Why can’t I manage to drive?

As you know I have MAV for almost 3 yrs and am finally getting some symptom relief with 125mg VEN XR. My dizziness is at the lowest it’s been for 3 yrs, I can walk outside for longer periods now, I still have constant head pressure and get dizzy in artificial light and shopping centers but overall I am improved. However I just cannot manage to drive - I tried again just now and within about 3 mins of being behind the wheel I felt as if I was in a tunnel and that my eyes are darting all over the place even tho they are not. I got to my destination within 5 mins and once I got out of the car and stood for a few mins the feeling subsided. I waited for about 5 mins and got back into the car to go home but it kicked off again.
I just can’t understand how I can be well out walking or at home and then within 3 mins the driving kicks this off again.
If any of you can relate to this or shed light on why this is happening I would be really grateful.

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This is happening to me especially at night. My vision is like I am drunk and I cant tell distances correctly. When you drive you are using your eyes more without knowing it, its the same as using a computer. You need to scan faster and more angles than walking but your vestibular system cant keep up.

Karen It’s overstimulation I’d say, most particularly following my own experience walking in town this very morning. Worst Visual Vertigo I’ve ever experienced outside since MAV began. Driving means you are concentrating on one near point constantly and it’s just too much for the brain to cope with. If you are still reacting to supermarkets, I guess it’s a question of insufficient drugs for insufficiently long time period. And of course by not having driven for a period you have de-habituated too. One further thought: are you OK in taxis/in the passenger seat? Helen

Might also just be you @mav are out of practice. I bought a newer car last year. I was used to a big truck with an uncomplicated wide flat dash. My new vehicle has a wrap around dash that looks like the console on the Enterprise. I had to take meclizine every day for weeks until my brain compensated.

I’d suggest short trials that extend. Go with my VRT’s advice and go until your symptoms get 20% worse than when you started. Stop, return to baseline and try again. It could take weeks to build up.

I often wonder why I can drive but find walking outside awful still? It’s so odd how we all find certain things ok and not others . I do agree with @Onandon03 its 100% the over stimulation you drive fast and when you walk you don’t . However how are you as a passenger ? I am bad as a passenger but good when driving ! So bizarre ! X


Hi Helen
I am perfectly fine as a passenger - I don’t experience any dizziness or floaty/drunk feeling as a passenger (although I did at the very start of this 3yrs ago)

Thanks Kon
It must be that the meds are controlling the eye/brain coordination needed for walking but not for driving.
It makes me crazy that even on a good dizziness day I am still reliant on friends and family if I need to go anywhere that requires driving.
Time to either increase meds or add in another one - I am on my last nerve with this condition!

Good idea flutters, I will start doing short trips every day and see how I go…I think I will take SERC beforehand to see if it will help calm the vestibular system too.

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I am having the same problem sadly, but I keep driving to matter what (not very wise). When I park I am feeling like I am gonna to pass out and I have not any power to do anything else… I dont know if a med needs to help with this or more "practice"on the car while on this condition.

Meds first. Then practice.

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Driving has been and still is one of my greatest triggers. Initially driving made me so dizzy and when I’d get out of the car it would be like I was walking on uneven ground, lost my equilibrium. That doesn’t happen now but driving still triggers my symptoms (mainly distortion in my vision now) medication has helped. I’m on Ami 35mg for 4 months now. Passenger seat used to be awful triggering almost worse dizziness, but I find that more tolerable now. Time and medication are the only cure really

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Thanks everyone for your replies, I guess I need more meds to really get this under control.


Because walking requires a lot more of your vestibular system! (from experience even more than running oddly)

How are you on bicycles? I was asymptomatic on bicycles much sooner than on foot.

Agreed. Walking takes the lot in terms of power and involves multifactors. Nobody knows how we bipeds do it really which is why robots have difficulty replicating it. We dont fully understand it to teach it.

Any Tai Chi instructor would confirm your findings by saying Tai Chi is more challenging because it is carried out slowly.


So on this condition you should try to keep moving to feel better. May I ask standing still like on a chair to talk to a phone do you feel worse?

Really ?! So interesting I haven’t tried a bike but now I may try one :grimacing::joy:

Dr Nandi at the royal national said 150 is optimum dose for Effexor so before adding maybe go up on Effexor because You can actually go a lot higher !

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I can so understand what you are going through!!! I have not been able to drive for about the same time 3-4 years now. Between my husband, Lyft and friends at work I don’t know what I would do. Once I get behind the wheel it’s over. I can stand some stores and others it is a no go. Hardwood store more so is a no like Menards and Lowe’s. The lights in there are awful. I feel the blinds shut at work. I use a old computer screen at work due to the bright light on the new ones and I can not handle the big screens. I use a lot of essential oils. I found a headease one for migraines. It’s awesome!!! It helps a lot of my coworkers use oils too. I’m on Verapamil and Topamax for my vertigo. Plus I do Botox for migraines and I’m about to do acupuncture to as if that helps. Massage helps a lot in my neck. I also do yoga and try to meditate as much as possible. I just want to drive my car again!!!