Vertigo and flying

Richmond, VA

#21 Jul 23, 2009
After 5 months my feeling of "rocking" as if on a boat is subsiding. I went to see a therapist for vestibular rehabilitation and she suggested I look up the website for Mal de Debarquement Syndrome. Everything on the website described what I was going through and even though there does not seem to be a cure it is wonderful to be able to pinpoint symptoms. I am sure that eventually by way of sharing information we will come up with some answers to this very odd and seemingly undiagnosable malady.
I have followed the therapist's exercise suggestions which include jumping up and down 15 times with eyes open and shut. Rocking on a rocking chair and various other things - 3 times a day. Someone else suggested taking Sudafed daily - so I take that.
I really don't know if either had anything to do with the waning of the dizzy feelings but I will continue on this path. Thank God! Good Luck to you all!

Marble Falls, TX

#22 Jan 13, 2010
Everyone with vertigo----go to and search "eply" for the "eply maneuver" for many variations on this sometimes miracle cure.
I have "benign positional vertigo" (BPPV) and this is the best relief I've found.. so far.
Do the exercises a few (or more) times a day. Do them precise until you get relief. Some people are cured instantly (as I was a few years ago), but this time around, it's taking longer. This is day 9 of the vertigo, day 4 of the exercises and I feel not soooooo awful.... ;-}
Take care


#23 Feb 7, 2010
Hi everyone, unfortunately I'm also having a lot of trouble flying. Mine comes on just before landing, sickness, collapse, the lot. I have to be carried off the plane, then lie on the floor in arrivals for 5-6 hours. I'm not better for 24 hours or so. All tests have come back normal. Am desperate for a cure as my sons live in USA and I live in UK. Help!!
Dr Matt

Brunswick, Australia

#24 Feb 21, 2010
Hi to All,

It sounds like most of you have uncompensated vertigo, which is where the balance mechanisms of the brain have failed to adapt. Normally when the input from your balance mechanisms (eyes, ears and body position sense) changes, the brain adapts. However sometimes the brain can’t adapt, or it starts misreading the normal incoming signals and you get dizziness and vertigo.

Flying is particularly bad for several reasons. Firstly you get low oxygen levels in the plane because of the lower cabin pressures. The brain is very susceptible to low oxygen, and the balance parts can be even more so.

Secondly people often get dehydrated when flying, this also affects the balance areas. This can be compounded by drinking alcohol, which makes the dehydration worse, and it toxic to the brain as well.

Thirdly, in the plane you are subject to a large amount of constant movement for the length of the flight. This input to the brain can fatigue it, particularly when you take into account the other factors mentioned above. It should (hopefully) recover in time. It may be a few hours for some, days or weeks for others and some may never fully get over it.

To minimise any problems, do regular slow deep breathing on the flight, drink lots of water and don’t drink alcohol. To help you recover, we are developing a home self-help programme for vertigo and dizziness. To register your interest visit and use our self-assessment tool. For those in Melbourne Australia I am available for one-to-one consults. Visit

I hope that helps!

San José, Costa Rica

#25 Jun 2, 2010
Joanna wrote:
<quoted text>
I have tried acupuncture after first episode and found it amazing. Although my first episode was not very severe it completely eliminated all symptoms.
Do yu remember where did they put the needles? I am going to try it tomorrow

San José, Costa Rica

#26 Jun 4, 2010
Deborah wrote:
I have had vertigo on and off for years but now whenever I fly and travel I get it and it takes months to go away. Pills etc. don't help ....I don't know how to get rid of it. The constant dizzy feeling is awful.
I have the same problem , this is the third time I have vertigo attack after flying > I normaly also get a ""being on a boat feeling"" after leaving an elevator. After visiting 2 ottorinos in a week < one specialized in vertigo , yerterday I visited my dermatologist for another reason and she asked me if I had reflux or hiatal hernia, which I do. She told me that that was the cause of my vertigo . Treat the reflux and your vertigo will go away> She also prescribed singulair ( she said others dont work) HEr husband who is a medical doctor too had frequent vertigo attacks and they both dedicated themselves to studying vertigo causes . Today I found dozens of studies that related vertigo and acid reflux . It seems that 80 % of patiens with vertigo have reflux. What is amazing is that otorrinos dont know it.

United States

#27 Jun 8, 2010
Cherub wrote:
I have suffered vertigo on and off for years but never had any treatment (Iam not keen on taking anything). I have avoided planes and lifts/elevators as I still feel the ground moving after I get off.
Recently I had to fly as my husband was travelling interstate for a spinal operation and even thought i had to be brave and grit my teeth I am still suffering. As the plane is going up I feel very heavy and drowsy like I might pass out. And after I get off I feel wobbly and off balance and drowsy for days. This time I have also noticed fluid running down the back of my throat and little hard lumps of stuff appearing on the left side of my throat that come loose and I ahve to spit them out.
Has anyone else experienced problems with motion like this? What did you do about it?
I had vertigo last year same time for 6 weeks and went to therapy to be treated with the Epley was a little different, and trying but it seemed to put the crystals back into the ear canal where they belong / and I got better
also, taking 1/2 benedryl at bedtime seems to help me the next day

am planning on flying this October and have no idea what will happen but my ENT says that larger planes are ok..........just try to avoid smaller planes / hope this helps
kay wielgosh4427

