Vertigo and flying

Posted , 6 users are following.

can anyone tell me if cabin pressure affects the  ears ...and therefore my equilibrium.? 

I've done the room spinning wildly, now down to a woozy dizzy feeling when my head  is tilted on a certain angle..usually looking downwards. 

I gave a long flight booked and am very concerned if I'll be able to walk. The sleeping thing is also a worry ...

 

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  • Posted

    Changes in middle ear pressure can transmit to the inner ear, which usually happens either on take off or landing.  It depends how sensitive your ears will be, and if the pressure changes will be picked up more in one ear than the other.  It also depends on exactly what you have.  You will need to consult with your ENT doctor.

    Eleftherios S. Papathanasiou, PhD, FEAN

    Clinical Neurophysiologist

    Fellow of the European Academy of Neurology

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    • Posted

      Thanks for answering this question and thanks Sarah for posting it. I have (what they believe is Meniere's) and I have a flight in April. My ears have always bothered me when flying but I haven't flown since 2011. Since then, vertigo, tinnitus louder than normal, loss of hearing and distored hearing in the left ear, etc... I have read some real war stories about vertigo and flying and I'm already anxious over the whole affair of flying. 

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  • Posted

    Have you been diagnosed yet? Cabin pressure does the effect the ears as well as equilibrium. Buy some Dramamine if you don't have pills for it yet.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sarah,

    Good question. Quite apart from the pressure thing, I'm wondering about the angle your head might be at. Since this latest attack started, I've noticed it's not the angle of my head in relation to my spine that's important, but the angle in relation to the ground. Just leaning back in a reclining chair sets off an attack of spinning, even if I keep my chin down on my chest. Ditto with bending forward. I'd be inclined to wonder what would happen during take-off and landing, when the plane is at an angle to the horizontal.

    My trip last week was on the Eurostar, so I didn't have the above problem. There's never a problem in the Eurotunnel, which is properly pressurised, but that long tunnel near Ashford and the other one near Ebbsfleet set my ears off every time. I know this isn't comparable to the pressure changes you might feel in an aircraft, but if it's any consolation, it was no worse than usual this time. I had to keep pinching my nose and swallowing but it didn't set off the vertigo.

    I'd be interested to hear how you get on, if you're going in the near future, as I'm planning to take a three-hour flight in May! 

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    • Posted

      Hi Lily,

      I'll be flying in April...2 long flights. There and 2 long flights back. 

      I'm seeing the hospital physio on monday who'll do the nasty manouvre on me again, so I'll ask her too...and my GP. And anyone else who can advise. ...I really dont want Vertigo to ruin my life.

      But ..re the angle and placement of my head...it does impact on the dizziness. Upstraight? No problem..but, as you say ( never considered it) the angle of the plane in relation  to the ground is something I must enquire from an ENT or the physio, Also the sitting up..head at an angle ..

      Good grief..this vertigo thing is a horrible, underestimated condition. I hate it! No one seems to be able to define it. 

      Research is what i'll do...But I will go! 

       

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    • Posted

      Sarah - when you say, no one seems to be able to define it, you are exactly right. I spent 2 1/2 hours at an ENT that specializes in Vertigo. I went through a battery of tests. He billed my insurance company over 1700 dollars and there agreed contract rate was somewhere in the 700 dollar range. I was charged 3 DIFFERNT CO-PAYS if you can imagine, for 120 dollars. To make a long story short, the couldn't really define why I had such an intense attack of vertigo that awoke me out of a sound sleep where I couldnt move off the side of the bed. I was vomiting and in a complete panic... The ENT doctor saw me for exactly 90 minutes. His crew did all the testing. I was left with these results from the ENT, "if you lose your hearing for two consecutive days again, come back and see me, we will investigate Menieres.. I was totally taken aback that after 2 1/2 hours and a bill that would choke a horse, I left there no better than I went in. I will not return there and this doctor was the 3rd ENT guy I've seen to try and give me some relief and peace of mind. I think the study of vertigo, tinnitus, Menieres, migraines and everything that is connected is nothing that is treatable with any success. I think doctors need more education and schooling to initial find what the cause and effect really is. I'm not a doctor and didn't go to school for 12-13 years. I'm just a patient that has been sucked dry with co-pays and exams that go in circles.

