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Vertigo when flying

I have vertigo often when I am flying to Spain. Will the flight bring on a vertigo attack and if it does what should I do?

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The answer

Vertigo is where you have a sensation that yourself or the environment surrounding you is spinning or moving around.

Symptoms of vertigo can include dizziness, a sensation of imbalance, nausea and vomiting.

Symptoms can be fleeting but can also occur on a more regular basis and last several days too.

Causes of vertigo can include sudden abrupt movements of the head, head injury, ,migraines, ear infections, inflammation of the vestibular nerve and medical ailments such as Menieres Disease and multiple sclerosis. Some medications can also have the side effect of causing vertigo.

Vertigo if it persists and occurs frequently should be investigated by your GP and if necessary by ENT specialists at the hospital.

Treatment can include medications such as anti-emetics and anti- histamines to ease the nausea and imbalance sensations. Other forms of treatment can involve manipulation and a sequence of head positions such as the Epley or Brandt-Daroff manoeuvres to readjust the balance mechanisms in the inner ear.

In relation to travel, particularly on aeroplanes, it would be a good idea to see your GP for preventative medication as mentioned above in case the altering of air pressure causes your ears to be affected and vertigo to recommence again.

We would also suggest that seeing the vertigo seems to happen on a regular basis that a referral for investigations as to possible causes and triggers may be beneficial to you.

Basic measures such as ensuring that you stay upright, avoid bending and moving your head jerkily can also help minimise the likelihood of vertigo happening. Relaxation techniques may also help counteract any feelings of vertigo too.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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