advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Flying With a Brain Aneurysm?

Can you fly if you have a brain aneurysm?

A
Answer (Published 4/3/2009)

A brain aneurysm is a bulge in an artery in the brain. The most common type resembles a round berry that is attached to the artery by a tiny stem. Most of these aneurysms develop because of congenital defects in artery walls. Between two and five percent of the population in the United States - as many as 15 million persons - have them. Risk factors include a family history of aneurysms, high blood pressure, and smoking.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging - Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet! - Everything you need to get started eating a healthful, satisfying diet is here - including eating and shopping guides, over 300 recipes, and an exclusive version of Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid! Start your 14-day free trial now - and start eating anti-inflammatory today!

The vast majority of small aneurysms pose little risk to health - if you have one, you probably won't know it because they rarely cause symptoms. The danger of any aneurysm, but especially larger ones, is rupture, creating a life-threatening emergency. Treatment usually is not recommended for small aneurysms but may be advised for large ones that are causing symptoms such as pain behind and above an eye, vision changes, numbness or weakness on one side of the face.

Relatively few aneurysm rupture each year - only about 30,000 of the millions estimated to exist.

If you know you have an aneurysm, to reduce risk don't smoke or use stimulant drugs (both of which can increase blood pressure), limit your caffeine intake (caffeine is a stimulant), avoid straining (this also can cause a spike in blood pressure), and talk to your physician about whether or not to avoid aspirin and other drugs, dietary supplements, and herbs that have blood-thinning effects.

While flying, with its reduced air pressure, could theoretically raise the risk of an aneurysm bursting, I can tell you that brain aneurysm is not listed among the contraindications to flying in the guidelines issued by the Aerospace Medical Association. And, given that an estimated 15 million people in the U.S. have brain aneurysms and that one billion people worldwide travel by air annually, I think it is safe to assume that many individuals with diagnosed or undiagnosed brain aneurysms fly safely every year. However, if you know you have one, check with your physician or a neurologist about your individual case.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here