Headache Due to Aeroplane Travel

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Headache Due to Aeroplane Travel

Ever since the origin of aviation, head pain related to flight has been recognised, but it occurred because of exceptional barotrauma or a respiratory infection. Instead, aeroplane travel (AH) occurs in normal flying conditions. Recently, two newly recognised conditions, i.e. mountain descent headache (MDH) and diving ascent headache (DAH), share a common pathogenetic mechanism with AH, i.e., the imbalance between intrasinusal and external air pressure as described in the 'Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain'.

Headache as a result of AH is one of the novel nosological entries in the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD) 3 beta. Federico Mainardi et al. retraced the history of headache linked to flight, from the initial description to the current reports, as per the sources.

The contemporary research revealed a new nosological entity- AH, which by definition occurs in normal flying conditions and absence of any sinus pathology. Also, the study investigators identified recently similar forms of headache, instigated by sudden changes of external pressure (rapid descent from the mountain, MDH; and ascent from diving, DAH).

As per the investigators, an expansion of this entity of AH is something that should be looked for in the next ICHD.


Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain



Original title of article:

Headache Attributed to Aeroplane Travel: An Historical Outline


Federico Mainardi et al.

Exploratory, Aeroplane travel (AH), International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD), Headache, Mountain descent headache, (MDH), Diving ascent headache (DAH)
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