Epilepsy is a condition that affects around 50 million people worldwide. It’s a very treatable neurological disorder that can be effectively controlled with the right medication, allowing people with epilepsy to live totally normal lives and experience everything that their peers can without a problem.
It’s understandable to be worried about flying with epilepsy, especially if you’re travelling for the first time with the condition. This short guide offers all the information you need to ensure that you fly safely and confidently.
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders in the world. It involves sudden bursts of electrical activity in the brain which can cause seizures and fits, which present themselves through a range of symptoms.
The most common kind of seizure involves a person shaking, convulsing and losing awareness of what is happening around them. However, an epileptic fit can also look like someone losing awareness and staring blankly for a period of time.
Epilepsy can be controlled with the right medication, but people with the condition are still at risk of having sudden, unpredictable seizures. This can cause other injuries, especially if they are on their own, and could potentially lead to more serious problems if it happens somewhere like a plane.
Can You Fly if You Have Epilepsy?
So, can you fly if you have epilepsy? Yes, you definitely can!
Flying with epilepsy may require some special considerations, but generally, a person with epilepsy will not be at any serious risk on a plane. There’s no medical evidence that air travel increases the risk of seizures, although some people’s conditions can be worsened by tiredness, which may be more likely if you’re undertaking a long journey.
If you have epilepsy and are booking a flight, the best thing to do is inform the airline before you travel. This means that the cabin crew are prepared if someone does have a seizure, and can offer more peace of mind that will reduce the stress of travelling.
What Happens if You Have a Seizure on a Plane?
If you have epilepsy, it is recommended that you travel on a plane with someone who is experienced in handling your seizures so that they know how to keep you safe if you do have a fit. Most seizures are short and only require rest afterwards, but it can be reassuring to know that there is someone with you if you do lose awareness.
The cabin crew on a plane should have received appropriate first aid training to know how to deal with someone having a seizure, so even if you are on your own you will receive appropriate medical help. Remember to inform the plane staff of your condition when you board so that they are aware of what might happen and know what to look out for.
Tips for Flying with Epilepsy
Epilepsy and flying on a plane is generally completely safe. But there are some steps you can take to make your journey go as smoothly as possible, even if you do have a hit.
- Wear a medical ID bracelet that indicates that you have epilepsy
- Seek advice from your doctor for any precautions you can take to avoid a seizure on a plane
- Plan your medication well, and consider factors like possible flight delays, time zone changes, etc
- Travel with a companion who knows how to provide first aid if you suffer from seizures whilst flying
- Purchase specific travel insurance that will cover your medical expenses if you need to be taken to the hospital during emergencies.
Flying with epilepsy is generally safe, so you don’t have to avoid travelling on a plane if you have the condition. Ensuring that you stay calm and well-rested is the best way to manage your symptoms, along with being prepared for a seizure and informing those around you of what might happen.
If you suffer from epilepsy and want to ensure that you have appropriate medical insurance that will cover any medical emergencies related to your condition, you can purchase comprehensive insurance from Navigator Travel. Get in touch to find out more about the insurance policies we offer.