Dr. Brian Lum
Can Seasonal Allergies Cause Dizziness, Tinnitus and Nausea?
Updated: Feb 2, 2022
Due to the severity of this allergy season, people are having allergies that usually don't, and others are having more severe symptoms.
Dizziness, tinnitus, and nausea can combine to form a feeling similar to motion sickness. This sensation, lasting days or months, can be a result of seasonal allergies.
Lets go over some of these lesser-known symptoms of allergies and 5 ways to help your symptoms!
Why Do Allergies Cause Tinnitus, Dizziness & Nausea?
A few factors are at work when your seasonal allergies are causing you to feel this way.
The first is sinus congestion. Our sinuses are physically connected to our inner ears through a series of tubes.
When this area becomes congested, or filled with fluid, our proprioception (our awareness of the position and movement of our body) becomes affected. This can cause us to feel dizzy.
This fluid is also among the many causes of tinnitus (another one is Eustachian tube disfunction).
Proper inner ear function is what keeps us oriented and prevents us from being dizzy every time we turn our heads or stand up.
Disorientation and dizziness can very quickly lead to nausea. In fact, you may notice that these symptoms can feel very much like motion sickness.
The nausea you feel may be due to congestion in the inner ear but it can also be due to the release of histamine.
Histamine is released in our body when a threat is detected.
Our immune system kicks in, releasing immune system proteins to bind with the foreign substance, in this case pollen, and in this way stopping the foreign substance from doing any damage.
In a normally functioning, healthy person, histamine serves its purpose without us noticing much as far as symptoms.
If, however, our bodies have become sensitized through chronic illness, poor diet, malnutrition, stress, poor sleep or high levels of inflammation then the 'battle cry' of histamine can result in an over reaction.
Read about Histamine Intolerance
Our bodies can produce too much histamine and, in an attempt to rid our body of a foreign substance, we swell up, get dizzy, have ear congestion, tinnitus and nausea (among other symptoms).
Read about Seasonal Allergies and Digestive Problems
How To Reduce Your Symptoms
1. Reduce Quick Head Movements
Especially when dizziness is a primary symptom, do not stand up quickly or spin around. Notice how you may feel sicker when cleaning or cooking, activities which have a surprising amount of quick stooping and getting up.
If you do have to be very active, take breaks. Applying a cool compress to the back of the head often helps nausea and feelings of dizziness.
2. Drink Water
Since tinnitus, ear congestion, sinus congestion, dizziness and nausea can all be caused by dehydration too - be sure to keep well hydrated so that your mucus membranes have all the help they can get.
Moist sinus and nasal passages will help your body clear out pollen more quickly.
3. Eat Clean
Lots of poor quality fat, sugar, processed foods and caffeine will make your symptoms worse.
Dairy, in particular, can cause excess mucus even in those who do not suffer from allergies. Additional mucus in your sinus cavity can make sensations of dizziness and tinnitus worse.
If you have food sensitivities, use extra caution in avoiding them as they too can cause additional sinus and ear congestion.
Read more about Food Sensitivities
4. Use A Humidifier
Most of us only use humidifiers in the winter, but air conditioning can be very drying.
Increasing the humidity of your home will bring relief to your nasal and sinus passages - but make sure this newly humidified air is clean.
Dust mites and mold are two environmental allergens that can thrive in a high humidity environment. Dust regularly and ideally, use a high quality air filter to ensure you are not adding additional allergy symptoms to your already congested situation!
5. Check Your Plants
Many people keep houseplants to purify the air and brighten up their living space. Others grow vegetables on their window sills and patios.
Make sure your indoor or patio plants are not producing pollen, which sounds obvious, but a tiny plant can spray massive amounts of pollen in a small living space. If it is producing pollen, move it outside or away from an open window temporarily.
Also check your soil, many potting mixes, even organic varieties are prone to grow mold (as I recently discovered when I checked an english ivy plant sitting on my bookshelf.)
When Allergies Are A Problem
If your allergies are particularly severe, you are dependent on allergy medication or your symptoms are getting worse then you should see your doctor to rule out other conditions.
I specialize in chronic, complex conditions using non-pharmaceutical, scientifically backed techniques to achieve lasting health.
There are ways to address underlying chronic conditions and inflammation so that your reactions to environmental allergies are not as severe.
If you would like to speak to me to ask questions about functional medicine, allergies or how I can help you, please schedule a Free 15 Minute Consultation or call or text my office at 913-728-5291.
My clinic offers functional medicine appointments as well as manual chiropractic treatments. I do online consultations for those out-of-state or outside of the United States.
If you think that you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information. Nor should you ever delay seeking medical advice or treatment due to the information contained on this Website.