We often associate dizziness with dehydration or some other underlying ailments, however, have you ever thought that the reason for your dizziness can be an allergic reaction?
Sounds intriguing right? Well let us know more about the relation of allergies and dizziness then and explore more about its treatment options.
What is an allergic reaction?
Before starting about the relation between allergies and dizziness, we should first have some knowledge about allergies.
An allergic reaction is the body’s immune system response to a foreign particle that has entered the system and that may or may not be harmful to the body. Our immune system produces antibodies in response to the foreign intruder and these antibodies especially Immunoglobulin E (IgE) are mainly responsible for fighting against the allergens.
The working of the immunoglobulins is quite interesting too. The first time our body encounters allergens, they are taken in by the immune cells and presented to the lymphocytes. IgE then produces specific antibodies that bind to mast cells and basophils. On the second encounter, the allergen then triggers the release of histamine and other pre-formed allergic mediators.
When histamines are released in the system, it produces a wide range of allergic symptoms and some of the most common ones are:
- Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting
- Anxiety or agitation
- Sinus or nasal congestion
- Sneezing and itchy eyes
- Postnasal drip and coughing
- A condition is known as Angioedema which causes swelling or hives on the skin
- Red, watery and itchy eyes
- Throat tightness, checking, difficulty in swallowing and swelling of the tongue
- And in some extreme cases, allergens can also lead to a condition known as anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis is life-threatening and therefore if not treated within the stipulated period, it can also lead to death. If you wonder how to diagnose anaphylaxis, look out for signs like difficulty in breathing, rapid heartbeat, hoarseness along with the normal allergic reactions and if you notice any of the above symptoms, consult the doctor immediately.
Can allergies cause dizziness?
Now coming to the main part of the article, we have already read that how our immune system upon encountering allergens produce histamines which produce a host of allergic symptoms in the system and one of them is dizziness.
Allergen upon entering the body affects the Eustachian tube. The eustachian tube is the tunnel that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat. The main function of the tube is to regulate the pressure of the body and equalize the pressures between the middle ear and outside atmosphere.
Allergens cause blocking of the eustachian tube which leads to the clogged feeling in the ears and the tube no longer able to equalise and stabilise the pressure in the body leads to dizziness.
People often get confused between the terms dizziness and vertigo. Although used interchangeably in online forums, these terms do have different meanings.
Vertigo is a severe form of dizziness that makes the affected person feel like everything around him/her is spinning fast around them. Allergy can also lead to vertigo and this occurs when the allergens cause excess fluid build up in the middle ear.
Treatments for allergy induced dizziness
The first thing you should do if you are feeling dizzy is to sit or lie down somewhere which is safe and then proceed further for proper treatments.
To treat allergy-induced dizziness, we have to combat allergy-inducedof the problem. Some of the effective treatments that can be used are:
1.Medications like nasal steroids and antihistamines drugs-
Over the counter, nasal steroids and antihistamines drugs are generally prescribed by doctors as the first-line treatment to treat against the allergic reactions. Antihistamine drugs are very effective in treating congestion caused due to allergens. These drugs can also be used to treat vertigo. Apart from antihistamine drugs, you can also try cromolyn sodium.
Leukotriene receptor antagonists, sublingual immunotherapy and in some severe cases, oral corticosteroids are prescribed to the affected region.
Treatments depend on the severity of the allergies symptoms. Immunotherapy or allergy shots are also designated to combat against allergens. If you want a long-term treatment for your allergic reactions, specifically formulated allergy shots can be of great use.
An allergy shot is an injection of a small amount of allergen into our system. This prepares the body to get desensitise against the allergen over time. Slowly and gradually the portion of the allergy shots gets increased and it provides effective benefits for the body. You will observe that no symptoms will be formed eventually if the body comes in contact with the allergen.
Oral decongestants are used when a person suffers from nasal and sinus congestion due to allergens.
We often notice food ingredients causing allergic reactions in the body. If you are someone who has been suffering dizziness due to certain food ingredients, then the time has come to exclude them from the diet and include their substitutes instead which would not produce any unwanted side effects in the body.
Preventive measures to keep allergies at bay
We always preach that prevention is always better than cure. If you could already guess that dizziness caused is due to allergies, then following some effective preventive measures will help you to dissuade the condition altogether.
- Proper diagnosis of the cause of your allergic reaction will help you to identify the root cause of your problem. Try to avoid the substance that caused it, as much as possible after the diagnosis.
- Use anti-allergen bed covers.
- Wash bedsheets and outdoor clothes in hot water.
- Try to use vacuum cleaners that have high-efficiency particulate air filters.
- Including drugs like Bonine, benzodiazepines and antiemetics in your first aid can help you to provide the first-line defence against the allergic symptoms immediately.
- If your allergic reaction is caused due to pollen, try to avoid going out of the house during peak pollen seasons or if it is absolutely necessary, take proper precautions while going out.
- Allergic reactions if caused due to some food ingredients, exclude them from your daily diet immediately.
Dizziness can be caused due to a wide range of causes ranging from dehydration to increase in high blood pressure or anxiety, however, allergy-induced dizziness has been the recent cause of most cases of lightheadedness and dizziness reported now.
Hope this article will be able to shed some light on the relation between allergy and dizziness. If you doubt that the dizziness you have been experiencing is due to allergies, immediately consult your healthcare provider for proper diagnosis. Early detection of the cause will help you to get the best treatments and medications available for the constraint.