Vertigo and flying

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Vertigo and flying

Postby Gregorio » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:39 pm

Hi All. I suppose this is a basic question from one that would like to go to flight scholl, so it seems to fit the category.

I've had labyrinthitis in the past and it left its marks. Still today I have episodes of vertigo from time to time, some mild, some a bit stronger. Only twice had I severe vertigo where I almost fell to the floor - those are in the long past though. If I keep hydrated, avoid too much stimulants such as coffee, and take medication if necessary, I sometimes spend months without a single vertigo episode though.

Question is, I know it may differ from contry to country in terms of how this is regulated, but would I still be a candidate for a private pilot license? Or should I, for the sake of my safety, and the others' too, stick with FSX?

BTW, I would get a license because I like this thing we call aviation :) I do not intend to follow a career on it - at least for now.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Vertigo and flying

Postby aeroart » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:38 pm

Hello Gregorio,

I suggest that you consult with a physician who performs flight physicals. He or she will tell you if you can qualify. I think you should do that before you spend any money on lessons.

I hope you will be able to pursue your interest in flying.

Art
Last edited by aeroart on Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vertigo and flying

Postby machineman9 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:07 pm

Hello Gregorio,

I suggest that you consult with a physician who performs flight physicals. He or she will tell you if you can qualify. I think you should do that before you spend any money on lessons.

I hope you will be able to pursue your interest in flying.

Art

I think this is good advice for anyone who wants to fly. You will have to get a medical at some point - It might as well be as early as possible. There is no point in spending a lot of money on lessons if you won't be able to qualify.
Last edited by machineman9 on Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vertigo and flying

Postby wifesaysno » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:35 pm

hmm...I probably should do that too. I have been getting vertigo off and on for about 8 months now. Some times so bad even moving my eyes makes me feel sick. I have missed over a dozen lectures this year because of it, however mine seems to come and go with allergy problems.
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Re: Vertigo and flying

Postby beaky » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:08 pm

I don't know you and I'm not a doctor, so I can't advise you about your main question ("am I OK to fly?"). But personally, if I were prone to dizzy spells, I wouldn't trust myself. I think I'd also be concerned about my health in general... it could be a sign of something serious.
But you should look into this anyway... there may be a solution, for the medial certificate and for the dizziness itself. This will take some effort, and probably some money... but whatever you do, do not try to hide it from the aviation authorities.

I don't know how they handle it in Brazil, but the FAA does not take kindly to pilot applicants who lie or omit important things like that on the medical questionnaire.
If you were diagnosed and treated for this vertigo, it is on record somewhere... so whatever you do, do not fail to report it to the aviation authorities. If it is not on record, all it will take is an episode- in the air, or at the airport- and there could be trouble for you (aside from the obvious safety issues).
You may end up wasting all that time and money to get a pilot's certificate you cannot legally use. It may be difficult to satisfy them that you are not a hazard with this  condition, but if they catch you lying or you don't do your homework first, it will be impossible.

That being said, your history with vertigo may not be a show-stopper; here in the USA there are conditions and medications that are acceptable; you don't have to be some sort of "perfect specimen".
I advise you to review the Brazilian aviation regulations, and consult a medical examiner- but NOT the one who will give you your physical. They will probably want to see any records of your illness, so get copies. It may be that you can still make the grade, IF you have the correct treatment, documents, etc.
I also advise you to clear all this up before you start flight training; you may even need a valid airman's medical certificate anyway, just to fly solo during your training (as in the USA).
Last edited by beaky on Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vertigo and flying

Postby G.K. » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:31 am

As others have said, get it checked by a Doctor, it should be noted.

My wife suffers from labyrinthitis. In the past she has had episodes were she couldn't get out of bed without throwing up. The Doctor showed her how to do the Epley maneuver which proved to be helpfull. She now rarely gets it.

We are keen dinghy sailors, we sail 3 or 4 times a week, we compete at a high level (open events and world championships). The year before last we did a long distance dinghy race and the weather deteriorated with wind gusting force 7, it was like a roller coaster ride from hell. My wife was fine, in fact, in retrospect it was the most fun we've had for ages (on a boat ;)).

Clearly she wouldn't sail during an episode, but they are few and far between and she knows when it's comming on, in that respect it's a bit like a cold.

I guess flying is more tightly regulated and rightly so, in the end you'll have to get an expert opinion, no point wasting money if it's a non starter :)
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Re: Vertigo and flying

Postby Scatterbrain Kid » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:40 pm

I used to get dizzy spells many years ago if I moved my head to pick something up or when turning over in bed but they weren't serious and only lasted a few seconds, I gather it's just the 'gyro' in the inner ear playing up from time to time.

But once I had a real humdinger of a dizzy spell that knocked me off my feet, I'd just eaten 6 packets of 'Quavers' crisps one after the other, so maybe an ingredient or flavour additive was responsible, and I've never touched them since!

Some people get Meniere's Disease which causes dizzy spells, like astronaut Alan Shepard-
[i]WIKI:- "his flight status was interrupted for five years (1964
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Re: Vertigo and flying

Postby wifesaysno » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:40 pm

Gregorio, I have not had any vertigo spells since being insistent on taking decongestants and allergy meds. My sinuses cleared up and that seemed to do the trick. For me, the head congestion screws with my inner ear and gives me vertigo. If your's is actually an illness or something like that then you really should get on some meds ASAP to control it.
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Re: Vertigo and flying

Postby Scatterbrain Kid » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:53 am

And the internet is a powerful reassuring tool for understanding a malady by googling it and we end up knowing more about it than the doctors..:)
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Re: Vertigo and flying

Postby tommchowat » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:16 pm

Couldn't agree more. The last thing you want to do is go on the net and google something that might be wrong with you. It'll end up telling you you've got cancer or something.

Best of luck by the way.
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