Thursday, October 23, 2014
Saturday, June 06, 2009 Mary Daly, Community Member, asks

Q: Does Flying bring on a migraine?

my son who was on holiday in San Franisco in April got what the doctor called as

 Migraine Hemiplegic.  Could the flying cause it or what is the underlying cause?

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Answers (2)
Teri Robert, Health Guide
6/ 7/09 12:35pm



-:¦:-•:*'""*:•.-:¦:-•*Welcome to MyMigraineConnection!*•-:¦:-•:*'""*:•.-:¦:-



Yes, flying can trigger a Migraine. It happens to me pretty much every time I fly. Sometimes, something can be prescribed to take before flying to avoid the Migraine.


Had your son been diagnosed with Migraine disease before this? What were his symptoms? Hemiplegic Migraine is fairly rare, so I'd want to be sure of the diagnosis. You can read more about hemiplegic Migraine in Hemiplegic Migraine - The Basics. It would really be best for your son to follow up with his own doctor.


I hope this helps. Let us know if you need more informaton.


Good luck,


Megan Oltman, Community Member
6/ 7/09 6:56pm

Hi Mary -


I too get a Migraine every time I fly. The flying is not the cause of having Migraines, though, it's a trigger (altitude and changes in barometric pressure) to the underlying condition. Teri gave you a great link for more info about the condition itself, but there may be other things besdies flying that act as triggers.




Daisy, Community Member
6/ 6/09 7:46pm

A hemipelegic migraine is a specific type of migraine that you can find a lot of info on here at this sight -- as for flying -- I have had migraines for nine years. Before I started getting migraine I did fine flying, however after the onset of migraines I started to notice that I seemed much more sensitive to weather changes (barometric pressure), sound, smells, any chemical, etc and that I had significant migraine pain when flying.  For me I think the problem is related to pressure and weather.  Hence, my neurologist would prescribe preventive meds specifically for the flight in addition to or to go with whatever treatment was being used for my migraines already. This has been especially helpful on longhauls from the northern hemisphere to southern and back. As for what actually brought on the migraine your doctor may be the only person to sort this out. My family had a strong history of migraine (aunts, mom, etc). I wish you and your son the best and hope this helps a little bit!

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By Mary Daly, Community Member— Last Modified: 11/01/10, First Published: 06/06/09