Urgent - on holiday and ill. Possible Vertigo or Labyrinthitis?

Hello again. Can anyone help please? I'm on holiday in France and have been taken ill with severe vertigo. Ended up in hospital as unable to stop vomiting. Very frightening as unable to stand or walk without falling over. Was given IV fluids, something to control vertigo and anti-nausea medication. (All via IV)  Now released with anti-vertigo meds (Tanganil 500mg 2 x Daily for 2 weeks) and Vogaene Lyoc (for nausea, as needed) and told to 'rest.' Difficult to understand with language issues but it seems they think it's either inner ear infection (don't know if bacterial or viral) OR just issues with workings of inner ear. I'm in no pain and this came on with absolutely no warning and is really terrifying. 

 I've been pretty well for the last few months and my TSH etc is all good. I'm on 100mg Levo and 10mcg Lyothyronine. I've also been taking vit D & B supplements (inc B12) for last 5 weeks but forgot to bring them so haven't any vits for five days. 

Any advise please? I'm stuck in a hotel bedroom feeling absolutely awful and worried sick as can't drive until this stops.

Thank you. 

L x

37 Replies

  •  Lizzy,  if you were at home, it would be inconvenient but you would rest and take the medication.    But because you are on holiday and in a hotel, its scary.    No need though, just rest a few days and take the medication.    France is a lovely place with excellent health care.    

    Please dont waste your time and effort worrying about  someting you have no control over....  Its a change of plan.

    Enjoy the holiday, a couple of days blip and a hospital visit just makes it different to your usual holidays.

    Hoping you feel better pretty soon.

    Xx G. 

  • Thank you for your kind reply Galathea. I appreciate your reassurance but I've never experienced anything like this. I woke up at 5am with the room spinning so fast I thought I was having some kind of fit or stroke. Being unable to stand or walk - due to the severe dizzyness and vomiting - had to be taken into hosp by ambulance. This isn't just feeling a bit dizzy, this is terrifyingly out of control when I move my head even a fraction. I've been trying to read up on it (difficult with the spinning room)  but just wanted to know if anyone had experienced anything similar and might be able to give me some advice. This is more than a change of plan I'm afraid. I can't actually move from my bed. 


  • I get vertigo/ labyrinthitis, though not as badly as you seem to have it.There is nothing you can do other than take the meds and sit it out, if it is labyrinthitis it can take a few weeks to settle so could be a problem if you can't get home. Do you have insurance that could get you home ?

  • My mom has "rocks "going wrong in her ear.  Episode lasts about 10 months. For my mom it means she get these dizziness and vomiting attacks few times in 10 months. 

    Dizziness with vomiting lasts around 2-3 days. For her medication for nausea works fast.  She can be vomiting all morning and when she gets the pill she can get up from bed and eat some but move very carefully as sudden moves triggers the dizziness.

    Now that she has gotten used to these attacks she knows how to move and what to do.  After first 10 month episode she was symptom free for 6 years.  

    For her the specific exercises keeps the attacks away.  Was given by doctors and physiotherapists.  She does that even during attack and feeling dizzy laying down.  It's like moving from side to side so the rocks will settle.  

    It can take a day or two before you feel getting up from bed. My mom feels that faster she just gets up ,faster it gets easier. 

    First time she was also taken to hospital by ambulance and felt ill for four days.  

    I know it is scary and scary to watch someone being so ill. But I take care of my mom during these episodes and we have a routine for it now. During the worst dizziness I walk her but the moment she feels better and wants to get up she will do it and no fuss about it. Then I just help with things she knows worsen the dizziness. 

    My mom is 67 and just recently had another attack.  She got up right after I delivered her anti nausea medication and asked me to make her food.  

    During the attack she takes anti nausea med in the morning before getting up even if she did not feel nauseous.  Like 3 to 4 days.   Then she will just have her anti nausea medication with her in case a sudden movement triggers dizziness and nausea.  

    The most important thing is to move and work with balance. Exercise like that keeps the rocks moving correctly. 

    I hope you will soon feel better! 

  • Thank you for your reply - how lucky is your Mother to have you to take care of her! 

    L x

  • Hi LizzyB40,

    Sorry to hear that you are feeling so ill on holiday. I have had severe dizziness since I had a bad fall last year. It also happened when I moved whilst sleeping and the numbers on the bedside clock would spin furiously and then jump up and down.

