Tag Archive: health

It Hurts in Flight – Sinus Barotruama

Sinuses are small air filled spaces in the bones of the skull. These sinuses drain into the nasal cavity through small openings, which allow easy ventilation of air during ascent and descent. 

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My Ears Hurt in Flight – Otitic Barotrauma

Barotrauma of the ears, Otitic Barotruama (a.k.a Otic Barotruama or Aero-otitis media) can occurs during ascent or descent in flying. This can also occur during hypoxia demonstration in decompression chamber. Divers during under-water operations, and patients in hyperbaric chamber may also suffer from barotrauma. The primary reason of Otitic Barotruama is pressure differential, either negative …

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My Ears Hurt in Flight – Barotrauma

“In my haste to complete my syllabus sortie, despite of a recovering cold, I went ahead for the sortie that morning. As I climbed, I had some difficulty in clearing my ears. But when I started my descent to come back to land, I realised that I could not equalise pressure in my middle ears, …

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Say NO! To Self-Medication: Beware of Effects of Drugs

In deciding whether to temporarily make a pilot unfit to fly while on medication, it is important to analyse the effects of the drug, and then relate these effects to the mission and the likely aviation stresses, besides the individual’s role in the mission. For instance, loose motions and/or vomiting (Gastroenteritis, the commonest cause of …

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Sick in the Air: Motion Sickness/Air Sickness

Motion Sickness, characterised by nausea, pallor, cold sweating and vomiting, occurs when humans are exposed to unfamiliar motion stimuli, either real or apparent. The earliest known reference to motion sickness was ‘sea-sickness’ but now this term encompasses symptoms induced by any form of motion or even in the absence of physical motion it is known …

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Aviation Medicine Quiz – Hypoxia

Before we understand the basics about Hypoxia, please answer to the best of your knowledge and understanding the following questions pertaining to Hypoxia in aviation.

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Flying into thin Air: Understanding Hypoxia

Undoubtedly cabin pressurisation and oxygen systems have allowed unhindered aviation activities, with a caveat though – never to cross the altitude beyond the capabilities of the system on board. Thus, commercial aircraft fly maintaining a cabin pressure of 6000-8000 ft, and unpressurised small aircraft mostly operate below 10000 ft. Combat aircraft may have a higher …

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Flying into Thin Air: Neurological Effects of Hypoxia

The most important effects of hypoxia is on Central Nervous System (CNS) and vision. This insult to CNS which affects the performance in flight varies as per the altitude and the resulting stages of hypoxia. The effects are discussed as per the stages of hypoxia.

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Flying into Thin Air: Preventing Hypoxia

Technological improvements in reliability and performance of cabin pressurisation and Oxygen delivery systems has greatly reduced the incidents and accidents due to hypoxia. Yet, incidence of hypoxia in flight still occurs due to lack of vigilance, mechanical failure of equipment, improper indoctrination or improper use of oxygen equipment. 

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Hyperventilation – Confusing the Devil with Hypoxia

“An ab-initio military pilot on a familiarisation sortie to the sector with his Instructor, was finding it difficult to see the defined waypoints. This was due to thin clouds below, through which the Instructor could see and point out the features, but the rookie pilot, flying his first sortie in that sector, just could not …

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