New Member
Dear Dr. Forred,

About a year ago, I was experiencing a period where I had occular migraines. I never did get the headaches that comes with migraines, only the aura associated with them. This lasted about three months and I couldn't fly during that period. It took about a month to six weeks to get my certificate back.

Since that time, I have been required to get an eye exam (form 8500) filled out by the eye doc and a statement from my treating physician saying that things were going along fine.

Recently I have been having these "auras" again only this time, they seem to last a little longer and encompass a little more of my vision field. I know that I will have to report these to the FAA (unfortunately) and will probably will have to sit out again.

I am wondering how the FAA is going to look at this? Will they let me pick back up flying again once the episodes have died back down or are they going to make me wait a longer period? I am hesitant to open up this can of worms again if they are only going to last a few months like the last time.

The episodes only last from 30 minutes to an hour and are followed by a period of fatigue that goes away after a short nap.

How do you think this thing might play itself out with the FAA?

Thanks so much!

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
It will depend on the evaluation. They do approve the triptan drugs under special issuance. The problem with migraines are 1) the loss of vision that can occur, 2) paralysis that can occur, 3) loss of speech that can occur, and 4) strokes that can occur. Unless they are well controlled, they may not grant a medical waiver.

Best bet, submit an evaluation from a board certified neurologist.