Hi I have a question for the group w/ regards to flying.
First let me just explain my situation. 10 days ago I woke up out of nowhere VERY dizzy, to the point where I couldn't stand up. Went to PCP and diagnosed w/ Vertigo/Viral Infection and put on antivert. For the first 4 days I was still VERY dizzy and off balance (I had a Catscan and it was negative). On about the 5th day I became less dizzy and now for the past 5 days have just felt off balance w/ a weird feeling in my head whenever I move it (like a heavy/ light headed feeling). The feeling is quite uncomfortable (as many of you know). Today I went to an ENT and he said my ears looked normal and there was no pressure buildup in my ears. He too gave me the "let nature take its course" perscription.
Now, my dilemma is w/ regards to 2 trips I have planned in the next 10 days. One for business and one for pleasure. I'm not sure what type of effect flying will have on me given my current symptoms. My ENT gave me a very ambigious answer of "don't fly if you can avoid it, although its unlikely anything will happen."
If anyone has any thoughts or experiences on flying with similiar symptoms to what I currently have, please let me know.
Hi, umm well this is not going to be overly positive, but I flew day 6 into the labs dizzy stuff and boy did I pay for it. Albeit was a long haul flight form the states to the UK, I could almost not walk unaided by the end. But I must say that I really felt no worse during the flight. My advice. get better first. But on a more positive note my neurotologist said that now I can fly and wont feel any the worse for it. Needless to say I havent done it yet! But will do. Others here have flown and been just fine, but its very early days for you so I would be tempted to take your ENT advice and let it settle down first. The virus is believed to be active for about 3 weeks.
Just being honest here...I flew with labyrinthitis at the 10 mths mark and it was the worst experience of my life! I dveloped new symptoms - huge bouncing of the floor - so major I could not move or if I did I tip toed around as it made the bouncing less severe. It truly was horrendous. BUT I flew first for an hour and a half and was FINE. It was the 13 hr one which followed which produced these symptoms. They lasted 3 mths and are still with me (to a lesser extent) now. I asked 3 GP's prior to going would I be ok, they said yes. I have since learned that flying can cause some people with inner ear problems, real issues. As willsmommy says, its a different sotry once youve recovered or at 90% but Im at about the 40% mark so I wont be doing it in a hurry!
Am sorry this is so negative but I have to be honest abotu what happened to me. I still dont know the exact scientific reasoning behind my nightmare symptoms from the flight but its a question I will be asking a specialist I see in 3 wks. So far I have been told it simply played havoc with an already sensitive inner ear and the motion of the plane was remembered by my inner ear. I am now motion intolerant as a result.
HOWEVER!! Many on here have flown with no problems. I strongly believe most of my experience was down to the long haul nature of it.
If you are going to go - take a vestibular suppressant to sedate the balance system - oh and I tried the ear planes ear plugs - dont know if youve heard of them - but they did nothing for me - not even reduce the pressure.
Hi, I flew from Sydney --> Bangkok --> Prague --> Toronto --> Sydney with no ill effects afterwards.....and I was really quite ill at the time still. I felt weird immediately after (body was buzzing) and also my ears felt irritated by the drone of the jet engines but that can be solved by wearing earplugs (highly recommended). I had a panic attack from Sydney to Bangkok but got over it. Have some valium with you to chill just in case. It's hard to know how it will affect you. Some get hit with some bad stuff and others nothing. I would just go for it actually assuming you are not feeling really horrid.
fapap: TBH.. while physically your ears may not have problems from flying, it's early days to be pushing yourself so hard, you should take it easy for a few days then try and increase your movements and activaties gradually. At the minute you can't be sure how you would react to a long car ride let alone a flight, and while it may be physically possible it may not be the best thing to push yourself until things have stabilised... and you feeling in control... as pushing too hard and making yourself feel lousy may be counter productive..
Jade: The virus would have long left your system now, so it's unlikely the flight will cause a physical problem, other that stir-up or exacerbate your current symptoms, if you feel ok with car rides you should be ok, but that doesn't seem to be the case for everyone - I guess some are more sensitive than others. A lot depends on how long it takes you to come back from overdoing things, for me even if I totally overdo things my symptoms drop back to my "baseline" level (which is still unpleasant) after a few days.... You've also been putting up with this for long enough to know what to expect from other aspects of the journy (the going to the airport, getting a taxi etc.. is what would finish me off)..