    I was under a ENT Consultant, (not literally) Lol and a month ago he carried out a small procedure named Hallpike Manoeuvre.

    I haven't had 1 bout of dizziness since. Google Hallpike if you can. Have you got anyone with you as you are advised NOT to do this simple procedure on your own.

    I do intend to write a post here and on the PAS forum regarding this.

    Sorry I can't give you a direct link.

    This is just my experience as I am not a Doctor.

    Take care


  • Thank you for your kind reply - I'll get into Google. Please can you tell me what the PAS forum is? Yes, this came on in the middle of the night - I literally woke up to the room spinning around me! 

    L x

  • PAS = Pernicious Anaemia Society. 

    Have you got anyone with you LizzyB40?


  • Yes, my husband, thank goodness! Unfortunately he doesn't speak French so I'm having to do all the communicating with doc etc. 

    l x

  • Hi LizzyB40, its me again!  Have just been on the line with a highly respected Doctor personal friend of mine..  Described what happened to you.  He told me in no uncertain terms that he thinks it is "viral vestibular neuritis".  The French translation is "neuronite vestibulaire".  By googling these terms you should be able to learn more.  Hope this helps and wishing you luck and a speedy recovery.  Cheers.

  • You are a 🌟🌟🌟!! I'm onto reading about it now. Thank you xxx

  • Tigreg Lizzy has posted to me below but also asked me a question which was for you as you have the doctor friend. Please would you take a look at her question from 4 hours ago today and see if you can answer it? Thanks :)

  • Just a thought - had you done anything out of the ordinary the previous day or evening involving your neck or shoulders i.e. lifted a suitcase awkwardly, tripped and braced your arms and neck to stop yourself falling etc..? If so this could be coming from your neck in which case, when it has settled down a bit, a good osteopath or chiropractor or even a masseuse would be able to help you. Some are better than others though, so if you tried that you may want to ask around to find one who's recommended as being effective and gentle.

  • I'm currently seeing an osteopath in the UK for problems with my neck. (Arthritis and bulging disc) I'ts been quite bad over the last few days and I've been taking painkillers. I wonder if this might be making things worse. L x

  • In that case I'd think it more likely to be causing the vertigo than a sudden virus attack. The problem is that many doctors immediately think of illness or neurological problems rather than structural ones, which is a good thing if they can then rule out all the really nasty things. If you're away for long it might an idea to phone your osteopath and tell him what's happened and ask what he thinks and get an appointment for the day after you get home. I've had some very weird and horrible problems which all turned out to be coming from my neck :( 

    Good luck!

  • Thank you again for your very kind message and concern. Things haven't improved at all overnight but thank goodness the anti-nausea meds are working. My husband is having to do absolutely everything for me - I can't move my head more than a few centimetres without the room spinning violently. Did your doctor friend say how long this might go on for? This is now day three and I'm getting desperate again as there's no change. We were due to drive back to the UK on Tuesday and I can't even get out of bed without help. I'm going to e mail my osteopath today and ask him if he has any insight as to this being possibly due to my neck problems. He's very nice so hopefully will be able to advise. I'm also going to try and speak to my gp surgery in the UK and ask them for advice. It's just an awful situation. 

    L x

  • Oh this sounds terrible, you poor thing! If you keep your head and shoulders inline and move your upper body are you still dizzy? What this would work out is whether the dizziness is coming from your ears or your neck. You mentioned having a bulging disk in your neck, if that is C1 or C2 and it has become unstable that could be causing it, but you would need someone to be there to feel it to know if this is what's wrong. I hope your osteopath gets back to you straight away because he knows your history and would know if this is likely and what to do.

    I only know this from my own experience and mine usually subsides a bit as the muscles relax which takes about 3 days. Did the hospital carry out any tests such as holding your head and moving it to watch your eyes? Did they test you with hot then cold water in your ears? Or did they suggest a scan? If they didn't do any tests then I'm wondering if it may be an idea to go back so they can see that you're not any better and can arrange some tests at least to rule out certain things. They could also decide if you are ok to travel and how to get you home if not.

    It wasn't me who has the doctor friend so I've posted to Tigreg for her to see your post. I really hope this subsides soon, please keep coming back to let us know what is happening and how you are!

