How do I shake off this travel 'drunkeness'/inner ear symptoms?
July 12, 2010 7:52 AM   Subscribe

How do I shake off this travel 'drunkenness'/inner ear symptoms?

I'm an American who just took my first trip overseas (London) and it was great. I noticed the first day in my hotel when I lay down and closed my eyes it felt as if I was still flying. It disappeared, but now I'm home, and when I lay down (or when I sit up actually) , I can't shake off the feeling of the tides in the ocean, or the train moving, or a slight drunken feeling, or the plane slowly turning. It's not completely unpleasant, just somewhat uncomfortable. (It's been 12 hours in real time since I got off my plane.)

Bonus points if I don't have to involve the doctor for a solution. (She's fine, but expensive and far away.)
posted by Prairie to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That's how I experience jet lag too. It passes!
posted by RJ Reynolds at 7:55 AM on July 12, 2010

Well, when you have the spins in bed, putting one foot on the floor from the bed helps.
posted by emilyd22222 at 8:03 AM on July 12, 2010

takes a few days. don't think you can speed it up. Maybe try looking at a flat horizon.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:28 AM on July 12, 2010

I had this once (not immediately after flying, but possibly related) and it turned out to be an inner ear infection, untreatable, I just had to wait until it passed. It was a total PITA as I could be reading something, for example, and in my peripheral vision I could see the room spinning around. It's worth checking with your doctor if it persists, but in the meantime I don't believe that there's much you can do about it except ride it out.
posted by rubbish bin night at 8:37 AM on July 12, 2010

You might have labyrinthitis. When I had it, my doc recommended dramamine, and it worked like a charm.
posted by jasper411 at 9:17 AM on July 12, 2010

I have to take carsick meds (meclizine/Bonine, as dramamine doesn't work on me) AND antihistamines/decongestants when flying, because of structural problems with my eustachian tubes and labyrinthitis. My inner ears get plugged up if I don't include the antihistamines/decongestants -- often so badly that I can't walk straight. This happens more on turboprops than jets, I've noticed.

The first time this happened to me, I literally staggered into a first aid station at O'Hare like I was on a three-day drunk. The nurse took one look at me, handed me some OTC decongestants, cough drops to suck on, and a cup of hot coffee (warm liquids relieve pressure on the inner ear). I revived from my pseudo-bender pretty quickly.
posted by lleachie at 10:33 AM on July 12, 2010

I used to almost always suffer from vertigo when I flew, especially at the higher elevations. It was occasionally so bad that I was unable to stand or walk during the flight and would sometimes linger for days.

Now I start taking decongestants a day or so before flying, including a dose about 90 minutes before takeoff with two ibuprofen. I buy an extra bottle of water to suck on during landing.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:04 AM on July 12, 2010

This happens to me after long plane rides. It usually takes about a day and a half to two days for me to feel better again. I've found that just resting for awhile seems to help more than anything else.
posted by parakeetdog at 11:53 AM on July 12, 2010

I'm just getting over this after flying back from Berlin on Saturday. For some reason, I feel less awful when walking or standing up ( I didn't notice the vertigo at all when walking to a cafe and watching the world cup), but the moment I sat down it was back. So I've been doing a lot of walking outside, and that helps. The other thing that seemed to help was drinking ginger ale with real ginger. I know it sounds like witchcraft, but having a Bundaberg really made me feel better.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:58 PM on July 12, 2010

I hope you're fully recovered by now, but for future reference if you mainly feel dizzy when you move your head, the Epley manoeuvre might help.
posted by lucidium at 7:00 AM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

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