Flying with dizziness and vertigo
Many people with vertigo and dizziness comment to me that flying fills them with dread. Flying is particularly bad for the vertigo and dizziness sufferer for several reasons. But with a bit of knowledge you can minimize the negative effects.
The first reason flying is so bad is that you get low oxygen levels in the plane because of the lower cabin pressures. The brain is very susceptible to low oxygen, and the balance parts can be even more so. If you already have a weak balance system, this can make it worse.
Secondly people often get dehydrated when flying, this also affects the balance areas. This can be compounded by drinking alcohol, which makes the dehydration worse, and it toxic to the brain as well.
Thirdly, in the plane you are subject to a large amount of constant movement for the length of the flight, and it is not a type of movement you are normally exposed to. This input to the brain can fatigue it, particularly when you take into account the other factors mentioned above. It should (hopefully) recover in time. It may be a few hours for some, days or weeks for others and some may never fully get over it.
To minimise any problems, do regular slow deep breathing on the flight, drink lots of water and don’t drink alcohol. To help you recover, we are developing a home self-help programme for vertigo and dizziness. We’ll post more details in the future.
So what have been your experiences in flying? Have you found any things you can do to minimise the effects? Let us know by using the comments section below.