Mar 112017

desi Traveler Learns about Vertigo 


I was walking in our society garden when two 9-year-old kids interrupted my walk and asked me a question

“Uncle do you know how many floors are there in Burj Khalifa “

For a moment I felt happy that probably these children are friends of my kids and know that I am a travel blogger who loves to visit new places. Unfortunately, I had no idea how many floors are there in Burj Khalifa, so I just said “I think there are more than 100 “,

“Well uncle, that to even we know, but we need to know the exact number so can you please Google in your phone and inform us” As an obedient uncle, I checked the global uncle G  and informed them that there are 163 floors in Burj Khalifa.  One of the kids jumped with joy and said “See I told you it is more than 150, floors anybody’s head will spin at that height“

I left the kids to enjoy their theories on height and head spinning and continued my walk on terra firma.

But as I started my walk again this little rendezvous with the kids took me back many years when I climbed what was the highest tower in those days the Sears Tower in Chicago USA. That was the day I not only climbed the highest building in North America in those days but also had my first encounter with Vertigo.

As I tried to click the Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline, I suddenly felt a grip on my hand. I realized one of my fellow travelers had clasped my hand and was struggling to stand.

Skydeck Chicago Vertigo

Views Like These. Image via Shutterstock

What happened I asked him? He could not speak but tried to move his hand around his head trying to imply that his head is spinning.

Although it was he who was suffering, but as a layman, I panicked and tried to do my best to help him.

It took me a few moments to compose myself and get back to normal to help him better. We later took him to our company doctor who also was an Indian.

Once we explained to him what happened he informed

Vertigo inducing view of skyscrapers

Can make the world spin Image via Shutterstock

What you experienced on top of the building was a mild case of Vertigo, it happens to many people when they see below from a tall building, or mountain etc.”

Vertigo? I wonder how one knows they have vertigo I asked the good doctor.

Well the classic symptoms of Vertigo are as follows he informed me

  • Vomiting.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Nausea.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Loss of balance.
  • Unsteadiness.

Now we were worried as we were far off from our home in a foreign country for training, foremost on our mind was would this jeopardize his training and would he be asked to go back to India?

But our fears were unfounded. As the doctor explained that he need not worry and need to take some simple precautions to avoid a further attack like not to read/work on the laptop when traveling in a car, bus or train. Another valuable suggestion was not to do any sudden movements as this leads to displacement of fluid in our ears from where our sense of balance is maintained, and avoid loud music as that can also lead to Vertigo.

Head Spinning Vertigo

A classical sign of Vertigo is head spinning Image via Shutterstock

After that I have had my encounter with Vertigo a few times, once during a trek, one of the trekkers panicked when we had to cross a rivulet and the only place to get a firm foothold was the edge next to a steep fall. I do not blame him, as even I was panicking looking at the steep fall next to our path. Well, we tied him to rope with two other fellows and slowly walked away from there.  Fortunately during my travels never a serious situation has arisen due to vertigo, but I am always conscious of making sure that if anybody is suffering from same we should be prepared to help them in best possible way.  One of the key things that I learned during our outdoor leadership certification program with GHAC  was that never overestimate yours or your team’s abilities in dangerous situation, you are not on a hike to challenge the mountain but to be part of the nature so if any situation demands caution then one must exercise restrained without resorting to bravado.

Let us go back to the kids who questioned me about the number of floors in Burj Khalifa, and asked me to check Google for the same.

As I had gone back to the top of Sears’s tower (now called Willis Tower) with my first encounter with Vertigo, I decided to do some more research on Vertigo. The foremost question in my mind was

“Today every answer is in our phone so is there an app for Vertigo also” I first laughed at my own thoughts but the anyways decided to type in Google “App for Vertigo” and to my surprise, I found the VertiGo Exercise App for rehabilitation and home exercises.  I wondered what an app will do in case somebody has an incidence of Vertigo.

But this app has some good features that can help people suffering from Vertigo can use. The app helps you record the incidences and then gives you various exercises with help of Augmented Reality to overcome Vertigo and can be considered your own vertigo personal exercise trainer, that helps you understand and overcome Vertigo with help of exercises that involve multi-discipline approaches like breathing, head movements and various physical activities that take you through a step by step guide to vertigo management. As the person who suffers from Vertigo symptoms may not be in a position to act judiciously during a Vertigo attack, I think it is important that those close to them are also aware of Vertigo and what to do in a situation when there dear ones suffer is important.

As for my friend who suffered from Vertigo in Chicago is doing fine and last heard he was going on a hike in Grand Canyon.

Do you know anybody who has experienced Vertigo? Maybe you should share the VertiGo Exercise App with them as it may help them in managing their situation better. After all many an answers today are found inside our smartphones as the 9-year-old kids reminded me.

Note: This post is written in collaboration for Vertigo awareness.

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  9 Responses to “Burj Khalifa and the Zen of Vertigo Management”

Comments (9)
  1. Although I had never experienced vertigo myself nor did I came across anyone suffering from the same but it is really important to stay informed as we never know when it is required. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Really nice pics…

  3. I have never felt it myself but I know a lot of people who do and avoid heights. It’s good that they have an app for it now.

  4. My only encounter with vertigo was the movie. But I did experience altitude sickness in Rohtang pass. And it felt like I’m about to die.

  5. There’s an app for that? I should see if there’s an app for people with migranes. (That reminds me my phone is already crammed with apps and pictures and what not. )

    Before that, that pic of the spinning tree is scary. Oh my!
    Burj Khalifa and Sears Tower … sometime soon I hope. 🙂 I love views from places like that. I can’t bear the thought of everything around me, spinning

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