View Full Version : Anyone having ear/dizzy problems after cruise?

Sammys Mom
04-13-2003, 10:41 AM
Okay, we have been back for a week now from the 3/29 western cruise and had an awesome time. One set back has been that I have been suffering from extreme vertigo ever since we got back and it doesn't seem to be getting better. The doc says I probably had an inner ear virus and the flight/boat set the vertigo off. Two days after we returned my sister called to tell me my niece (who cruised with us) had been off school two days with an ear infection/virus and dizziness. None of us had any problems with dizziness or seasickness on the cruise.

My niece seems to have gotten better. I wish I could say the same for me. Has anyone else had any experiences like this after cruising??

In the end, by hubby, daughter and niece all are ready to book again! They had a great time! I'm just waiting to find out how long I have to suffer with the dizziness before I jump on the bandwagon.:confused:

04-13-2003, 11:12 AM
I haven't had the vertigo experience as you BUT it is very normal to still feel like you are moving or feeling motion for a few days when back on land. I did have that feeling. Some people who have had the vertigo were told to continue taking Bonine for a while longer. I think it's even recommended for vertigo. Did you doctor prescribe this for you? Usually you get ear infections from something else like a cold. You cannot really catch an ear infection, it's a complication of another virus. It's also hard to say as some people get vertigo and have not been on a boat. Have you had vertigo before?

04-13-2003, 11:14 AM
Originally posted by Sammys Mom
Okay, we have been back for a week now from the 3/29 western cruise and had an awesome time. One set back has been that I have been suffering from extreme vertigo ever since we got back and it doesn't seem to be getting better.....

I wish I could say the same for me. Has anyone else had any experiences like this after cruising??

We cruised last May and when we got home I was dizzy also. It took about 2 weeks for it to finally go away. BTW, it didn't stop us from booking our next cruise ;) HTH

04-13-2003, 11:15 AM
My sister has it after every cruise. It lasts about three weeks. She hates it but not enough to quit cruising. Her Doctor told her lots of people get this, but not usually so long. Lucky her!!

disneyholic family
04-13-2003, 12:42 PM
we were only on the 3 day wonder cruise and didn't have any problems at all on the ship, however we did experience dizziness/movement for a full week afterwards...

04-13-2003, 01:18 PM
I don't have any information for you on your ear problem, but I just had to note that your user name caught my eye as I am ALSO a Sammy's Mom in real life! :)

04-13-2003, 01:58 PM
I've read of many people who experience dizziness for a short time following a cruise. For some, however, the condition, called mal de debarquement, is more serious. Here's a link with lots of info: http://www.etete.com/mdd/ .

04-13-2003, 02:03 PM
When we cruised in December, I came home and expected to feel the motion for at least a couple days (usually happens), but after two weeks got fed up with it and the doc said I had a virus as well! The only thing that works is time...oh and Nyquil at night!:)


04-13-2003, 03:52 PM
I did a 3 day cruise in 2000 and got the inner ear virus on the cruise. i just thought it was seasick since i'm prone. I was dizzy and had nausea for a month. my dr. gave me drops for my ears that helped alot. i also found that if i kept moving i felt better (long drives - but i had to drive). also keep your foot on the floor when going to sleep to avoid the bed spins.

i'm hoping i don't have the same problem when i go again :)

04-13-2003, 05:07 PM
I was also on the 3/29 cruise and both my husband and I felt dizzy for DAYS! I don't know what the heck it is, but it must be something to do with the cruise. Maybe your brain/inner ear somehow adjusts to the movement on the ship and then has a hard time adjusting back. We didn't have vertigo, but definite dizzyness. I think our tablemate SINK also said he got dizzy once on shore.

