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I will most definitely start a training for a glider pilot license at our local flight club. This of course requires a medical certification for pilots. The only concern I have, is my blood pressure.

I am an 18 year old male with an overall healthy condition. However the last few times I had a doctor's appointment, I had a somewhat high blood pressure (it was always between 150/70 - 180/85 mmHg). Online I haven't really found that much information about the limit of the blood pressure in order to still get the Medical.

I have found some sources saying that everything below 220/125 is good, but I think those sources we're only speaking about passengers of airplanes, not pilots.

For your info: I live in Germany, and I suppose there are other regulations regarding the medical in other countries, but overall I think the requirements don't differ that much.

Hopefully someone can tell me if I should be concerned or if my blood pressure is still okay to fly.

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    $\begingroup$ As far as I know, the normal blood pressure is 120/80 for a human. Your's higher value is a bit higher. It could be that you were in stress. Try to avoid salt and foods with excessive salt (french fries, chips etc). $\endgroup$ – Farhan Apr 13 '14 at 17:55
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    $\begingroup$ I might add to the previous comment that the doctor's appointment itself maybe stressful. It could be the 'white coat' effect or related to the reason you went to see a doctor in the first place. You may ask for a 24-hour measurement (when feeling good). Not sure if this would help to pass any pilot test though (they might wear white coats too). This is not medical advice. $\endgroup$ – Keep these mind Apr 13 '14 at 19:02
  • $\begingroup$ The white coat effect could actually be a reason for that my blood pressure has been high when seeing a doctor, but only slightly higher (if at all) than normal, when measuring it with my private blood pressure meter. $\endgroup$ – Padarom Apr 13 '14 at 19:16
  • $\begingroup$ In the UK we don't need a medical to fly gliders, nor does the Doctor have to see you, they can sign a bit of paper, you sign it as well, and jobs a good 'un $\endgroup$ – Joe Harper Apr 15 '14 at 14:27
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not a doctor but my girlfriend is training to become one. I have learned that blood pressure can fluctuate quite a bit from reading to reading. If you are stressed about the blood pressure test, it will almost certainly read higher than it regularly is. Try taking an average of ten tests over a span of two weeks or so. $\endgroup$ – Sam Creamer Sep 17 at 20:16
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Without knowing German, it's a little difficult for me to research the LBV's website, but I found this application for Validation of a foreign airman’s licence, and one of the requirements in it is:

Valid JAR-FCL Medical Class I or Class II

The JAR requirements for a Class I and Class II medical, both are:

JAR–FCL 3.135 Cardiovascular system – Blood pressure

(a) The blood pressure shall be recorded with the technique given in paragraph 3 Appendix 1 to Subpart B [at each examination].

(b) When the blood pressure at examination consistently exceeds 160 mmHg systolic and/or 95 mmHg diastolic, with or without treatment, the applicant shall be assessed as unfit.

(c) Treatment for the control of blood pressure shall be compatible with the safe exercise of the privileges of the applicable licence(s) and be compliant with paragraph 4 Appendix 1 to Subpart

B. The initiation of [ ][medication] shall require a period of temporary suspension of the medical certificate to establish the absence of significant side effects.

(d) Applicants with symptomatic hypotension shall be assessed as unfit.

It looks like you will probably need to lower your blood pressure (either via diet and exercise or with medication) in order to pass your medical. If you start taking blood pressure medication, you will need to take it for a certain period of time to make sure that there are no other side effects before they will give you a medical. You can discuss this with a medical examiner to see how the process works there.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. I forgot to mention that I also own a private blood pressure meter since a few weeks. My blood pressure never exeeded 160/95 since I started measuring. However I will consider diet and exercise to keep it as low as possible. There's still a few weeks until I visit the doc. $\endgroup$ – Padarom Apr 13 '14 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Padarom Relaxation based biofeedback exercises may help more than diet and exercise. I have personally lowered my systolic pressure (higher number) by 20+ points on a biofeedback system, and can make a significant change on demand. $\endgroup$ – Zeiss Ikon Sep 17 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Padarom Go see a doctor. Not a flight doctor, but a "real" one. Especially at your age, 160/95 is elevated, and can cause you real harm over time. High blood pressure is serious stuff, because the damage happens unnoticed, and basically can't be fixed. The good news is, it can be controlled (the BP, not the damage), but you need to start sooner rather than later. Biofeedback/diet/exercise can be good solutions in some cases, and medication can also help. But get your BP down! Don't settle for "only" 160/95 or "it's just white coat syndrome." You'll be glad you did, 20 years from now. $\endgroup$ – Ralph J Sep 17 at 20:46

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