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British Lung Foundation
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Flight Breathing Issues

Just a few days ago I was flying back from Turkey and noticed, quite worryingly, that when I tried to drop off to sleep that I felt like I had stopped breathing and woke with a start and gasping for air with heart palpitations. I've read so many things in the two days since coming back about it's not my COPD or asthma but could well be a panic attack or its due to the pressurised cabin and the lower than normal level of oxygen in the air. I'm flying back in September so I'm worried about this happening again

2 Replies

Are you currently in the UK? If so why not give the BLF helpline a call on 03000 030 555 during office hours tomorrow or Monday and ask their advice?



You should ask your GP for a fit-to-fly test. The test will tell you how you cope with the lower cabin pressure you get on a plane.

If you "pass" the test, you are fine with cabin air pressure and you can at least know that the scare you had possibly wasn't related to the flight.

And if you "fail" you can still fly, you just need to organise supplemental oxygen. There are lots of threads about how to do this on here. I've just been through all this so feel free to ask me any questions if you have them!



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