Is It Okay to Fly After a Concussion?

People who experience a concussion should contact their doctors before attempting to fly, as flying can exacerbate symptoms, according to Cleveland Clinic. Symptoms of a concussion include headache, depression, nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, irritability, distorted vision, confusion, seizures, difficulty sleeping and eye sensitivity.

Concussions usually occur after a forceful trauma is incurred to the head, including shaking, bumping and jolting, explains Cleveland Clinic. This happens frequently as a result of contact sports and car accidents. The damage is not usually considered a medical emergency, but health complications can arise if a concussion is not diagnosed and treated properly.

Younger people are at a higher risk of developing serious damage from a concussion because their brains are still developing. It is important to have any trauma to the head observed by a doctor to rule out possible brain damage. Medical staff are likely to use computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans to view a person’s brain tissue. These tests can detect internal bleeding, but they cannot identify more detailed injuries sustained to the brain cells. It may be necessary to hold a patient overnight for observation or perform cognitive tests to make sure the individual’s motor, speech and memory functions are not severely compromised.