      God Bless.

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    • Posted

      Sarah - sorry for all the typos.. just to make a correction.. I actually spent 90 seconds with the doctor, not 90 mins.. His staff did 5 different tests. 
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    • Posted

      Good grief...your medical costs are outrageous! (In my country its free)

      Interestingly my father at 85 was diagnosed with Meniers and suffered so much he tried to kill himself. While in the hospital for that, they did lots of tests ( free) and discovered he needed a pacemaker ...which subsequently stopped the dizzyness and nausea etc. so, no-one  seems to be able to define any of these horrible debilitating symptoms as being one thing or another or how to treat it. I may have to go back to China and see the Chinese Traditional Medicine hospital there. They fixed my severe bronchial illness.! First....I have to fly! 

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    • Posted

      Glenn, I was lost in admiration of the North American medical system till you clarified it was 90 seconds not minutes!wink

      Not that it's much better here. During my recent visit to the ENT specialist, he spent 3-4 minutes taking a very perfunctory history and looking into my ears before sending me off to get my blocked ear rinsed out by the nurse and a hearing test by the audiologist. He then saw me for all of two minutes after that to announce I'd got some hearing loss in my left ear: "But I've seen worse", and promptly ejected me, refusing even to discuss the vertigo. I haven't had the bill yet, but at least I know the balance after the State insurance contribution won't come to more than about €50 (USD 53). I don't know how you folks cope with your medical costs.

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    • Posted

      Medical costs, Lily, are such a hot item topic and so political, it's frustrating and draining. Our new president is totally abolishing Obamacare and I'm not sure where that's going. I am used to having good insurance from employees in the past. I have usually enjoyed very small co-pays, even from specialists. On January the 1st I retired and went to a medicare supplement. It's a whole different ballgame now. I'm not sure how the elderly do it and I can see why some people never see a doctor. 

      I'm really unsure what the answer is but something needs to be done in this country with healthcare. Insurance companies make it miserable for the doctors who have to overbill and overcharge to get their fair share and medicare/medicaid pay on a sliding scale. 

      Like you, I have hearing loss in my left ear. I also have terrible tinnitus and and vertigo that comes and goes, complimented by bad migraine headaches. Personally, I feel I have two or three separate issues going on. I can have 2 or 3 good days and then a run of 5 bad days. 

      I'm hoping that new drug that is in the testing stage, I think A-101, proves to do something for tinniitus and Menieres.. It's really the only hope on the table right now for tinnitus.

      Anyway, thanks for your response. 

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    • Posted

      Glenn, actually Obamacare is make believe insurance. I know because I had it the first year after going part-time at work. Pay your premium but before anything major like x-rays or blood work, you need to pay to satisfy your deductible. Most deductibles start $5,000.00. The higher the premium the less your deductible, but even with this amount paid there's a cap, I think it's $15,000. Medicare is actually a better plan, but it's pricey.

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    • Posted

      thanks for that info, Sochima -

      This insurance game is so new to me after being spoiled with the best insurance from a municipality.. I barely had a co-pay.. Now I'm getting hit with 120 dollars for one visit to a specialist and it's a shock.. 

      I hope better days are coming for insurance in the U.S... I'm just not sure anything that great will happen. It's so politically driven with pigs at the trough.

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    • Posted

      Depending on what supplement plan B your on, it's best to take on a secondary insurance with plan B. Your co-pay will only be like $10.00 to see anyone in the plan. It really does pay to have part B with a group.

      I hope they don't touch Medicare. I believe seniors deserve to have the best medical services available to them, especially when they paid into the system for it.

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    • Posted

      Yes, I took supplement B... 10 dollar copay for my regular PCP and 45.00 for a specialist.. That's why I was taken aback with 120 dollar in copays because my last ENT did 3 different tests and got 3 different co-pays.. I thought that was excessive and unncecessary...

      Thanks again -

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    • Posted

      First I called the doctor's billing office.. The gal at the billing office told me to call the insurance company, Anthem. I called Anthem and was told because he  (the ENT) conducted three different tests, he is entitled (by contract) three different co pays, or actually, my initial 45 dollar co pay plus an additional 75 dollars. I'm going to appeal it but the appeal process with them is less than pleasant.  Again, pigs at the trough..

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