Migraine/Certification

Hiho

New Member
Dear Dr. Forred,

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with ocular migraines. These started coming on out of the blue and lasted about a year or so. I was grounded, took some meds for awhile (BP type) and they seemed to subside. After several months, I was able to get my 1st. Class medical again.

Flash forward to the past couple of months.... these migraine episodes have returned. They are not as frequent, but seem to last a little longer. There is no set pattern to when they will occur. I could go 8 weeks with none and then have two in two weeks. I am seeing a neurologist and we are trying all sorts of remedies.

My question is about recertification. My FAA doc says that because of my past history, this may be a problem. I will have to demonstrate that I have gone a 'period of time' without any further episodes. This period of time is undefined by the FAA and I am wondering what your thoughts are on this.

One issue I have is that the meds I was using (the BP lowering type) cause me some problems. I have naturally low BP (105/65) and I cannot really take the standard dosage of these meds without getting a little light headed. Now we are looking at herbal type solutions.

In your experience, would the FAA allow medical certification to a pilot if he could demonstrate that his migraines were very limited in occurrence (like once every month or two)? Would they grant a waiver if he flew as a pilot on a three man aircraft? My FAA doc does not have a lot of experience in this area.

I have also been working with the ALPA Aeromed people but their role for the most part will be to facilitate the paperwork once I am ready to reapply.
Any thoughts you might have on this are much appreciated.
 

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
The ALPA Aeromed folks have way more experience than anyone else in this area. They can probably tell their experience.

You will need to submit the medical records from the Neurologist to the FAA. They will probably grant a medical if the headaches can be controlled. The fac that you have the ability to work a 3 man crew will increase your chances of a limited Special Issuance certificate. It will all depend on the medcial evaluation.
 
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