04-13-2003, 05:39 PM
Hi gang,
Couldnt help but notice this post and think of our neighbor.
She gets land sickness. She always says she has no problem during the cruise but when she steps off the ship she has the
symptoms of sea sickness. Ive read where this is quite common in folks who spend alot of time on board ships but can affect
short term sailors also . The cure from what I can understand is
the same as for sea sickness.Her doctor told her to use the patch
when she boarded and it should help her when she went back on land. Hope this helps ( by seasickness I mean dizzyness
and/or vertigo, not the vomiting some think of )



Sammys Mom
04-13-2003, 06:23 PM
I looked at the website for MDS and the symptoms match mine exactly. Including the fact that I feel better when driving. I just pray that I am not as bad off as the people on that site (some fight it for years and have to quit their jobs). I have a job that takes a very sharp mind and I am hoping I can get some of my concentration skills back soon. I am hoping that the severe cases are the only ones who post on the site and there are an equal number of mild cases like mine. It all was a bit depressing.

With that said, we are booking a second cruise with our neighbors (probably November). My hubby and my daughter just adored it. I figure I can alway cancel in a couple of weeks if I don't feel better by then.

04-13-2003, 08:22 PM
I get the ear thing everytime I fly. It has to do with the change in altitude. When I came home from the March 8th cruise, it wasn't as bad as it usually is. The rest of our group was all fine. Mine usually turns into an ear infection.

04-14-2003, 08:13 AM
since our cruise return on Feb. 15. It started within 32 hrs. of debarking and flying home and progressed with flu/pneumonia. There is a medical term for this viral infection of the ear-Labyrinthitis. I haven't been able to work. It is just starting to get better...two months later. But that's OK. I've been planning our next cruise with the time I've had off of work. :)

04-14-2003, 09:30 AM
I got it when I came back from my cruise.

I was in Universal Studio and I was dizzy. It was like the ground was moving.

Even, when I looked at our cruise video at home I felt dizzy the first week (it is crazy....)

During the first week, I felt it. However, it won't stop me to cruise again.

Sammys Mom
04-14-2003, 06:40 PM
Think I'm getting better. While things are still moving, it isn't constant anymore (intermittant). I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

I have to check availability for the week after November for our next cruise.

Thanks for all the responses. At least I don't feel like I'm alone in this feeling or crazy!

04-15-2003, 09:19 AM
We were also on the 3/29 Western and here is our health report: Granddaughter age 6 has an ear infection with bloody discharge, me (age 64) has sore throat and head congestion, daughter (age38) has had several episodes of nausea/vomiting. Must be a gender thing - none of the male's have been sick at all! Personally, I attribute it to doing too much and running ourselves ragged. Oh well, hopefully all will be well by our cruise next year!!

04-15-2003, 11:29 AM
I'll weigh in with our post-March 29 medical report.

One of my DS and my DD can't shake a bad cough, but the real problem is me.

I felt the cold-flu symptoms the minute I got back in my house Saturday night. I had ear, nose, & throat congestion as well as fever and sneezing. Since I use a CPAP machine to sleep, sleeping has been a nightmare for me with the nose congestion.

I was on anti-biotic for 5 days, they helped a little, but I went back to a ENT specialist today and he said I have a sinus and upper respiratory infection.

So now I'm on stronger anti-biotics and a mild steroid to clear the congestion.

And I was still swaying for a week or so after we disembarked.

04-15-2003, 01:06 PM
So - I'm not the only one with the viral ear infection. Of our group of 4 on the 2/8 Magic cruise, I am the only recipient of this mess. The flu/pnuemonia was a piece of cake in comparison to the ear problems. My hearing has improved as has my equilibrium, but I wish the ringing in my ears would stop! or at least be replaced by the Mickey whistle tune!!;)

Padre Disney
04-15-2003, 02:05 PM
So glad to see others have the same problem as I do. Was on the 3/15 cruise. Never felt sick on the cruise or after. About a week ago started having small dizzy spells. Had a bad case of labyrinthitis a few years ago and went to the hospital. Gave me a shot and cleared it right up. Thought this time it might be the same. I have a thyroid problem so doc thinks that might be part of the problem. Can drive fine and okay most of the day. Just certain times a real bad spell hits while at home doing normal activities. Not sure what starts it. Am taking the valium but it makes me really tired. Also taking a diuretic. Have a few days of treatment time left to see if it helps.
Can't fly at all cause the pain is so bad in the one ear. When I read the info on MENIER"S DISEASE I was shocked at how many things sound just like everthing I have happening with me.
I sure hope doc figures it out and things improve.
I wonder if the cruise had anything to do with putting me into this current problem. Last time it came out of no where.

