Flying in a plane

Hi Everyone,
I have a question for those out there: does flying make you dizzy? I find that when I’ve flown the take off part is the absolute worse, litterally as soon as the wheels leave the ground I feel pressure in my head and I go dizzy (not spinning vertigo, but complete dizziness of I don’t know where up or down is), it’s a like a hand pushes down on my forhead. Oddly, with each subsequent flight it happens less and less (it’s like my body adapts to it, sort of like when you first start using a treadmill you feel strange afterwards, but the more you use it the easier it is and you can jump on and off with no problem). But, if I have too long of a time between flights (ex. 6 months or more) I start back at the begining. Oddly I actually don’t mind having to transfer flights because the first flight is the worse - extreme dizziness/panic that I want to get off so bad, then each flight after I feel a bit better. Does this happen to anyone else? I wonder if it’s due to damage to my vestibular system?
Thanks!

Hi! I could have written that post myself! It is one of my major challenges. When the plane take off it’s like a very heavy head rush, total dizzy feeling. I also feel like a dropping, disoriented by heavy dizzy feeling in my head when the plane descends. When the plane turns, I feel shocking too! I am so glad to hear that you fly though. I have put it off for 5 years and even missed my honeymoon because of it. I need to get back on a plane this year but the sensations scare me! I am wondering if they are normal flight sensations but we focus so much on it, that it’s hightened? I’m not sure. Would love to know though!!

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There are quite a few discussions on flights and planes- do a search on keyword of both.

That said, not sure anyone’s talked about it getting easier. We mostly either seem to be ok or not I think but it sounds good news for you if you can handle it better with every flight.

Haha, the way you describe it is perfect! But, give it a try you might be able to gradually increase your tolerance. Shorter flights work better for me at building up the tolerance, also helps with the anxiety - ie. I can handle it for an hour vs. 8 hours.

Ellen, do you take anything to help you? Or do you just sit it out?

Do you fly much? I assume you don’t let the sensations stop you going on holidays!

To answer your question, I don’t take anything, although some anti-anxiety drugs might help you if you need it (I like to keep a clear head when flying which is why I don’t take anything) I hate flying (before MAV I loved to fly). I livein Canada with family spread out far so flying is necessary if I want to see them vs spending days in a car. Like I said before I like to take shorter flights and it gets better each time. I joke that if I were to fly overseas again I’d have to fly around Canada first a couple of times before I could do a long flight. It is horrible, but I try to get a window seat and I find that helps a bit. Part of the problem I have is “not being able to escape” issue which increases my panic and anxiety, especially when the plane is full. The only advice I can tell you is plan a closer holiday, see how you do and see if it gets better each time. On shorter flights it’s easier to sit it out. Good luck!

I am flying for the first time on Monday since this all happened, it’s about a 2 hour flight to Brisbane (and back) and I’m very nervous about it.

Today, I went to the chemist and bought Earplanes and nasal spray. My pharmacist knows me by name (that tells you something) and gave me some pseudo ephedrine to take too. I’ll have some Valium before I fly in addition.

With all of this, I’m still frightened about the nightmare scenario of vertigo on the plane and then ruining my holiday.

I have had a couple of rough weeks with symptoms which isn’t great.

I need some reassurance. I’m not cancelling the flight.

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Be interested to hear how you get on Belindy. My vestibular issues started 3 years ago whilst on holiday abroad. I felt horrendous at the airport but just thought I had the beginnings of a sickness bug. Ended up spending most of our holiday in hospital. We have booked to fly to Greece in August for 2 weeks and I am rather nervous I have to say! It’ll be my first time on a plane and being abroad since that awful holiday. Sorry, not reassurance but total empathy for how you’re feeling. Good luck with the flight, do let me know how you get on x

How did you go with your flight @Belindy on Monday?

Hey, I did all of the things I said above and was fine. You’re from Brissy yeah! I’m in Hervey Bay. Will fly again next Thursday so hopefully still all good. Thanks for asking

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That is a great achievement considering a two hour flight and an over three hour drive. Very good to hear!

I am on the Gold Coast. Enjoy Hervey Bay!

It’s the boat ride out to Fraser Island next. Symptoms low currently, just the odd dizzy moment,

Thanks

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Back from my holiday with return flights. All good! Please bite the bullet if you’re wanting to fly but afraid to. This is manageable if you do the right things. Happy flying.

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That is excellent news. Would you mind listing the things that you did and that helped you the most?

I used earplanes, nasal spray and sinus decongestant. I wasn’t highly symptomatic (a bit before I left on the return flight). Keep anxiety low. I didn’t move my head a lot.

I think the mask was the best thing - I’m highly triggered by perfume so this helped.

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Flying sometimes causes a lot of pain in my ears because of the pressure. I don’t understand why there’s sometimes so much pressure change within the aircraft. I mean the plane cabin is pressurised so how come the pilots can’t control it when ascending and descending? It doesn’t always affect me badly. But it puts me off flying obviously.
Ah well, I don’t expect an answer to that but the pain can be excruciating and swallowing, sucking sweets, yawning and holding my nose and blowing doesn’t help. The pain is mostly in my bad left ear ie the one that is connected to my bppv so I assume I have some problem/sensitivity there. Anyone else have a connection between air pressure pain when flying? Luckily it doesn’t give me vertigo or dizziness. Just pain. And it takes several hours to return to normal when my ears will start popping and I can eventually hear normally again.

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My 14 year old daughter gets awful pain when we fly Chris. We’re flying in a week and I’ve bought some Earplanes for her to try (and for me too with my VM!) as keep seeing them recommended. We’ve tried all the usual decongestants, menthol sweets to suck, ear popping etc so am hoping these might help her. Hoping so!

Wow! I had never heard of them but the reviews look really good. Thank you, I will try them next time I fly. Most grateful!

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I used them in conjunction with sudafed and my daughter flew for the first time without any pain at all! Big win for her.