Prepare for Take-Off
Be sure to get up, move around and stretch. Sitting still for long periods can result in circulation issues that can trigger a headache.
Try a Decongestant
The change in air pressure, especially as the airplane starts its descent, can affect your ears and nose and can bring on an air-travel headache. Use a decongestant if this typically happens to you, but remember to ask your doctor if it is safe to use with your migraine medication.
Remember Your Medication
Don’t forget to pack your migraine medication in your carry-on luggage, just in case you need it, and be sure to pack enough medication for the duration of your entire vacation. In other words, plan for the worst case scenario. This means planning ahead by ordering refills well in advance of your departure date, so there are no surprises like, “I thought I had more and now there is no time to get to the pharmacy.”
Your doctor can prescribe preventative medication that thwarts altitude sickness and may prevent headaches caused by it. Acetazolamide can be taken the day before the flight and again the day of the flight. You may also want to ask your doctor about a migraine medication called Sumatriptan, which can help stop an air-travel headache after it begins.
Carry Your Insurance Info
Make sure you have your health insurance card with you at all times. If your migraines might require medical treatment while traveling, this is very important. Also have a summary of your past care, so the doctor you encounter can see your medical history.
Mitigating Triggers You Can’t Control
Unfortunately there are several vacation migraine triggers that you have no way to prevent. They include:
Traveling to where the climate is different and temperatures are not what you are used to can trigger a migraine. Heat and humidity often set off a headache for me as well as being at a higher altitude. If I head to the mountains I stand a good chance of a headache when I first arrive.