04-15-2003, 07:03 PM
I was on a RCL four day cruise in 2/01 and started to feel the dizziness at the airport after disembarkation. My doctor gave me the same diagnosis as yours. Once on the prescription it took a good two weeks before I felt a lot better and still felt dizzy when bending over or turning quickly for weeks after that.

The good news is that we took a four day Disney cruise in February (also had a fantastic time) and did not have a repeat occurrence. I was a bit nervous, but chalk it up to a virus I came in contact with and hope it was a once time experience. Good luck.

04-15-2003, 07:24 PM
I hope you feel 100% soon!

I've had vertigo a few times. I tend to get episodes of it when I have head congestion. And one time from passing out and hitting my head. :rolleyes: My mom also suffers from it periodically, with no known cause. It's just awful!

04-15-2003, 08:56 PM
We felt like drunken sailors for a bit of time, but it was a nice feeling - like we never left "home"!!


04-16-2003, 09:34 AM
do you think the time of year for cruising has something to do with the viral ear infections that some of us have gotten? I know vertigo is pretty common and time does heal, but the viral infection is a horse of a different color. So, in comparing the months, I'm just wondering if it has a hand in this.

Padre Disney
04-16-2003, 10:09 AM
Almost all of my problems have happened in early spring. It has also happened when I was not cruising.

04-19-2003, 11:13 PM
I took a 4 day Disney cruise and then checked into the Hard Rock Hotel. I thought I was insane! I could not walk down the hallway, I thought the pattern of the rug was moving, lol.
Anyway, it went away but I am glad to find out I was not crazy.

I popped a blood vessel in my ear during my Aruba trip and had ear problems after the flight home. I now use "ear planes" everytime I fly and they equalize the cabin pressure so your ears dont pop. You can buy them in any pharmacy and they work like a charm.

disneyholic family
04-20-2003, 12:19 AM
if you are diagnosed with meniere's disease or meniere's syndrome...
or even if you're not but have the symptoms of it, let me highly recommend that you investigate betahistine dihidrochloride for it...
i think in england it's sold as betaserc.....
i don't know what the name is in canada, but the chemical name is the one i gave above...
it's sold everywhere in the world except the US....you can probably buy it online (i know there used to be a swiss pharmaceutical company that shipped to the US)....
it's a drug that's been in use for meniere's and meniere's symptoms for 40 years......the only place in the world it's not sold is the US, but that's because of a screw up that occurred back at the beginning of the drug.....
in any case, the drug totally saved my life...
i've been taking it for about 9 or 10 years now....that was after such a severe attack that i was bedridden for over 3 months.....(part of the time i had to lie in a totally darkened room with no noise or tv or anything....i couldn't even move my head...)...
once i started taking the drug i have only had 3 very very very mild attacks (when i increase to the maximum dosage)....
as i said it's a life saver....i've been able to work and more importantly make our annual trips to WDW....

good luck....

Padre Disney
04-20-2003, 09:14 AM
My regular doctor is sending to a specialist on Tuesday. I am worried that my regular doctor must not think it is something he can figure out or that I might have something more wrong with me that my doc isn't telling me about. This current episode is starting it's third week and I am getting tired of it. I can't enjoy normal daily functions with out having bad dizzy spells. I walk around very slow and try not to move around any more then needed. It is very hard for me because I have 4 kids. 17, 15, 13, 11. I feel like I'm 90. Will keep you posted as to what the new doc says. I am taking my info sheet on meniers and the medication you suggested and hope I get some help very soon.