BennyGib, you read my fears exactly, it's all the other movement, baggage claim for instance bags whirling around, lights in the halls... ext. Oh what a different world. And the mental/emotional strangeness involved in the aftermath, keeping it together to even talk and wish the family Merry Christmas. Deep Breathing......
Virus out of system I think is important. I think I got the bug that caused my whole mess oversees. I was in London got really sick was vomiting and flew to Barcelona the next day, a day later had vertigo mildly but then did a lot of flying 2 days later. Could have really effected the input of the virus on my system. So check where you are with it before flying for sure!! I had not thought of that till this moment.
Hi all - dont think its necessary the virus in the system that causes the problems (tho it can do and u have to be careful) but the virus was not n my system when I flew. Still just dont know what caused my problems as I had no motion prior to getting on that flight - just dizziness in the head and imbalance. I will ask this question is a few weeks and let u all know. Oh and the baggage etc etc wasnt too much of a problem for me (ok was after the bouncing) but prior it wasnt, even went on one of those moving platforms Obviously didnt feel normal by any means but no different to going to the shops with a crowd of people.
After being so afraid to do so many things over the years with regards to my wooziness, I made the decision to take a REAL vacation, and this past May made the flight out and back from New York to Las Vegas!
I am sure you can imagine the very real fears that I had concerning how I was going to tolerate my symptoms, and the fears that went with dealing with the symptoms, and the thoughts that caused me great angst about going (what if I get worse, what if I go into a horrible, irreversible spin, what if I can't walk off the plane, etc).
But "you never know until you try", so despite my fears (and they were INTENSE), I did it.
The flight to Las Vegas was pretty bad for me in terms of sensations. What bothered me the most (aside from the fear itself) was the pressure changes, which really made that elevator and gentle floaty feeling greater. I didn't mind the turbulance (bumps), but the general "feel" of flying gave me a swaying/rocking sensation that I found upsetting.
Since I had only flown before I started having symptoms, I didn't remember being bothered by much, so this flight was a whole new experience for me.
For the first three hours of the flight, I was only able to feel comfortable by looking straight ahead at the seat in front of me. To move my head or look around gave me those strange feelings of looking out of a fish bowl, and having nothing feel or seem quite right. 30 minutes off the ground, I felt scared enough to decide that I wanted to get off the plane. But I was able to practice being calmer, and I took some Benedryl antihistimine. That helped a lot, and by the last leg of the flight, even though I was still feeling uncomfortable sensations, I was able to actually walk to the bathroom, look out the window, and stand up to take pictures.
Needless to say, I was VERY happy to get out of the plane when it landed, and was quite flustered - I needed to just sit quietly to calm down internally and to "monitor" my head to see if I was getting worse or not.
But actually, my symptoms did not increase, and after about an hour into my Vegas vacation, I was feeling no more worse for wear. I did fret about the flight home though - my ONLY worry on the whole vacation.
I felt a little woozy on my vacation - but nothing that I couldn't deal with. If it got too bothersome, I took some aspirin and some antihistimine. Everything in Las Vegas moves (elevators, escalators, moving sidewalks, trams), so I made up my mind to take the stairs where I could, and otherwise, just deal. It wasn't so bad once I got used to the sensations of being on SOMETHING moving! I really had no choice for a lot of the site-seeing that I did! I found that nothing really bothered me - I did everything that everyone else did, and sometimes even more!
I walked for about 6-8 hours per day - there's A LOT to see! Sometimes walking does bother me, but I found walking the Strip was not bothersome at all. Sometimes the carpeting in the casino "set me off", but it was minimal and deal-able.
The flight home was better for a few reasons - we were flying WITH the wind, so travel time was faster and smoother; I expected to feel head sensations more (along with a head and neck heaviness that was bothersome) - basically I knew what to expect now; and I took my aspirin and antihistimine an hour before we took off, so it had time to kick in.
I wore Ear Plane earplugs the whole time - there and back. I felt they helped somewhat because they reduced the noise and also helped minimize the pressure changes.
