Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Re: passing out on a airplane

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Good to see some other people have similar problems. I've been having nausea and black-out episodes on aircraft for about 10 years - particularly long haul flights. Not on every one thankfully. The circustances are usually the same. I have a meal, maybe a glass of wine, fall asleep and then wake up later feeling nauseous and sometimes about to blackout. I had always thought it was due to a combination of low oxygen levels in my blood (and head) due to the lower atmospheric pressure of the aircraft cabin, low pulse rate and blood pressure due to sleeping , blood being concentrated in the stomach and intestinal area due to havinh eaten, and lower blood pressure in my head due to sitting up. Have recently had an ECG and blood test which showed up nothing. My doctor has suggested it probably was a vaso-vagal episode due to the above combination of events. His advice - prepare better before flights. Dont fly tied if you can. Keep sugar levels up (low sugar levels could contribute to the nausea). Don't stand up when it happens. Try to lie down or get your head down. (and fly in business class or First class if you can so you can lie down when you sleep!)

This web site is not a substitute for a thorough medical evaluation and diagnosis of your vaso-vagal type symptoms.  Medical treatment and diagnosis is the only acceptable initial response to these serious symptoms since they might present from any number of life threatening and treatable illnesses. It is for you and your physician to rule out more serious illnesses; Please don't use this online forum as an alternative to getting responsible medical attention and being under the care of a physician for the duration of any unknown, suspected or dangerous vaso-vagal syndrome symptoms.
Last changed: June 22, 2007