Aviation Medical Exams
Aviation Medical Exams
Information about Aviation Medical Exams
What is Aviation Medicine?
What happens to your body and brain when you fly? Anyone who flies even occasionally knows the symptoms that come with it—fatigue, dehydration, jet lag, not to mention having to breathe recycled air for an extended period of time. What about the long-term effects for pilots, crew members, or anyone else who spends considerable amounts of time in the air? Aviation medicine, or flight medicine, combines aspects of preventive, occupational, environmental and clinical medicine with the physiology and psychology of persons in flight—whether you’re just earning your pilot license, travel frequently for business, or spend a lot of time in the air.
How We Are Different
Air travel creates a number of challenges for our health. Frequent fliers—crew and passengers alike—must deal with cabin pressure changes, inconsistent sleep patterns, lack of physical activity for extended periods of time, heightened exposure to germs and many other issues that create greater risk of disease. The Aviation Medicine Department coordinates the complex medical issues you may face. We provide seamless access to sub-specialty departments, including Cardiology, Pulmonary Medicine, and other groups as you need them. And we are one of the region’s go-to resources for FAA medical certification exams.
FAA Medical Certificate examinations for first class, second class, and third class medical certificates.
- Same day appointments
- Flexible scheduling for airline pilots
- Established pilots have direct phone access to the department, for scheduling exams, and for timely responses to questions.
- Resources to support the health challenges of professional pilots, in-flight crew, and frequent fliers.
What happens to you during low cabin pressure?
Low cabin pressure reduces the amount of oxygen your blood absorbs (known as hypoxia). This can leave you feeling listless and even dizzy, and contributes to the jet lag that often follows a long flight. Clotting can be another potentially serious issue. Lower pressure also causes pain or discomfort in your ears, plus swelling in the feet and legs.
What exactly is jet lag?
As a general rule, for each time zone you cross, it takes about a day for your body’s natural rhythm to re-adjust. The readjustment period is what people refer to as jet lag. The way you feel immediately after a flight varies from person to person, from slightly ill and disoriented, to unable to stay awake during the day at all. Some people experience the opposite—unable to sleep at all. The farther east or west you fly, the worse you are likely to feel.
What can I do to prepare for it?
There are a number of things people try to help with jet lag, from choosing to fly westerly when traveling around the world, to skipping naps on flights, to avoiding flying all together. One thing we encourage is for you to stay hydrated, even if it means bringing your own bottled water on the flight. While trips to the bathroom may become tedious, the extra hydration will help keep your body happy in the long run.
Access and coordination are the keys with our department. You can expect easy scheduling and follow-up when scheduling your aviation exam. As well, expect our professional staff to assist in coordinating care with doctors and specialists from other departments.