Worse after flying

Not sure if I have posted this before as I am putting the question on 3 boards! Has anyone noticed more frequent vertigo after flying. I braved a holiday last year (2 hr flight) and since then (6 month period) have had 9 vertigo attacks (bad ones). Before the flight they always lasted 4 to 6 hrs and since then they are lasting 24 to 48 hrs and getting more frequent.

Has anyone else had this, if so, did the medication stop it?


In 1999 i flew to Hawaii and once i arrived at my destination i had some really nasty vertigo episodes and put me out of commission for a number of days and of course ruined my trip. I barely made it back to California. For 3 years i did not take anymore plane trips. Then after the 3rd year i finally decided to take a short flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco (40 minute trip in the air). Once i got to my destination and got into my hotel and layed down on the bed i had a small vertigo spin and then returning home…another small vertigo spin. Since then i have taken a number of trips from L.A. to New Mexico or to Kansas City and when i return from my trip…i get home lay down and sometimes i might have a small short spin but most of the time no spins at all. So things have gotten better.


I have such a motion sensitivity problem that I won’t brave an airplane flight. The rush for take off, then falling for descent just remind me too much of an elevator ride, and the last time I did one of those, I was left crawling for about a day.



That is interesting. Did the vertigo attacks you had months after the trip continue to be worse, or did they get back to normal eventually. I am finding this really worrying, I am now on the 3rd day of one, still cant bend my head over etc., not quite bad enough to put me on the bed, but cant do much at all. Its been 6 months since I went.

Christine…things slowly got better but it’s like baby steps. It took months for things to improve. Like i said i stayed away from flying on a plane for 3 years! But after that i felt brave enough to try again. I don’t want this condition to rule me.

This last Neurologist that i saw …even though i don’t care for him did make one good point. That it is possible i’m suffering from a Vestibular condition and possibly some anxiety. I have tried so many medications over the course of 16 years with no help except for the anti-anxiety medication Xanex. It helps to keep me more stationary and less motion. So i’m wondering if my inner-ear is just not functioning normal? This is all so confusing!


I feel the same way. Diagnosed with menieres at aged 20, they said it had burnt itself out, then basilar migraine, then after more tests, some abnormalities on the ENT tests, then an ECOG test, menieres again, then endolymphatic hydrops (same as menieres really), then inner ear lesion, then vestibular migraine. I have come to the conclusion that there is a problem in the ear and when the migraine hits it hits that area too. So, maybe, if we can stop the migraine, we can stop the vertigo most of the time anyway.

I was OK coming off the plane, it was 6 days later, the day after a bad migraine that I got the bad vertigo, lasted 24 hrs, didnt think I was going to be able to get the plane home, then, every attack since worsening. Like you, hopefully, it will get better over the months, but, also, like you, I dont want this to rule my life. On days I feel a bit better I push to do things.


Spinning vertigo attacks have never been a big part of this condition for me, touch wood. However, I do have problems flying. I avoided flying for a long time, and when I last flew, i was fine on the way there, then relapsed after the flight back. (I have good periods and bad periods) I had flown once before this since getting MAV and it made me ill for 12 wks after. The second time I relapsed for 2 weeks, then recovered. It simply brings on my worst symptoms - extreme lightheadedness /dizziness, severe brain fog, light sensitivity etc…

As I understand it the air pressure changes in the cabin are the problem. They’re a migraine trigger. Of course there could be other factors at play too but I don’t know what.

One thing I did notice is that on the trip out on the plane when I didn’t get any repercussions, I was doing very well before I got on the plane. The day I left the holiday to fly back I had been slightly symptomatic in the morning. I think the flying then pushed it up ten notches. So my guess is if the condition is under control - most likely with the right drug - then you would be ok to fly.