Medical & Health News and debate about medical and health issues as they relate to aircrews and aviation. Any information gleaned from this forum MUST be backed up by consulting your state-registered health professional or AME. Due to advertising legislation in various jurisdictions, endorsements of individual practitioners is not permitted.

Migraine Advice

Old 8th Apr 2022, 11:59
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: France
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Migraine Advice


I wonder if anyone can advise me on how to approach (potential) migraines correctly.

I regularly suffer from headaches, usually after work, on the way home, especially after longer days. On occasion it happens in work also and it is uncomfortable and can be distracting but not to the point of rendering me unable to carry out my duties.

Generally, they are almost always on the left side of the head. Sometimes throbbing, sometimes sharp pains, sometimes in the jaw, most of the time in the temple area with a, noticeable to the touch, throbbing vein, sometimes accompanied by a warm sensation on the left side of the face, sometimes accompanied by a high pitched tinnitus type sound. I have never encountered a visual aura or any visual interruption.

Background: mid-30s male, medium haul, European 320 pilot for past 5 years. Regional turboprop pilot before that for a couple of years. Headaches started 4 or 5 years ago. I had a brain scan done 3 years ago with no significant conclusion to cause of headaches.

Can anyone advise me on the best way to approach this... I don't want to bring it to my AME unless I know for certain that it is a migraine. Should I try to pursue doctors/consultants until I get a definitive conclusion or is this something that I can discuss with my AME without the fear of a hasty cancellation/endorsement of my medical?
DC123 is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2022, 14:15
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: uk
Posts: 1,737
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One of the most common causes of regular headaches, particularly it seems for men, is to do with caffeine. For example, there is a thing called Saturday headaches which happens to people who drink coffee all day in the office, and then suffer withdrawal at weekends when they drink a lot less. I suffered almost daily headaches for years until an AME told me that the medication I was taking to control them contained caffeine. It then dawned on me that I never got a headache when I stayed in a hotel and had coffee with breakfast. Normally I would not drink coffee until I got to work by which time the headache had already started. I then started having a cup of coffee to start the day and only one more during the day. I then became totally headache free.

I hope that your problem is as straightforward. and that you find the answer quickly. If its not caffeine I'm sure it will be some other part of your diet. I took up a friend's suggestion to revert to eating only lamb and rice to see what happened to my headaches. Apparently these are the only foods which are known not to cause this kind of problem. In my case the headaches got much worse but that was before I discovered that caffeine withdrawal was the problem.

Best of luck.
pulse1 is offline  
Old 8th Apr 2022, 17:03
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: England
Age: 60
Posts: 253
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When you fill in the application form for a medical what response do you give to the question "frequent or severe headaches"? The declaration at the end of the form would suggest the answer to that should be yes and you should discuss further with your AME. Part FCL details that a fit assessment may be considered after a full evaluation.
Don Coyote is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2022, 13:51
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Kiwiland
Posts: 702
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I would recommend you see a specialist and get a diagnosis. It is impossible to make a diagnosis on the web, but cluster headaches and TMJ (jaw joint) issues are diagnoses thrown up by your post. Probably start with a neurologist although a maxillofacial surgeon may be necessary to exclude the jaw. There are also a few chronic pain experts who subspecialise in facial pain. Once you have a diagnosis you will get advice and help with treatment. If the symptoms are not disabling you may not have an issue with your AME but an AME is unlikely to be able to diagnose or diagnose correctly.
Radgirl is offline  
Old 5th May 2022, 16:56
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: gone surfin'
Age: 57
Posts: 2,335
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As Radgirl says.

It is important to obtain an accurate diagnosis, particularly as it may have implications for your career.
"Migraine," is a term which is sometimes thrown around a little "loosely."
gingernut is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.