  • Hello again and thank you so much for your kind post. No, hospital only did bloods and tested my responses for stroke etc. plus ECG. Dizziness is manageable if I keep my head in one position and the anti nausea tabs are working well. I've e mailed my osteo but nothing back as yet. I'm now convinced - after lots of reading - that it's inner ear, because my eyes 'vibrate' when it's bad. (Can't explain it well!) And there's a couple of seconds delay when I move before the crazy spinning starts.  I'm feeling stronger today and managed to lie outside on the balcony for an hour which really pepped me up. Hubby propped me up with pillows and stayed on hand in case I had problems. I've eaten a little - couldn't face any food for last couple of days - and its stayed down. I'm going to try phoning my GP surgery in the UK tomorrow for advice. Thank you once again for taking the trouble to message me - I really appreciate it.

    L x

  • I'm really glad you're feeling stronger. I'm inclined to agree about it being inner ear now because I think it should have resolved more than it has done if it were from your neck. I understand about the eyes - nystagmus - really horrid when it happens!

    I had a lot of inner ear tests done to be certain that wasn't the problem in my case and you do need those if this doesn't resolve completely, or if comes back. Some are done lying down and the doctor should incline your head back and turn it to each side to check your eyes. Calorics are more advanced and involve warm and cold water in the ears - very sick-making - and again show the movement of your eyes. There are various others but I think those two are the first ones to be done and can show doctors a lot about what's going on.

    Good luck, I hope you get home ok and your next holiday is much more fun!

  • Hello Lizzy,  sorry for delay but I was out and missed your message to Framboise.  My Dr friend is unreachable for the moment but if I remember correctly I think he mentioned "about 10 days usually".  Obviously not good news for you at this time and place.  Here is a link to a good site that explains it all vestibular.org/labyrinthiti...

    Although I'm not a Dr I can say that I don't think it's down to a cervical problem.  I have been thru that and have had a cervical laminectomy from C2 down.

    If it is the vestibular thing, it sounds like you might have to rest up for a few more days.  Suggestion : try to get the hotel to phone the hospital, explain the situation, say that you have to get back to the UK, you cannot move, and is there any possibility of having the doctor who treated you come round to the hotel and examine you ?

    I hope you get better soon, it must be awful.

  • Thank you SO much once again. Please see my reply above to Framboise (I'm getting dizzy again just typing) I'm going to see how I go overnight again and make a few calls in the morning. 

    L x

  • Lizzy, hope it all goes well.  Will follow your progress...!

  • Hi, so sorry this has happened to you and worse that it's during a holiday.  My neighbour had almost exactly the same happen to her at home, just woke up to a spinning room and very sick, she was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and home later that evening, she has many auto-immune issues and now 5 weeks on she is driving again. She is 80 and living to the full. Hope this gives you a little comfort as she was terrified at the time and I've never seen an ambulance at theirs before.

    All the dizziness I have with my thyroid issues does panic me, it's unnerving when the brain and the body have 2 messages that don't line up.

    I really hope that you feel better soon and that you get to enjoy your holiday but maybe at a later date.

  • Thank you SO much for messaging me - I really appreciate it. I was absolutely terrified when it happened - convinced I was having stroke or something terrible happening to my brain. I've had so many issues since having TT eight years ago but finally in a good place with all my meds etc. I was totally panicked for the last couple of days but starting to cope now. It's horrid but I just keep telling myself I'm not dying. The people on here who have responded to my urgent call are wonderful - I wish I could give you all a big hug! 

    L xx

  • Thank you for reply - you've made me laugh with the 'Exorcist' comment. Yup, definitely horrifying! I'm so impressed with the kindness and care shown on here. Thank you all!

    L x

  • Hi , Sorry to hear about your Vertigo I suffer from it , I have it at the moment , which I've had for 4 weeks. It has improved to the extent that when I get up in the morning or turn quickly is the only time it really bothers me. I'm going to my gp for it checked out on tuesday , because I'm running out of the medication she gave me.

    A couple of years ago I had a really bad attack like yours, I saw a locum at my Doctors .

    Who quite frankly I thought had lost the plot. He did a manouver on me called the 'Epley manouver' . Apparently in your eardrum are crystals that get dislodged and cause vertigo. The next day I was up and about without assistance and although it hadnt gone it was 100 times better.

    If you go on the internet it explains all about it and you tube shows you how to do it.

