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Old 19-09-2011, 19:09   #1
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Vertigo ?

I'm asking because I recently spent 2 1/2 weeks on a boat in the Pacific. My first time on the pacific. The first 3 days were spent at the dock. I was fine. A 4+ hour passage and anchored over night. The swells and waves didn't seem bad, mild compared to another experience. I was still fine.

Woke up the next morning convinced I was suffering carbon monoxide poisoning because I was so dizzy. Vomited once after rising because my head was spinning so bad. After that I felt better. Except the vertigo never went away entirely. Not for the next 2 weeks!

I was able to pull sheets, walk about, cook, eat, drink, be at the helm, spend time down below (while at anchor, underway or at a slip) But every time I looked up or looked down I'd experience vertigo! Side to side head motion had no effect.

I was still experiencing this effect during/after an all day land excursion!

I took alka-seltzer + (decongestent) as suggested by a kind boater that I met. That did help minimalise the symptoms but not eradicate them.

I was fine once I reached LAX on a return flight only 5 hours after disembarking. WTH!

Just a little dismayed because I want to live on a boat and cruise. If anyone has experienced similar please tell me how you dealt with it. I'm really hoping that people will tell me it will dissipate over time. I've never had this problem before, but my only previous experiences has been on the Atlantic and Caribbean.
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Old 19-09-2011, 19:27   #2
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I spent a long week in London in June. Had a wonderful time but pushed myself too hard. On the flight home I started feeling flushed. Next day I couldnt stop coughing. That lasted a couple of days and a dr visit for antibiotics which did nothing for two weeks. Then the vertigo started. I pikes for three days till a visit bAck to the dr to get cipro. A heavy antibiotic. That worked to kill something but the vertigo didn't go away. Back to an ent dr but he couldn't find much other than I had vertigo. Duh! I still have it. Dr said live with it and it should go away. It's been nearly 3 months. I'm waiting.
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Old 19-09-2011, 19:29   #3
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Infection, Food, travel, sleep, priors, allergies, medicines, sun, circumstances?

Those with better medical information than myself will probably chime in but I'd be curious about:-
Infection:- Was there any sign of an infection, particularly ear, nose or throat? Ears cleared OK on plane, diving?
Food:- Did you eat anything different to your normal diet?
Travel:- How far did you travel? Across how many time zones? How long did it take?
Sleep:- Were your sleep patterns similar to normal? Awoke the same way?
Priors:- Any existing medical conditions? Low blood pressure?
Allergies:- Any allergies - food (esp. seafood), textile...
Medicines:- Take any medications?
Sun:- Did you get sunburnt?
Circumstances:- What were your circumstances prior to the trip? What were the general circumstances of the trip?

Did any of the others on board have any problems?
What sort of boat was it?

This is a public Forum so please be cautious in your replies.
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Old 19-09-2011, 19:39   #4
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Re: Vertigo?

My Wife has been suffering from vertigo for the last 3 months. The MDs have determined that it was neither ear or eye related but something neurological. I have heard about anecdotal instances where there is a virus that will cause the vertigo, and that there is no treatment, it just has to run its course. There are also bacterial infections that can work on the inner ear to cause vertigo.
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Old 19-09-2011, 19:49   #5
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Re: Vertigo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadagirl View Post
I'm asking because I recently spent 2 1/2 weeks on a boat in the Pacific. My first time on the pacific. The first 3 days were spent at the dock. I was fine. A 4+ hour passage and anchored over night. The swells and waves didn't seem bad, mild compared to another experience. I was still fine.

Woke up the next morning convinced I was suffering carbon monoxide poisoning because I was so dizzy. Vomited once after rising because my head was spinning so bad. After that I felt better. Except the vertigo never went away entirely. Not for the next 2 weeks!

I was able to pull sheets, walk about, cook, eat, drink, be at the helm, spend time down below (while at anchor, underway or at a slip) But every time I looked up or looked down I'd experience vertigo! Side to side head motion had no effect.

I was still experiencing this effect during/after an all day land excursion!

I took alka-seltzer + (decongestent) as suggested by a kind boater that I met. That did help minimalise the symptoms but not eradicate them.

I was fine once I reached LAX on a return flight only 5 hours after disembarking. WTH!

Just a little dismayed because I want to live on a boat and cruise. If anyone has experienced similar please tell me how you dealt with it. I'm really hoping that people will tell me it will dissipate over time. I've never had this problem before, but my only previous experiences has been on the Atlantic and Caribbean.
Was it like "bed spins" dizziness? There are a couple of causes for that. It can be an inner ear infection -- I've had that, and it's miserable, because it's virtually always viral, and antibiotics are no help.