04-20-2003, 11:41 AM
Padre Disney,
Hoping for the best for you. The decision to see a specialist is the best one your GP made for you. That is how I got my diagnosis through an Ear nose throat specialist.(ENT) My hearing was checked as well as the actual inner ear...all was a-ok...just the viral infection as I had mentioned prior posts. Good luck.

Sammys Mom
04-21-2003, 04:14 PM
Well two weeks back now and I had a relapse last wednesday. Went to the doctors because my ears hurt and the swaying got worse and to tell him that my niece who was on 3/29 western with us came down with an ear virus (she has since recovered but her little sister has it now). Well he put me on steroids to clear my tubes and that made me absolutely loopy! I literally felt like I was going to pass out after each dose. Anyways, ears still hurt but are not showing any sign of infection (no feaver or redness) so I just asked my doc to take me off all meds and I'll try and ride it out cold turkey. The swaying and imbalance haven't gone away but anything is better than the steroids!

I hope it won't be long. I'm putting off booking the next cruise until I see how long this lasts. By the way, I did hear inner ear problems from cruising are more common in females 40+. I'm 41 so the profile fits! Whats driving me nuts is not being able to exercise and feeling way out of control!

Lighter note...got pictures back. My daughter is starting on her scrap book. I really hope we can go back again. My hubby and daughter still think it was the best vacation ever, despite the weather!

Padre Disney
04-21-2003, 04:28 PM
I had used the steroids for about a week. I think I was just maybe starting to feel like I had a little more control and then the med ended. I am still on the diazepam and it makes me soooooo tired. Going to an ENT doc on Tuesday. I'll be turning 37 this summer and I think I act more like I'm 90. I walk around like I have my neck in a neck brace so I don't move my head. Seems to help a bunch but looks terrible.
I never once felt bad on the cruise and can't believe how bad I have felt since about 2 weeks after we got home. I really hope that taking the cruise isn't what started this whole thing all over again. I am looking forward to our trip next year but if this is what I have to look forward to when I get home I might have to let my famly go and I will stay home.

disneyholic family
04-22-2003, 02:38 AM
it's so unfortunate that you live in the US.....
there's a good chance that your ENT specialist won't even have heard of the medicine that i take since it's not available in the US...
it's such a wonder drug and with no side effects at all...
the only thing is i can't drink alcohol or take cold medication...but that's a small price to pay in my opinion for being able to live a normal life....
you can look the drug up online...i once did a search and found lots of personal webpages of americans who use the medication i use...they either go to buy it in canada (if they live nearby) or they order it online....
go to www.google.com and search on "betahistine dihydrochloride"

i just did that search and went to one of the articles...apparently, serc (the brand name for the medicine) is the most prescribed anti-vertigo medicine in canada.....

04-22-2003, 08:02 AM
Padre Disney,
Don't give up hope. I've been under the weather for two months. I also started the steriods (prednisone) on a tapering basis for 14 days as prescribed by my Gp. After day 4, I saw the ENT and he had me slowly stop them, said they were not necessary with Labyrinthitis ( no fluid in the ear or inflammation). The diagnosis is important in the type of treatment. I then had something going on with my stomach and no improvement with the ears so my GP put me on Flagryl for 10 days. Finally some relief. I'm not 100% yet, but a big improvement. Residual effects are stiff neck and shoulders usually late afternoon. There are times I can barely hold my head up and noisy areas really bother me. This too shall pass with time I pray. Oh and that ringing is still going on in my head....just waiting to hear that Mickey whistle!!;)

