Should You Fly After a Head Injury?

After receiving a head injury, a variety of normal brain functions may be impaired, depending on your diagnosis. Nearly 1.5 million people suffer a brain injury each year from different circumstances. Things that may come to you as second nature such as writing, speaking, solving easy math problems, or even driving may become difficult. This may cause a sense of hopelessness and despair as you wonder how you will navigate through the rest of your lifetime.

Traveling is fun, and one of those things that we often take for granted. Throughout our lives, we put aside a bit of our income here and there to save up for a vacation. You may decide to go visit a distant family member or even fly to a different country for the sheer fun of it. This fun activity can become the opposite in the manner of one fateful incident.

People with head injuries may find traveling difficult and are reliant upon companionship to keep them safe, however in most cases, people with minor head injuries can usually travel safely.

Before planning your next trip, consult with your physician to make sure it is safe. Only after gaining your doctor’s approval should you book your next trip. Planes are packed with people and sights to see. These can easily cause a sensory overload and worsen your head injury symptoms. If you decide to travel, here are some tips for dealing with a head injury:

1. Travel With a Companion

You never know what could go wrong when traveling by yourself. Heading to the airport and boarding your flight already takes a large amount of cognitive function out of you. When arriving at your destination, you may find it difficult to function properly. To avoid putting more stress on your brain and worsening your condition, travel with a friend or family member. They should be aware of your condition and know how to help in the case that something goes wrong.

2. Take Good Care of Your Needs

Our brain relies heavily on the body’s nutrition and hydration to perform at its best. Hunger and dehydration can cause excessive fatigue and maybe even headaches. Bring dried snacks along with you. Be sure to keep yourself well-fed and hydrated.

3. Decrease Your Risk of Sensory Overload

Too many stimulants can cause your brain to overwork itself and gain further damages. Some methods of preventing sensory overloads on the plane include wearing noise-canceling headphones, wearing sunglasses, listening to music, or chewing gum. Some people may also choose to avert their brain’s attention elsewhere by applying deep pressure on their bodies.

4. Take the Shortest Flight Possible

The longer you are in a plane, the higher you are at risk of a sensory overload. Physicians recommend that you should begin on a short flight and gradually work your way up to 8 or 12-hour flights. You can do this by taking connecting flights or even stopping in various locations along the way to your destination.

How Long After My Head Injury Can I Fly?

The answer to this depends on your specific injury, however, it is best believed that you should wait for a span of 2 weeks before getting on a plane. You may also be required to gain a medical exemption from your physician before being allowed to book a flight.

Keep track of your symptoms. If they worsen over time, there is a good chance you should not even be considering traveling. Again, consult with your physician before making a decision. You will be given a full assessment of your condition, as well as travel recommendations. If needed, you will also be prescribed medication to make your flight stress-free.

Everyone takes different periods of time to recover from certain medical conditions and the same goes for head injuries. Flying too soon may worsen your symptoms.