Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Dizziness for more than 24 hours after return from trip? Anyone experienced this?

Dizziness for more than 24 hours after return from trip? Anyone experienced this?

Feb 17th, 2005, 03:08 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,451
Dizziness for more than 24 hours after return from trip? Anyone experienced this?

Please don't chasten me for not consulting a doctor (I have already made an appointment), but I am curious if anyone else experiences dizziness after transcontinental trips.

Ever since we got back (Tuesday night about 10pm Denver time), I have felt somewhat dizzy. As if objects around me (my desk, the walls, etc.) are moving although they are obviously not. My sense of balance also feels "off" and if I stand up straight for very long I start feeling like I might fall over...

I'm 25 and in very good physical condition. I'm wondering, could this be some sort of prolonged jetlag (I slept very poorly on our trip) or perhaps re-adjusting to the high altitude here?

I wasn't able to get an appointment until Saturday afternoon (and I am hoping these symptoms will be gone by then!!), but in the meantime I am a little nervous and hoping that others may have experienced something like this.

TexasAggie is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 03:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,154
I suppose anything is possible in an individual case, so you're wise to check it out. I see your question as asking for personal experiences and not looking for online medical advice. I don't notice much after flying, but I sometimes DO notice sensations even a day or two after the fact when I've been spending time in tall buildings with fast elevators.
Flyboy is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 03:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,325
I haven't experienced dizziness but asked my husband, a physician, about your question, and after his usual long list of disclaimers said that it's probably due to a transitory inner ear disturbance caused by the changes in air pressure in the plane. Jet lag and dehydration can also be contributing factors. But see your doctor.
Grinisa is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 03:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,451
Thanks all.
I'll post whatever advice the doctors give me after my appointment. I have already searched webMD and a few other sites but didn't get anything substantial.

The innner ear disturbance that Grisina mentioned could be the problem. I've had over 100 ear infections in my life, 15 sets of tubes, and my left ear drum had to be reconstructed as a child.

I have flown overseas several times though, and don't recall ever experiencing anything like this... fortunately DH drove me to work and is coming back to get me so I don't have to drive like this!
TexasAggie is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
Texas, if you go to WebMD and search for "vertigo" they have a set of special exercises to ease your condition, have you seen those?

(vertigo is the kind of dizziness when everything is spinning around you)
FainaAgain is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 03:33 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 963
Hi TexasAggie,

This past November, I developed a sinus infection right before my trip to Rome. I had some fluid in my ears, and experienced the same sensation you are feeling now. I first noticed it when I arrived in Rome. As long as I was walking around, I was fine, but when I sat down and when I went to bed, I felt a little dizzy, like I was swaying back and forth a little. It went away after a day or two, but returned after I flew home.

This had never happened to me before, so I just chalked it up to flying a very long time with fluid in my ears. It did go away after a couple of days, though.

Hope this helps.

gracie04 is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 03:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,738
My sister in law had this problem when she returned from Denmark. Her husband told her to take a Benadryl or similar sinus medication that would 'dry her up'...until you see the doctor, it would not harm you ( I hope) to take some over the counter sinus meds and see if it helps.
Scarlett is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 04:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,567
Probably something to do with your ears. Did you use earplugs? Same thing has happened to me on a couple of occasions.
luvtotravel is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,410
My cousin had this several years ago. He flew from the east coast to New Mexico and Colorado and back without really stopping anywhere or staying on the ground very long and didn't stay overnight. He was unable to go to work when he got home and went to the doctor. He was told it was an inner ear problem caused by all the altitude changes in such a short amount of time that his body didn't have time to adjust. He had severe dizziness the first few days and then it got better but had problems off and on for about three weeks.

Two summers ago we flew to Rome from Cincinnati and he didn't have any problems from that flight.
kybourbon is online now  
Feb 17th, 2005, 04:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,703
It definitely sounds like an inner ear disfunction caused by the fluxuations in cabin pressure as the plane changes altitude. Chewing gum helps.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 04:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,590
Yes, it is surely an inner ear disturbance. Could be caused by tiredness, jet lag, air pressure change, maybe an on coming cold. In 1974 I had such an affliction and lost my balance entirely (along with Bell's Palsy) but then also when about your age had the same inner ear problem. I know what it is for a room to spin wildly! No problem, really, it will go away. A doctor may give you some medication. And I've traveled overseas ten times since and many times in the U.S. with no problem whatever.
Good luck.
Ozarks Bill
Ozarksbill is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 04:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,098
Hi, Tex.