Padre Disney
04-22-2003, 05:45 PM
I wish the low humming sound I have in my left ear was the sound of the sail away Mickey whistle.
Just saw the ENT. Said I have fluid in my ear and that my eardrum looks like it has a vacuum sucking on the other side. Fluid is causing me to be dizzy. My eardrum has damage from many many ear infections when I was a child and had tubes put in. Fluid has not responded to any meds the regular doc has tried. The ENT wants to put in a tube again to drain the fluid right away. Said I should get better right away. Or leave everything alone and that I will get better in time. The problem is that it could be weeks or MONTHS before I am better. YIKES. Oh he also said that I should try to figure out what makes me dizzy and repeat those steps 5 or 6 times 3 or 4 times a day and sooner our later my brain won't respond. Okay guys is this guy for real or?
I am happy that it seems like my problem is not serious or at least I think it isn't.
He said that most of the time people have spells that are set off because of a viral infection of some kind.
I just want to get this whole thing figured out and over with before my next cruise. I guess one way to look at it is when I am walking around I still feel like I am walking around on the ship. :D

disneyholic family:
I do not drink alcohol on a daily basis but I do like a glass of wine or two on the weekends and on special occasions strawberry margaritas so I don't think I would want to take the medication you have mentioned. Thanks for the info.

04-22-2003, 08:57 PM
Padre Disney,

My son never had ear problems until he was about 8-9 yrs old. The ENT suggested ear tubes or Flonase spray. We tried the Flonase even though it was not meant for children and it worked great. He still occasionally had ear problems and the antibiotics dont seem to clear it up. But a week of Flonase spray before bedtime does the trick for him. It seems to dry up the fluid in the ears. Have you ever tried it? Maybe ask your doctor?

Wishing on a star
04-23-2003, 08:10 AM
I just remembered something strange that I saw on TV years ago... Now, if memory serves, it is about a lady who had similar problems. ( I am not sure what set them off. ) And her inner ear was all screwed up. I imagine that the DR. made sure that any infection, excess fluid, etc... was cleared up. And then he did something strange. In order to to straiten out the inner ear and get the equilibrium back, he had the woman sit on the treatment table, and with assistance, in one quick motion, just quickly went down to the right, to a laying on her side position, and right back up. Then they did this to the left... (like windshield wipers) It seems like they repeated this motion several times. It was like they were trying to re-align the workings of the inner ear. I do not remember if she had to go in for multiple treatments.... Anyhow, this seemed to work.

Of course, I am NOT saying that anyone should try this at home!!!! Wouldn't want to cause additional problems. But I remembered this, and wondered if anyone here has heard of this. Just in case it may be helpful for anybody. Funny, the little things that you remember that pop into your head!!!

Padre Disney
04-23-2003, 08:17 AM
wishing on a star
It sounds like the ENT is on the correct path. Maybe if I repeat the motions over and over it will get better. I can tell you that since I got home I have stopped holding my head still and have been moving around as much as possible. I woke up today and was surprised that I am a little better today. I am sooo looking forward to sailing again.

04-23-2003, 08:30 AM
Padre Disney,
I would think you have the same diagnosis from both Drs.-the fluid in your ear(s). If it is not responding to typical treatment of antibiotics and steroids, then I think you may have the answer...implanting tubes. There is always the second opinion option, or should I say third opinion in your case. I personally would want relief now.....I wouldn't want to wait and see. My case is a bit different..no fluid or prior history, so I can handle the *give it time*. I dread, however, now that we are into Spring, the allergies that lie in wait. I was a true born Island girl (LI)....I need the salt air, can't handle the mountain air and TREES! Arghh!

Sammys Mom
04-23-2003, 06:13 PM
Saw doc again today. He wants to do an MRI and send me to a ENT specialist. Doesn't think there is anything wrong with my brain but says these symptoms should not be getting worse after 3 weeks so he wants to be sure.....Oh boy...here we go....

Anyways, he put me on the third type of meds today. I'll let you know if they work. My ears ache and my imbalance is worse than ever so something's got to give!! Missed two days in a row of work which is a first for me in 20 years of working! I tried the exercises described above but didn't seem to get anything out of them. They supposedly only work for positional vertigo. Mine is more like constant vertigo (except when sitting absolutely still or in a car driving).

Padre, Keep me posted on how you are doing!