    Ive not done it on me this time because my gp said it was Labyrinthytis, not convinced though.

    It might be worth you looking in to ' the epley manouver'

    Hope you get well soon.

  • Hi and thank you for the message. I've been reading up on things like the Epley manoeuvre - scary but possibly effective. Do you mind my asking what meds you e been given by doc for your latest attack? 

    L x

  • Hi , I was given Prochlorperazine 5 mg taking 1 tablet 3 times a day,

    I've been taking these for 4 wks , I've never had a bout of vertigo this long. 

    I have a lot of other medical problems that I'm having tests for , I'm wondering if the vertigos connected , that's why I'm going to see my gp on Tuesday . 

    Like I said previously my vertigo is 100 times better but hasn't gone but at least I'm upright and mobile and stopped feeling nauseous .

    If you've never had vertigo before it's quite terrifying 

    Sue  x

  • Thanks Sue, I appreciate your reply.

     I've been given anti nausea med called "Vogalene Lyoc" and anti vertigo drug called "TaganilGé" 

    Yes, you're right, was absolutely terrifying but I'm coping now. Unpleasant but I'm beginning to get to grips with it and not as frightened and stressed.

    Thank you.

    L x

  • Hi, Kai. That's very interesting , nobody as ever linked this . I never thought about it . My dizziness seems a permanent fixture now , although not stopping me doing anything as long as I stay poker straight , don't move sideways , backwards or forwards I'm ok . Not good , but cope .hope your improved after your terrible ordeal.

    Thanks for that info . Appreciated. X


  • Hi again, just to say a HUGE thank you to all of you who responded to my call for help. You're amazing. I'm not much improved but have actually spoken to my own GP back in the UK this morning. She's fantastic and has really reassured me, telling me I'm on the right track with meds, to seriously 'rest' and that hopefully another couple of days will see a bit of an improvement. She said that severe vertigo really is 'hell' and that she wasn't surprised I was terrified when it came on with no warning. So, I'll do what I'm told, will rest, try not to panic, and pray that I might begin to improve so that I can plan how to get home. Thank you all once again. You've been a wonderful support over the last few days. I hope I can do as much for someone else one day.

    L xxx

  • Hi Lizzy,  Oh you poor poor girl - sounds like Labyrinthitis - I had this last year it was the most frightening and awful thing I have ever experienced and that is saying something as I have Lupus !!!  Lizzy did you fly or travel to France by car?  Can you tell me ?   I was told it would go and I didn't need an antibiotic - I had to suffer for a whole ten days after being told it would be gone in a week as it was viral................it was only when I was given an antibiotic that it started to get better but it too a while before the ear settled completely but the antibiotic did help with the awful symptoms.    I am now paranoid about getting water in my ear as I am sure it was caused by the girl washing my hair at the hairdressers getting so much water in my ear that it caused an infection.   Always use ear plugs when washing your hair and make sure you sterilise them after each use.    If it helps people who don't 'quite' understand your condition - I was so bad with this - as indeed you are - I was vomiting and unable to get off the settee I wet myself (don't worry my husband padded out my beautiful leather settee with loads of towels) as I was unable to go to the loo without falling over.  The most frightening and awful thing I have ever ever experienced.  Let me know if there is anything else I can do.

  • Thank you so much for getting in touch. I'm now back in the UK after a rather tortuous car journey home. I've seen my GP and have been referred to an ENT consultant - although how long that will take to come through I don't know! I've been feeling much better this week and actually walked my dog a short way yesterday and went out to friend's house for supper last night.  Unfortunately the symptoms have reappeared overnight and I'm really dizzy again today. (No vomiting so far, thank goodness!) My husband thinks I might have overdone it yesterday but I needed to get out and see people and do things otherwise I'm going bonkers! I'll look into your link - thank you. And yes, it truly was the most horrid and frightening experience ever - hence my desperate shout-out in here. 

    Take care,

    L xx

  • Oh thank goodness you are home - I was so worried how you were going to get back...........Lizzy get some magnesium - a good quality one - it will help..................

  • Lizzy take a look at this - I am looking through the net to see if a vitamin deficiency (or at least if you took something to help) could be a saver for the nasty symptoms - be back in touch - I reckon it could be magnesium you need.   

  • Lizzy more here:  google this link:     what deficiency causes Labyrinthitis

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