Upon return home, I had some different sensations of slow spinning for about four days. Kind of like I was oozing in a slow circle that didn't quite go all the way around. It's wasn't pleasant, but it was tolerable, meaning, I went to work on the first day back from vacation. I did worry that the spinning sensation will increase, but I held my own and it didn't. This is the same sensation that I had on the plane, but less now that I was on the ground.
I would fly again, but I may look into different kinds of a stronger antihistamine to combat the sensations. My trip was AWESOME and it was so worth the discomfort and fear I felt on the plane.
Anyway, just thought I'd pass along my latest adventure. I plan to have more. I am so glad I went!! I highly recommend a Vegas Vacation!! Hugs to all!
Last edited by Wowwwweeee; 12-07-2004 at 11:19 AM.
I had your exact symptoms, I was watching TV one afternoon and out of nowhere the room started spinning. I was terrified, it lasted about 8 hours and I couldn't walk at all. When it left I was left feeling off balance and wobbley, I felt like I wasn't walking in a straight line. Then one morning I woke at 4am to a spinning room. It was so frightening. I went to my doctor who gave me decongestants (even though I knew I wasn't congested). They didn't give me any relief and he told me....let it fix itself!! Well, it didn't. After 2 months of being unbalanced, I fired that doctor and went to another who told me I had inflamatory of the inner ear and put me on Medrol dose pack. It was the wonder drug By day 5, I felt just like my old self. I haven't had the dizziness since, and that fear of going out doesn't bother me anymore. I asked my doctor why this inflamatory thing lasted so long, why didn't it heal itself like bacteria will and she said unless you treat it, it'll stay....for many months. I suggest you try the Medrol
Never heard of labyrinthitis being treated with this...has anyone else? x
Think this might help:
From the Northwestern Univ(Prof/Dr Hain) web site:
..."How is Vestibular Neuritis and Labyrinthitis Treated?
Acutely, vestibular neuritis is usually treated symptomatically, meaning that medications are given for nausea (anti-emetics) and to reduce dizziness (vestibular suppressants). Typical medications used are "Antivert (meclizine)", "Ativan (lorazepam) ", "Phenergan", "Compazine", and "Valium (diazepam) ". When a herpes virus infection is strongly suspected, a medication called "Acyclovir" or a relative may be used.
Steroids (prednisone, methylprednisolone or decadron) are also used for some cases. Strupp and others (2004) recently reported that steroids (methylprednisolone for 3 weeks) significantly improved the recovery of peripheral vestibular function in patients with vestibular neuritis, while valacyclovir did not. All patients were also given an anticholinergic medication (pirenzepine). Side effects were encountered including a gastric ulcer in one patient and induction of diabetes in two others. Strupp and coauthors did not indicate a mechanism for the positive effect of steroids. If real, the effect may be via reduction of nerve swelling."......
....."Medrol dose pack(Steroid)
Each Medrol tablet for oral administration contains 2 mg, 4 mg, 8 mg, 16 mg, 24 mg or 32 mg of methylprednisolone.
Methylprednisolone is a glucocorticoid. Glucocorticoids are adrenocortical steroids, both naturally occurring and synthetic, which are readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Methylprednisolone occurs as a white to practically white, odorless, crystalline powder. It is sparingly soluble in alcohol, in dioxane, and in methanol, slightly soluble in acetone, and in chloroform, and very slightly soluble in ether. It is practically insoluble in water."....
The pack is set up so as over a period of time(short)---the dose you take goes down---when I got this in Jul 02---prednisone---was the first thing they tried---in a dose decreasing Pak---did not work for me.
CL: It would only be of any use in the acute phase when the virus is active (ie the first few days/week), as the theory goes that the steroid could dampen down the immune response and restrict the damage the virus causes. For most people the virus is long gone within days/weeks, steroids wouldn't help with the after effects/compensation process so any treatment would be needed almost immediatly... there are a few pubmed articles about the studies some successfull, some not, However, logistically most people wouldn't be able to get treatment with the first few days of being ill (which is the only time it'd be effective) - can you imagine it on the NHS?
As for "Hall" I guess they just got lucky.... If only it was that simple for everyone...