Why Pollen Allergy Season Causes Vertigo, According to Science

This is no joke.

Pollen is really out here trying to ruin all our lives. For some allergy sufferers, it can can cause intense and seemingly random dizzy spells.

Vertigo is a symptom some people experience alongside various illnesses. It’s a feeling of being dizzy to the point of disconnection; at worst, a person might feel completely disoriented and even nauseous.

Since we’re right in the middle of a truly terrible allergy season, it makes sense some allergy sufferers are experiencing vertigo. Because allergies affect a person’s sinuses, congestion in this area contributes to feelings of disorientation.

According to the Silverstein Institute for ear, nose, and throat treatment, allergies can irritate “the middle ear down to the back of your throat.” This region, called the Eustachian tube, is partly responsible for keeping us balanced.

Cursed pollen. Good bee, though.

Flickr / Photositively Illuminating Photography

“When it is clogged, it cannot equalize the pressure in your ear and help your body maintain its balance and that’s when you feel the dizziness,” SI reports.


Flickr / Stoutcob

Sinus congestion and, thus, vertigo are caused by your body’s response to something foreign. In this case, the alien body is pollen. When the body’s immune system works into overdrive to “attack” these bodies, we experience allergy symptoms like nasal congestion, throat irritation, and more.

The immune system, which fends off sickness, thinks it’s just doing its job. Little does our body know it doesn’t have to freak out over a few pollen grains. It’s just plant stuff!

Those struggling with allergies have a few options. They can purchase over-the-counter oral antihistamines like Benadryl, Sudafed, and Zyrtec, or nasal sprays that shoot directly into the nasal cavity. If none of these medications work, the best course of action is to consult an allergist. Everyone’s bodies work differently, so there’s no such thing as a singular “best” allergy medicine.

Experts agree that this year’s allergy season is particularly bad, in part because of the strange weather patterns across America this winter. Overall, temperatures shifted from very cold to very warm very quickly. This caused several types of trees to pollinate at once rather than gradually over the course of a few months.

If you’re feeling sick or tired from allergies, just know that the worst will be over soon — hopefully.

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