2021 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV Repair California

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you so much, However I am having difficulties with your RSS. I donít understand the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone else getting similar RSS problems? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!!


    June 28, 2021 at 20:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. best nectar collector

    What Is Dab Mat?https://www.posts123.com/user/813290/dangership91All products intended for use with legal smoking/vaping mixtures only .


    June 28, 2021 at 20:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. 2000 Chevy Conversion Van Body Repair Panels

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and also the rest of the site is extremely good.


    June 28, 2021 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. pharmaceptica

    is erectile dysfunction a chronic disease https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 28, 2021 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. 2009 Stuck Intake Dodge Sprinter Repair

    I blog quite often and I really thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest. I'm going to take a note of your site and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed too.


    June 28, 2021 at 20:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Van Alignment

    I blog often and I seriously appreciate your information. Your article has truly peaked my interest. I'm going to book mark your site and keep checking for new information about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed too.


    June 28, 2021 at 21:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa

    I like reading a post that can make people think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!


    June 29, 2021 at 04:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thanks, However I am experiencing issues with your RSS. I donít know the reason why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anybody else having the same RSS problems? Anyone that knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    June 29, 2021 at 05:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Repair Shop


    June 29, 2021 at 05:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of the website is also very good.


    June 29, 2021 at 07:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Ford Cargo Van Repair Shop

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe that this amazing site needs much more attention. Iíll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the information!


    June 29, 2021 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Repair Huntington Beach


    June 29, 2021 at 10:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Repair Shop Near Me


    June 29, 2021 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Freightliner Sprinter Repair Near Me

    Having read this I believed it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this informative article together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    June 29, 2021 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Sprinter Van Repair Shop


    June 29, 2021 at 13:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Sprinter Door Rust Repair


    June 29, 2021 at 14:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Repair Seal Beach

    An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I believe that you need to write more on this subject matter, it might not be a taboo matter but typically people do not speak about these subjects. To the next! Kind regards!!


    June 29, 2021 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Van Maintenance Shop Near Me

    bookmarked!!, I really like your site!


    June 29, 2021 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. link m88

    Tin Tức, Sự Kiện Liên Quan Đến Trực Tiếp Bóng Đá Nữ play zingĐội tuyển futsal Việt Nam đã được một trận đấu đồng ý được trước đối thủ đầy mức độ mạnh Lebanon. Kết trái Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu vs Bình Phước hôm nay 18h00 ngày 5/5, Hạng nhất nước ta.


    June 29, 2021 at 16:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Van Sliding Door Repair


    June 29, 2021 at 16:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Gmc High Top Van Repair Shop Near Me


    June 29, 2021 at 17:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Camper Repair Places Near Me


    June 29, 2021 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Repair Shop Near My Location

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Many thanks, However I am having problems with your RSS. I donít know the reason why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anyone else having the same RSS problems? Anyone that knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    June 29, 2021 at 19:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Sprinter Repair Orange County


    June 29, 2021 at 20:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Roof Mounted A/C Leak Repair On Sprinter Van

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the most useful websites online. I will recommend this site!


    June 29, 2021 at 20:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Repair Orange County

    I blog often and I genuinely appreciate your information. The article has truly peaked my interest. I'm going to take a note of your blog and keep checking for new information about once per week. I opted in for your Feed as well.


    June 29, 2021 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. buy weed

    I really liked your article post.Much thanks again. Keep writing.


    June 29, 2021 at 21:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Chevy Express Van Repair


    June 29, 2021 at 21:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Sprinter Van Windshield Replacement

    Everything is very open with a very clear description of the issues. It was truly informative. Your website is useful. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 29, 2021 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Sprinter Repair Shop


    June 30, 2021 at 05:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Handicapped Van Repair


    June 30, 2021 at 06:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Repair Garden Grove


    June 30, 2021 at 06:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. vtv5

    Liên Kết Xem Trực Tiếp Bóng Đá Futsal Việt Nam Vs Lebanon Vòng Loại World Cuptruyen hinh truc tuyen vtv3Nếu cứ nghịch như cơ hội vừa đè bẹp Everton tới 3-1 bên trên Sảnh quý khách hàng


    June 30, 2021 at 07:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RV Repair Garden Grove


    June 30, 2021 at 09:41 | 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

Post a comment


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.