Allergies can cause several unpleasant symptoms, but is dizziness one of them?
The short answer is yes! Allergies can make you dizzy, In rare cases, allergies can even cause vertigo, a more intense form of dizziness. But why do allergies cause dizziness? And what can you do about it?
In this article, we’ll talk about what might bring about this symptom and ways you can manage your allergies. If you want to find the source of your allergies, get your at-home allergy test from Wyndly, or read on to learn more about the link between allergies and dizziness.
Dizziness occurs when a person feels off balance, light-headed, or unsteady. In some cases, they may feel faint or woozy. Vertigo can also be a symptom of dizziness. When experiencing vertigo, a person feels as though they or their environment is spinning. In extreme cases, vertigo can cause disequilibrium, where you have difficulty moving within your environment.
Difference Between Vertigo and Dizziness
Vertigo is a symptom of dizziness, but not everyone who gets dizzy experiences it. When you’re dizzy, you may feel unsteady or light in the head. You may want to sit down or hold on to something next to you. Vertigo, on the other hand, makes it feel like you or everything around you is moving or spinning, even though you are still. Vertigo is disorienting and may cause you to stumble or fall.
Dizziness can result from common allergy symptoms that impact the inner ear and affect your sense of balance. Here are some of the ways allergies cause dizziness.
Inner Ear Issues
Several allergy symptoms can cause inner ear issues with the eustachian tube that connects your inner ear and throat. This tube helps with your balance and keeps the pressure in your inner ear equalized.
Allergies can make your ears feel clogged due to the mucus and inflammation in your inner ear, making it difficult for your eustachian tube to operate normally. This irregular clogging stops the eustachian tube from functioning properly and can cause dizziness.
Medication Side Effects
Many allergy sufferers opt for over-the-counter allergy medications to manage their allergy symptoms, but some come with some unwanted side effects. While drowsiness is one of the most common, dizziness can be a side effect too. Check the information on the back of your allergy medication to see if dizziness is a side effect. If it is, talk to your doctor about other options.
Congestion is a common allergy symptom that can also bring on dizziness. Congestion can cause your inner ear to swell and make it difficult for your eustachian tubes to drain. Without proper drainage, these tubes can’t regulate inner ear pressure and may lead to being dizzy.
Postnasal drip can cause mucus to build up in your eustachian tubes, which disrupts your balance regulation and causes dizziness. When you have allergies, it’s common for excess mucus production to happen, which leads to post-nasal drip. This mucus runs from your nasal passage to the back of your throat, where the eustachian tubes drain.
Excessive bouts of coughing can sometimes make you feel dizzy or lightheaded. When you’re congested or have post-nasal drip, you may cough more than usual, causing further inflammation around the eustachian tubes.
In rare cases, allergies can cause a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires emergency medical attention. Dizziness can be a symptom of anaphylaxis, along with hives, nausea, trouble breathing, and swelling of the throat, mouth, lips, and skin. If you’re experiencing an anaphylactic reaction, contact emergency services immediately.
If allergies make you dizzy, there are options to manage and even treat your symptoms.
Antihistamines are one of the most common over-the-counter medications for managing allergy symptoms, especially dizziness. Antihistamines provide short-term relief from several allergy symptoms and are widely available.
Because these medications can relieve symptoms of congestion, postnasal drip, and coughing, they may reduce inflammation in the ears and nasal passages. This combination can restore inner ear equilibrium and eliminate dizziness.
In short, taking care of your dizziness symptoms means managing the underlying allergy symptoms that cause them. In addition to antihistamines, you can try other over-the-counter treatments like nasal sprays, decongestants, and neti pots. These treatments target nasal inflammation and congestion and may provide the relief you need.
Consider Sublingual Immunotherapy
Managing your symptoms with medications can provide short-term relief, but it doesn’t treat your symptoms at their source. If you’re looking for allergy treatment that can give you long-term relief, consider sublingual immunotherapy.
Sublingual immunotherapy introduces small amounts of your allergen to your immune system in incrementally increasing doses over time. This process retrains your immune system to ignore these substances instead of creating an allergic response. Sublingual immunotherapy is a simple, pain-free form of immunotherapy that you can do in the comfort of your home. Over time, you experience fewer symptoms and find long-term allergy relief.
Reduce Your Exposure
Another way to manage dizziness caused by allergies is by limiting exposure to your allergens. There are several ways to do this:
- Check pollen levels: For seasonal allergies, check the pollen count when you get up in the morning. Various apps and websites can tell you the local pollen count. On days when the level is high, stay indoors or wear a mask when you go out.
- Clean your house: Keeping your home clean reduces exposure to allergens. Using a HEPA-filter vacuum can help you reduce pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens from floors and carpets. Use a wet rag to dust other hard surfaces. Also, address leaky pipes and damp areas that could attract mold or pests.
- Keep windows closed: Keep windows and doors closed during allergy season and run the A/C instead. Add a HEPA filter for your air system to reduce the allergens that circulate through your home.
- Brush pets outside and bathe them often: Those with pet allergies who have pets should brush their pets and bathe them often to get rid of dander. Also, try to keep pets out of the bedroom to minimize dander.
Monitor Your Diet
Dizziness can sometimes be a symptom of celiac disease, an immune response to gluten. Your doctor may monitor your diet if allergies aren’t causing your symptoms of dizziness.
You should also check to see what foods have cross-reactivity with pollen allergens. Certain foods have similar proteins to tree, grass, and weed pollen. If you’re allergic to these types of pollen, you may get allergy symptoms from eating certain foods.
When to See a Doctor
If you experience repeated dizziness and don’t know the cause, it’s time to talk to your doctor as it could be the sign of an underlying condition. When allergies make you dizzy and over-the-counter medications aren’t managing your symptoms, seek a professional allergy specialist. You may need an at-home allergy test to determine your specific allergens.
Take Our Allergy Assessment
When you’re wondering “can allergies make you dizzy,” look no further than Wyndly. Our allergy doctors will create a personalized treatment plan for you to help you find long-lasting relief from your allergy symptoms, including dizziness.
Take our two-minute allergy assessment today to get started!