Help Needed! Visual Vertigo Triggered by Car Travel

I’m getting a bit desperate to finding a solution to stop the visual vertigo when travelling as a passenger in our car. I’m fine when actually driving but on long journeys I get too tired to do the whole trip. We need to travel about 200km round-trip (mostly on winding country roads) about once a fortnight/month.
I’ve been hoping the Topamax I’m now taking would have helped (it’s definitely helping in other visual vertigo areas) but on Wednesday when we got home I couldn’t walk & was literally falling over to the right. Was OK by next morning. I’ve been taking Ativan (.5) to ‘get through’ but even that is letting me down so maybe I should take a larger dose!
Has anyone else had this particular problem - either with the visual vertigo or just the sideways falling over & whether any of the meds helped?

I was just a passenger on a 6 hour drive and feel pretty bad now. The motion isn’t a problem as such but when I stop moving my head feels all swimmy and now I am home it is really heavy and my eyes are stinging and watering and I have a slight headache and pressure in my head. Ugh! I was never very good travelling long distances but it really doesn’t help when you have MAV! x

Hi Barb,
I have the same problem with visual vertigo while travelling in a car as a passenger and as a driver. I am no longer able to drive at this stage.
I am also on Topamax 62.5mg (titrating to 100mg) and Xanax .5mg as required.
Before travelling any distance in the car I take .5mg Xanax but if the drive is over an hour I often take another .5mg during the trip which I find
helps while travelling. However once I reach my destination and am out of the car, I usually have awful brain fog, visual vertigo and I also the sideways
falling. I was really hoping the Topamax may have helped with all this but so far it hasn’t.
I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help Barb but I thought it maybe a little reassuring to let you know you’re not alone with the travelling and Topamax.
Take care.
Annie x

Thanks for reply & sorry to hear your symptoms are still bad - I get the foggy brain too after driving for a while. You are still on a fairly low dose of Nort - any plans to up that or add something to help with the travelling?

Gosh - that’s awful not being able to drive at all. I couldn’t drive for about eight months after MAV hit & I felt so isolated as we weren’t within walking distance of shops, etc.
I think I will take more advantage of the Ativan when travelling - it seems silly not to if it can help with the visual vertigo & make the journey a bit easier. Not giving up on the Topamax yet - I need to get to 100mg & then give it a few months to work its magic properly.
It was such a relief to read that you have a similar problem with falling sideways - I was beginning to think I was the only one on the forum with this particular symptom as I haven’t come across anyone else mentioning it before! Not that I’d want anyone else have it but, as you say, it is reassuring to know that I’m not alone!

Hi Barb,

I do sympathise, as I’ve had this too and I know how horrible it is. I’m much better these days, and don’t get it as badly, but still get a milder version.
When I go on long journeys I take the travel sickness tablet Stugeron. I think the active ingredient is cinnarazine (or something like that). It helps damp things down quite a bit. But it needs to be taken quite a bit in advance of getting in the car, about 2 hours, to be effective.

Barb, I didn’t really mention travelling as an issue to Dr S as most short journeys are fine and don’t cause me any problems. It is only much longer journeys where I start to feel bad. I have always suffered when doing long journeys but with VM it is obviously worse but fortunately I don’t have to do many longer trips. I am due to add Gabapentin soon just to help generally so will have to see how that goes x