Allergy Community
10.3k Members
Avatar universal

Allergies, sinus infection and dizziness

In May I began to have dizzy spells which coincided with a sore throat and earache, which cleared up on their own. However, dizziness and fatigue continued for several weeks. The dizziness resembled being carsick, with lightheadedness and occasional moments of nausea and feeling faint (but I never passed out).  I had a CAT scan and blood work twice, and so far no diagnosis for the dizziness/fatigue.  It got better for a few weeks but last week I began to have dizzy spells again, this time accompanied by maxillary sinus pressure.  I had just switched allergy medications, from Nasonex to generic Flonase, right at the time my symptoms returned.  Could allergies have led to a sinus infection?  Can the sinus infection cause dizziness and fatigue?

Due to the holiday weekend I haven't been able to call my doctor, but after 3 prior visits he's never suggested sinuses to be a cause.
254 Responses
Avatar universal
I had the same thing. (See my 9/6/06 post)My ENT doesn't think my sinus infection is causing my dizziness so I can relate to your frustration. I know that allergies can cause a sinus infection and I've read posts that sinus infection causes dizziness but I guess my ENT doesn't think so.
Avatar universal
Sounds like we have a similar problem.  How long did it take for your doctor to recommend an ENT?  I'm probably going to try some antibiotics next, but then if they don't work would like to go to an ENT but my GP hasn't even mentioned it yet.  I've seen some webpages saying you have to have 4 infections in a year before an ENT will see you, I hope that's not true.

I can definitely empathize with how you feel.  I've been so upset by this, really depressed and frustrated and bored from not feeling like I can physically do the things I could do just 6 months ago.  Hang in there, though, we'll get this figured out.  Thanks for your post.
Avatar universal
I saw my GP three times and took about 4 rounds of antibiotics before he gave up on me and sent me to a ENT for my dizziness.
The ENT gave up on me after 2 visits and is sending me to a neurologist. I just called the ENT myself and made the appointment. They didn't ask how many infections I had or anything. So I would say open the phone book and call a few unless your doc gives you a referal.
How long have you had the dizziness? For me it's going on 4 months. I have 2 little kids and I haven't played with them all summer because I get so dizzy. I just want to know it's not life threatening and it can be treated. I called the neurologist to find out what they plan to do and they said they are going to mainly look at my MRI,CT and ENG and ask me a bunch of questions and go from there. I've read online that a infected middle ear matches what I have, but I have yet to hear from anyone who's actually gone through it.
Avatar universal
I've had mine since May and right now it seems to be responding to antibiotics, but my ears are still occasionally full and they hurt a bit, so I expect the ear problem will come back.  What I've heard is that dizziness is usually not dangerous but there's not a lot of research on chronic dizziness, either.  Good luck, if it's an ear issue I think there's a lot of treatment for it.
Avatar universal
Been suffering from some dizziness/vertigo for the last year, roughly.  Went to primary, then to ENT & allergist, who suggested I see a neurologist, who then informed me that most cases of vertigo w/out a "serious" cause are caused by inflammation of the 8th cranial nerve (a benign condition, other than for the symptoms it causes.)  What happens is, in sensitive people, when they get a (usually) cold virus, it inflames the nerve temporarily (meaning anywhere from a day to 3 weeks) and causes the dizziness.  Treatment is aimed at symptoms, usually w/ meclizine, which can be purchased over the counter or by prescription.

Also, I've had 2 brain scans (MRI's w/ contrast) and they've both been negative.  Think you have to get the scans WHILE the dizziness is going on, if ya wait to long the inflammation goes down.  

Hope this helps.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
I have terrific allergies and am very susceptible to colds, as well. 10 years ago I had an intense cold that lasted for several months. Toward the end of the cold I developed a nasty case of what my primary care called "vestibular neuronitis." Either fluid backed up into my ears or the pressure from the inflammation throughout my sinuses caused balance problems. The dizziness lasted for 4 months. It took awhile, but my primary care figured out the best treatment was antibiotics, antihistamine, decongestant, and klonopin (a form of valium that relaxes the nerves and stops the dizziness). I found that meclizine was useless.

A few weeks ago, the problem occurred again. This time my allergies had just kicked in from exposure to extreme mold and hay fever season. There's no infection this time because we caught it early, so I'm just on an antihistamine/decongestant, a 2nd antihistamine, and klonopin. I am slowly improving.

I have a new primary care who understands the issue. But she decided to send me to an ENT, just to be safe. I was so annoyed when he said there is no proven connection between allergies and dizziness. He's now ordered an MRI and additional balance tests and has started talking about ruling out tumors, etc.

Thanks for sharing your stories. It always surprises me how many non-allergist MD's don't understand how allergies can affect the body.
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out what causes asthma, and how to take control of your symptoms.
Find out if your city is a top "allergy capital."
Find out which foods you should watch out for.
If you’re one of the 35 million Americans who suffer from hay fever, read on for what plants are to blame, where to find them and how to get relief.
Allergist Dr. Lily Pien answers Medhelp users' most pressing allergy-related questions
When you start sniffling and sneezing, you know spring has sprung. Check out these four natural remedies to nix spring allergies.