Franklin, WI

#28 Jun 15, 2010
I have had vertigo for about 6 years. It started getting worse and worse, however,after 6 years I got., "Meniere's Disease" and the syptoms are LOUD, VERY LOUD, this or hissing, or roaring the "siren" can be so LOUD that people can hear it. I swear I'm not lieing, check it out. My vertigo went away for about 6 months after therapy, now it's back. Tinnitus can be ringing, hissing or as I call it AIR=RAID sirens! I'm doing everything they say, maybe it could be worse, without not listening to the do's and dont's, I have it in both. This is worth a try, I've been told by my Otolaryngologist, avoid salt, refined sugar, caffeine, chocolate, red wine, tabaco, prescription water pill and take an over the counter ear vitamin called Lipo-flavanoid. Doing all and still have Meniere's. Terrified to fly, afraid it'll get worse
wendy wrote:
hi there, i have just been diagnosed with vertigo , i on the other hand am taking medication but am going to turkey end of august and was wondering what flying would do to me.
Ive not had problems flying until 3yrs ago when we decided to try somewhere other than spain , we chose turkey.
Now whenever i fly there my legs swell to twice the size before i left england and takes nearly 1 week to look abit normal over in turkey , now i have vertigo aswell i am abit scared as to what might happen as u have expressed the liquid going down your throat. Is this vertigo or tinnits that caused this as i know i have both and is there anyway of stopping this happening? xx
Joe Bob

San Jose, CA

#29 Jun 15, 2010
As B.O. Plenty of Dick Tracy used to say, "I ain't got no ver to go."
kay wielgosh4427

Franklin, WI

#30 Jun 15, 2010
Hi Anita: Go to a therapist whos specializes in vertigo. It can be cured, my nephew in Texas had it went to a doctor had some therapy, now it's gone. If however you get Meniere's disease, it may subside for awhile but never will be gone. I wish you the best of luck.
anita wrote:
Hi everyone, unfortunately I'm also having a lot of trouble flying. Mine comes on just before landing, sickness, collapse, the lot. I have to be carried off the plane, then lie on the floor in arrivals for 5-6 hours. I'm not better for 24 hours or so. All tests have come back normal. Am desperate for a cure as my sons live in USA and I live in UK. Help!!

Spring Valley, NY

#31 Jun 17, 2010
My mother suffers from vertigo and is hoping to fly to the US for my sons graduation. This is her 1st flight since experiencing the vertigo. Does anyone think it is better not to chance it. She is currently taking serc 3 times a day.

Rock Springs, WY

#32 Aug 8, 2010
gail wrote:
<quoted text>No you can never fly unless you want it to get worse!
I have had two attacks of vertigo,both started two weeks after flying. I also had allergy problems at the onset of both. Doctor didn't help, advised dramamine which did no good.. Mayo clinic has a great web site which tells of a head manipulation. The doctor I visited suggested instead a brain scan MRI which I refused. Found a dizziness clinic where I was given one treatment(takes about 10 minutes, made me extremely nauseous for awhile). By midnight the vertigo was gone. I was required to do same "exercises" every morning for a week and had no reccurence until last night when I experienced another attack (after flying again). I have done the "exercises today and feel much better. You might check Mayo Clinics site. Good luck!

United States

#33 Oct 10, 2010
I have a sever fear of flying not because Im afraid of crashing but because of the way my body feels when I do it....on take off I loose complete equilbrium...I feel like I am spinning and losing control...once the plane levels out I feel fine...but it scares the crap out of me...I have noticed on larger planes this doesnt happen...I have flown only 4 times and Im getting ready to fly alone on Wed. and out of the 4 times its happened twice....just wondering if anyone else has experienced makes me panic a little...before I have always had some one to keep me calm....but Im afraid this time...I just pray this time I dont feel that way...


#34 Oct 16, 2010
I think your condition is menieres disease / vertigo....I have the same symptoms and am treated with cinnarazine 15mg. 2 tablets 3 times per day...this helps me... hope this is helpful to you

Danville, KY

#35 Dec 12, 2010
wow, this is scaring me, i will be boarding a plane with 3 diffrent stops from New Orleans to Cebu Philippines on a missionary trip....I will be doing 3 weeks of extensive outreach to the poor, but now that i have read all these post, i pray i wont be so sick that this trip will be a their ANY meds i can take before hand??? to prevent it some???

London, Canada

#36 Jan 20, 2011
hi, i have vertigo badly right now after flying a couple weeks ago. I have also had depression. I will try the serc and chinese acupuncture as these comments say it might work. Funny i don't think my kidneys work 100% too.
i'm a 48 year old woman.

United States

#37 Feb 6, 2011
I have vertigo and was diagnost with it 6 years ago. I think mine came from when my family and I live a an apartment for 7 years and there was mold. one of the symtoms of mold. I recently took a flight to puerto rico, when we were landing my ears started to ache really badly and I though my eardrums were going to bleed or something. it had me bent over in my seat and putting preasure on my ear right under my lowb. that was 1/20/11 and I still feel the preasure in my ears. this stuff is real and scary!

United States

#38 Feb 6, 2011
They won't pop!!!!!!!!!!

Boise, ID

#39 Feb 9, 2011
OMG... now what? I am suppose to fly from Idaho to Virginia... that is a long long flight. I got my first vertigo attack just one week ago, still not stable. I am fine when I am sitting but when I stand, I feel like I am drunk. After reading all these posts, I better not fly.. dang. Am I ever going to be able to fly?


#40 Mar 22, 2011
I have just been told that my dizziness may be vertigo. I woke up on Saturday, went to get out of bed and went really dizzy, started to feel really sick, went to bathroom after banging into every wall possible, then was sick. Went to doctors on Monday (still feeling bad ) and she put me on prochlorperazine 5mg tablets, feel fine when taken but go dizzy when they start to wear off, they also take time to kick in. I am due to fly to Spain this Saturday for a week and Turkey in May, I am so worried that I will show myself up on the plane. I have never suffered with anything like this before.

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