Yes, I experience the same thing after long flights, but only when flying east to west--usually to Asia. After experiencing it many times, I've come to the conclusion that it's primarily jet lag and lack of sleep in my case.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Feb 17th, 2005, 05:30 PM
Posts: n/a
I get some form of this under most travel conditions, unfortunately. If you had any slight sinus or nasal issues before you got on the plane, the pressure changes and motion may have made it worse.

Because I have such severe problems with motion sickness (once I get dizzy, it takes me at least a full day to get right again), a doctor friend related to an astronaut told me that they sometimes use a combination of antihistamine and an "upper" rather than anything like scopolomine or the other OTC anti-vertigo medications. Since uppers aren't legal, I stick to a LITTLE antihistamine (not too much, you get badly dried out in planes anyway) and try to keep ears from plugging, eyes and inner-ear from getting disoriented (not your problem, but I need to see the horizon to stay oriented in bad turbulence).

You could also have Meniere's Syndrome, which is a royal but non-life-threatening botheration and can take a while to subside.

Let us know -- kibbitzers need feedback.
Feb 17th, 2005, 05:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,943
It happens to me all the time, especially if I fly from NY or Philly to Hong Kong, Japan, or India. I always attribute it to the long flights (22 hours from JFK to Hong Kong), altitude, bad food, and alcohol (I usually drink several glasses of wine when I fly). I also notice that I get dizzy on the flight from taking my reading glasses on and off.

When I returned from a two-week trip to India several years ago, I was dizzy for 3 days. It went away, however, especially after lots of sleep and bed rest.

Hope you are OK.
ThinGorjus is offline  
Feb 20th, 2005, 09:23 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,451
Hello all,
I wanted to give everyone an update. I went in yesterday to get this checked out (although the dizziness had been slowly improving). The first thing my doctor checked were my ears.

Apparently, I still had quite a bit of fluid in my inner ears from a slight cold that I had caught a little over two weeks before we even left for Europe.

This was the cause of all the dizziness and the general "off balance" sensation.

Since there is no infection, he just suggested an over the counter decongestant. He suggested traveling with decongestants in the future with my history of ear infections and just "ear problems", especially if I have had a cold up to a month before traveling.

Thanks so much to everyone who posted their thoughts, they certainly helped calm my panicky thoughts.
TexasAggie is offline  
Feb 20th, 2005, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,425
I am glad you are better and it's not serious. I had the same thing happen to me after a flight back from Egypt to Los Angeles, where I lived at that time -- I felt kind of dizzy and sick for several days after that.
Christina is offline  
Feb 20th, 2005, 09:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 46
I was happy to read you are feeling better. Also glad it is only a ear problem. I will remember to take cold meds on my flight in June. Good luck to you on your future travels.
ABJS is offline  
Feb 20th, 2005, 10:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,124
I started to make a comment that I'm not a doctor, but I'll bet on an inner ear problem. Then I read down to the final posts and discover that you now have determined that's what it is. I've had problems like that most of my life, and I know it gives you a miserable feeling. With me, I actually become nauseated with the expected result. Glad all is well.
Wayne is offline  
Feb 21st, 2005, 07:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,113
Glad it's nothing serious, TexasAggie. Hope you are feeling better today.

I have to admit that if you didn't have dizziness from your trip, you'd surely have it from reading Lionel's incestant postings. Hopefully he will go away soon.
Statia is offline  
Feb 21st, 2005, 07:39 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,080
I'm glad to know that's what the doctor said. I was reading with interest since this happens to me all the time.

The worst was after I had spent a significant amount of time on trains in Italy, and in Venice (on water). I had that dizziness for about three weeks after I returned home. It was so bad that I couldn't lie down to sleep, but had to stay propped up, and was nauseaus through a good portion of the day.

Has your dissipated yet? Have the decongestants helped?
Dreamer2 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:01 AM.