Since this comes up often as a topic in many of my posts, I thought I’d address how I prepare for flights. Flying with a vestibular disorder such as Meniere’s can be tricky, but not impossible. Many of us do it. These are some tips I have picked up along the way to make it easier and less stressful on me. Let’s face it traveling is stressful even for healthy people.
1. Book wheelchair assistance in advance. This gets you through the airport crowds and security quicker and takes away the stress of finding the correct gate. Make sure you get to the airport a couple of hours early…
2. Blue Light Filtering lenses or glasses help shield your eyes from the fluorescent lights or whatever kind of lights they are using now.
3. Earplugs help drown out all the noise from people and machines. I like the ones that look like screws, but you might need to experiment to find ones that work for you. This is especially helpful at McCarran Airport where there is also slot machines.
4. Rescue medicine- whatever helps you with an attack. I.E. Meclizine, Valium, etc
5. Motion Sickness Aids- sea bands, otc meds, a patch or whatever. I am fortunate I don’t get motion sickness.
6. Chew, eat or suck on gum or candy when taking off and landing. This helps alleviate the pressure in my ears. It’s not perfect, but it helps.
7. Mobility Aid- I carry a folding cane with me as I never know when my balance will be way off. People tend to get snippy when you crash into them.
8. Rest before traveling. I should have put this first. The most important thing I do to prepare for a trip is rest the day before traveling. I think it helps my body to be fully rested before a long journey.
9. Pack lightly, but be prepared. LOL! You don’t want to carry your heavy suitcase on your lap as your wheeled through the airport, though some of the valets (I don’t know what the assistants are called,) can handle your suitcase too. Wear your heaviest shoes on the plane if your taking more than one pair. If you will be walking a lot… my hiking shoes were perfect in Ireland, better than my Sketchers, which didn’t seem to have enough arch support and weren’t waterproof.
10. Compression socks are worth it for long flights. My legs weren’t tired after our journey to and from the UK via Canada from Las Vegas last year.
11. Neck pillow- I purchased an inflatable neck pillow and it was fabulous. Better than the one my husband purchased for himself, because I could adjust the cushion to my neck.
I hope these tips help you when you fly. Don’t stop living because you have a chronic debilitating illness. Live on the good days and rest on the bad!