Shopping and dizziness

Lisa posted about assistance when walking and many of you responded with all the different stores that have shopping carts available for use and how you use them. My question to those of you who do go shopping is: does it make you dizziness worse? For me it makes no difference if it is a clothing store, grocery store, movie store etc. the outcome is always the same.

I can usually"power through" a short shopping trip if absolutely necessary and while I have increased dizzness while I do it, I usually feel slightly better when finished and back home. Then chaos hits hard the day AFTER and can last for up to 3 DAYS following the shopping experience. Extreme dizziness and disequilibrium. It makes it hard for me to gauge when I am pushing myself to far because I never pay the price the same day, but multiple days later.

Does this happen to anyone else?


Hi Sarah,

Yes, me and a lot of other people on this site have a lot of trouble shopping - at least in malls and supermarkets and such like. It seems to be the combination of harsh fluro lighting, crowds and other stimuli. I realised this sub conciously long before MAV and have taken to doing my grocery shopping on Friday nights - there’s hardly anyone there and the rest of the mall is closed so it’s a lot less full on.


I have a lot of trouble shopping sometimes, and have gotten very dizzy in grocery stores and malls, and have even left before finishing my shopping. I am always the one to push the cart when grocery shopping with my husband, as it helps with my balance. I think the main problem is the lighting (I am very sensitive to flourescent lights), but the crowds in the mall can be bothersome too. I’ve considered wearing sunglasses while shopping to see if it helps with the lights.

If I have a really bad time in the store, I can usually just go home, lay down and relax, and I’ll feel better soon. Getting away from all the stimuli seems to help.

Oh, and I definitely agree with shopping at off-times. Less crowds, less stimuli, and it usually goes much faster.

Yes, shopping is a trigger, I too avoid busy times. For me, the length of time I can spend in a build depends on about three things. The acoustics, lighting, and how much stimulus I have to deal with. I like stores with carpeted floors, soft lighting, and suspended cieliengs. The buildings with metal, bare ceilings where you can see the suspension holding them up, and a tile or cement floor, I can only handle about 15 minutes before the falling starts. Jeesh, with the discription I gave, you think I would enjoy clothes shopping in the speciality stores. :lol:

Thank you for those who responded, but what I am most curious about is how long do your symptoms last. For example I said I will feel better once I leave, but the next day, or two, or even three I will have extreme discomfort (dizziness, bouncing, disequilibrium etc). I want to know if anyone else has these DELAYED symptoms as well.

Hmm, haven’t really paid attention to ongoing post shopping nastiness, just know that when I’m symptomatic it’s sh*tful when I’m there. Mind you, I’m not a fan of grocery shopping anyway!


If I walk into the store feeling OK and walk out dizzy, it takes anywhere from 1/2 hour to 4 hours for my system to calm back down. If I walk in dizzy, then it is a miserable expereince the whole time, and my system really doesn’t calm down.

I have never expereinced delayed symptoms like you talk about.


Sarah -

I think that is what bothered me the most about this condition…I couldn’t go to any stores without suffering. I would bring my mom with me and I had to be the one to push the cart. There was a long period of time where i would send my mom to the store for me. I can now finally go to a store, grocery store, mall etc. and feel normal. Once in awhile I will get a “whoosh” of dizzines while there but it lasts only seconds. I have come a long way since the onset of mav.

It would take me awhile to feel better after leaving a mall or store. I would have to go home and lay down. I would say it took me a couple of hours to start to feel better. It was exhausting menatlly as well as physicaly. Sometimes the next day I would feel even more “revved up”.



hard for me to say, as my symptoms are so terrible and chronic that it never lets up. so, I don’t notice any changes after shopping. However, I am doing almost no shopping these days. I can hardly get around m y own home.


Shopping has always been the most challenging thing for me. Even when I’ve been pretty controlled on medication 70-80%, I’ve had a difficult time. The fluorescent lights & visual stimulation really set me off. I hate grocery stores & Walmart because of the aisles just lined with rows & rows of boxes. And stores that have clothes with strong patterns drive me crazy. I also hate the shiny polished floors in most of these places. Everything just seems to glare & reflect off of them. I wear my sunglasses whenever I have to go shopping. It’s the only thing that helps. But it’s usually not enough & I end up needing to leave quickly. When I was on medication I could stand about 30 min in one of these stores now it’s about 5 min on a good day. Since I don’t experience rocking, the shopping carts are not helpful. I get dizzy like I’m going to faint & the feeling resolves as soon as I get outside into the fresh air and sit down. I have noticed that I “overdo” it on my good days & I usually pay for it the next day. I also feel worse when driving in a car which is odd because it seems like most others on here feel better when in motion. I feel best sitting still. It’s weird how we can all be so different but have the same condition??

I too get very dizzy when shopping. I always thought it was because I am looking around so much. Moving my eyes is a trigger for my vertigo so looking around at things in the store usually gets me.

Hi Sarah,

Shopping Malls and various stores with lots of people aggravate my Motion condition and anxiety. Screaming children in stores really bother me. Bottome-line…the more Stimula the more uncomfortable it can be.


starlaura and joe,
Do either of you have delayed dizziness-- the day after or for multiple days after shopping?

Shopping in supermarkets and shopping centres is horrendous for me. My consultant said it was because they are set out in rows. Apparently, irong striped shirts is a trigger for some and walking up the stairs used to set me off too!!! I do most of my grocery shopping on line. driving round and round the car park does it as well. I am a lot better since starting the diet and meds 6 weeks ago.

Before that I went to the cinema and on another occasion I saw Oliver at the theatre. In both cases I had severe attacks the next day which last a couple of days. When I had an MRI it was so bad the next morning I could not get my breath and felt as though I was severly drunk and couldn’t walk I had to go to the hospital - not that they could find anything they could treat.

We spent 5 days at holiday park in the South of England called Butlins. 5000 people in chalets and hotels, 1000 crammed into the cafeteria walking about dodging people with trays etc. The noise was constant with redcoats encouraging the kids to scream even loader, load music, busy patterns, costumes. 10 days later and I have only just recovered.

You might not be alone. dizziness and vertigo just after looking at the Manufacturers 3DS is a acknowledged problems amongst gaming system creators and medical experts that cope This will create them regularly reliant upon the visible program and the other staying program.

For me, i think the only thing about shopping that bothers me is the act of stopping and starting: walk 20 yards to the next store, go in, then stop and browse.

I go food shopping when it’s a quiet time and know where the goods I want are placed on the shelves, so I don’t have to move my head too much scanning the shelves. Can’t shop in big stores- the lights,noise & people send me dizzy in a few minutes & loking down at price tags is impossible. I shop in small places & ask prices but even getting as far as trying something on is a rarity.
My worst experience recently was in a computer store - I desperately wanted an ipad as can’t use the pc without dizziness happening. The store was a real nightmare - screens flashing, noise, neon lighting, etc. Got the ipad 2 & find I can use it quite a bit without the dizzies happening. Made three trips back to the store to get a cover & keyboard though - find it hard to make decisions when I’m stressed out & clutching onto shelves, etc. to stay upright! Experience set me right back & took days to recover