Then my ear filled up with fluid so much that it loosened a little crystal that's supposed to stay at the bottom of the hairs of the chochlea. If it floats freely it stimulates them and the whole world spins.

That's positional, and there's actually a physical therapy. I have learned that I simply cannot look straight up for any length of time without triggering this, and it's AWFUL. It would put me off the boat; the first time I had it, it lasted three months. The second time I had it I knew the exercises to do to get the crystal settled down again, and it only lasted a couple of days.

It's very serious around a boat because of the very real danger of falls. It's nothing to mess with. Bad accidents are very common. If it comes back again, you should get yourself to a doctor so you can find out what the cause is. If you're lucky, it's positional and you may well be able to make it go away.
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Old 19-09-2011, 20:10   #6
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That's just it. It didn't linger afterwards. After I was on the flight home it was gone. But why didn't it go away on the all day excursion ?

I'm healthy. On no meds. Last had a physical in May. Blood test came back good on cholesterol and tryglycerides. No fever. Was a 3 hour distance from my time zone. Have a history of bad ear infections, that's why I'm thinking inner ear especially since the decongestant did help some. I was dehydrated but solved that but the symptoms persisted. I did not feel, before, during or after, congested or ill. Just dizzy during.
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Old 19-09-2011, 20:25   #7
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Re: Vertigo?

Talk to your doctor about getting checked for labyrithitis... its a realtively common but often misdiagnosed viral infection that presents like vertigo / dizzyness
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Old 19-09-2011, 20:39   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weyalan
Talk to your doctor about getting checked for labyrithitis... its a realtively common but often misdiagnosed viral infection that presents like vertigo / dizzyness
I will consult a doctor. But I'm skeptical because I felt well before, during and after. Just vertigo during. If I were ill I'd think the symptoms might proceed or linger. Not in this case though.
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Old 19-09-2011, 20:42   #9
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Re: Vertigo ?

perhaps you can try ginger pills.
read up on ginger and sea sickness.

ginger and vertigo gets a lot of info too
http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...w=1333&bih=869
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Old 19-09-2011, 21:02   #10
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Thank you. I was offered ginger but declined. My stomach was never upset or queasy after that first initial upset. I was never miserable. I was able to perform "almost" normally. Ate and drank very well without upset. Socialized, walked, talked, never lost my balance, caught lines, tossed lines, I could do most anything. But damn, looking up to check the Tell-tails messed with me a bit! It's just weird!
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Old 19-09-2011, 21:10   #11
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Re: Vertigo ?

hydration in certain circumstances also helps that. woke up one morning and had a severe case of dizzies for 2 weeks ..thought i was going to fall off earth. i rehydrated and it got a lot better. see an md for making sure isnt anything bad.
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Old 19-09-2011, 22:07   #12
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Re: Vertigo ?

Quote:
Have a history of bad ear infections, that's why I'm thinking inner ear especially since the decongestant did help some.
You may well be on to something. If you have indeed had serious inner ear infections, scar tissue may make you prone to a build up of fluid in the ears. It is possible you were not ill, but may have suffered a mild allergic reaction to something causing fluid build up in the inner ear. Since Alka-zeltzer with decongestants seemed to help, I would classify your case of vertigo as possibly peripheral (as opposed to central). You should consult an inner ear specialist and see if he could advise you on an appropriate antihistamine.

You also mentioned being dehydrated; this can cause severe vertigo symptoms. You should always maintain your fluid levels as much as possible. One needs approximately 2.7L of fluids per day, for a human female. A fair portion of this is contained in food, but at least a liter of water per day should probably be consumed.
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Old 20-09-2011, 05:16   #13
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Re: Vertigo ?

Also check out Meniere's disease:

Ménière's disease - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 20-09-2011, 07:00   #14
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Re: Vertigo ?

As others have intimated, it might have nothing at all to do with the boat or with motion sensitivity. I have twice in my life experienced persistent vertigo like you are describing. Both times it was related to ear infections. Both times it started quite suddenly. Once it lingered for a month and slowly got less and less. Once it went away as suddenly as it started.

This really sounds like something like that. I doubt that it is related in any way to being on the boat.
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Old 20-09-2011, 07:00   #15
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Re: Vertigo ?

I took a couple of trips in the Caribbean in the mid eighties on a monohull. After about 2 days of rolling in the swells at night I got terrible vertigo. It seemed to last about 1-2 months. Went to an ENT and he said some people are just susceptible to the motion. I thought my sailing days were over then I was introduced to the catamaran. I still get slight vertigo from the motion but nothing like before.
About 3 years ago I possibly had a capillary in my ear burst. I have been fighting vertigo since, sometimes severe sometimes mild.
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