VM & flying

I have been flying every week for a day trip to Dublin & every time I’ve come back I’ve been very dizzy & sick. Does anyone else notice a connection between flying and Vestibular migraine?

I don’t fly - no reason to but there’s definitely a connection. Dr S, one of top UK VM ‘experts’ said it is a VM trigger. Some people are OK with it, others not. You have to remember VM is a ‘variant balance disorder and motion sensitivity is common trigger. With a hypersensitive balance system, the brain seeks information whereever it can to keep you balanced. Feet are a useful source of information and flying takes you off terra firma. Changing horizons can confuse the info from the eyes too. It’s not really surprising if one really stops to think about it although no doubt most inconvenient. There are various OTC preparations people use to ease symptoms. I’m sure @turnitaround’s much more familiar with them than I am and will advise, Helen


Thank you. I’m hoping I can get a doctors note to stop the weekly flying as it’s really affecting me

Hey Helen

I directly asked dr s about flying and be told me it would have no effect on my vm but it would be the jet lag and travelling that would set me off . Where did you read he said flying aggrivated it? I’ve been pretty unwell since my flight but I’m putting it down to my period and lack of sleep :grimacing:

Thanks Amy. I feel sick almost instantly after the flight :sob: I read somewhere too it can affect you think it was vestibular dot org website.
Oh no hope you feel better soon.

Good luck with getting a ‘doctor’s letter’. I cannot imagine they will issue one on my say-so, there’s no reason why they should, I’m no medic but VEDA do produce an information leaflet which may assist you.

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YThanks yes that’s the leaflet I read about flying. Well I’m going to the docs as there’s some reason I’m feeling sick & dizzy all the time see what they say! It’s only started since I’ve been flying every week.

Lots of migraineurs/MAVers suffer from travel sickness. Motion/Car sickness is so common as to be almost diagnostic of MAV. It’s indicative of balance issues. It’s just one of the hypersensitivities, like sensitivity to medication that goes with the condition. The preventatives should eventually control this once your threshold tolerance is higher.

Thanks Zoe I didn’t feel I’ll straight after it took a few days so it makes me think it wasn’t the flight more lack of sleep food water ect :grimacing:

I’ve a feeling I read it in one of your posts from way back. But I’ve read it elsewhere too. It’s Motion Sickness as much as anything then with balance issues just the vibration of the plane would get me. I’ve had problems sitting in a car being refuelled or on a tubular kitchen chair.

Can imagine you’d be rough after the journey. Everything you attributed it to + the release from stress (remember the ‘week-end’ migraine, gone by Monday time to go back to work) +, the one that always gets me, ‘delayed reaction’. Catches up with you in the end, days later. Still you did well feeling brave enough to do it, well done, and enjoy. Helen

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It’s wierd I’m terrible in cars but train and planes fine , but the car just awful I think a lot of it is the eyes and the movement . Hopefully once my meds fully control it this will no longer be an issue

And thanks Helen it’s been a rough few days and I’m sure there are many reasons I’m feeling off , I’m just hoping it eases soon :slight_smile: I still feel brave for getting on the plane even if I feel crappy ! Hoping the long rest did me good .


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Something to keep in mind about flying in airplanes: it’s very dehydrating. I once read that the only humidity in the air inside a passenger airplane is from the moisture exhaled into the cabin from the other passengers. So even though you may not feel thirsty, it’s probably a good idea to stay as hydrated as possible during the flight.

I always bring an empty water bottle that I can fill before I board the plane, and then I drink it during the flight (in addition to any drinks that they serve). Sometimes if there’s turbulence they won’t serve drinks so if I have my own water with me at least I know I’ll be able to drink that.


Maybe that’s why I felt so rough after lol although I did try to drink more :grimacing:

For my 45 minute flight I had a litre of water & then 1.5 litres during the day & another litre on the flight back. So I think I was hydrated enough. As I thought that was a problem. I’m still rough from yesterday’s flight & also got a cold & bunged up sinus too.

I always leave a day on the front and back end to get adjusted when I fly. If I have to be at work on a Monday I’ll fly out Sunday morning. Sleep patterns are also a big trigger for me so red eyes or early morning flights don’t fly for me (pun intended)

My routine is I’ll pick a flight that leaves the day before I’m supposed to arrive, take a couple advil before the flight, relax as much as possible (I don’t work on the plane), eat a little less than usual (and no crappy airport food) then I do nothing once I arrive


I always take a decongestant 30 mins before landing, to limit pressure on the ears. Agree with Helen, might be a motion sickness thing too, possibly?

Some people have success with ‘EarPlanes’ ear plugs, though YMMV:

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Decongenstant (US) Sudafed (UK) “Ear Planes”

Thanks everyone. Went to the doctors & she’s told me she’ll write me a note as doesn’t recommend regular air travel. I’ll use those tips for when I do fly though (flying for pleasure only I think!)

flying itself seems OK for me - but the accumulation of stress, travel to and from the airports, the airports themselves etc, can all add up - and it could be the whole thing that sets you off…?

Very likely as I don’t sleep much so I’m tired when I get there. I notice stress sets it off :frowning: