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Dopey Unsteadiness

Dr. Kagen,

I am a 26 year old male who regularly suffers from hay fever. My last really bad bout with it was the weekend of the 4th of July. A couple days after the weekend, my hay fever seemed to be gone (no congestion, minimal sneezing, no watery eyes). However, a strange, disoriented type of feeling has developed, still without any congestion. It's gotten progressively (I think) worse. I had a similar experience last October, which began with a sudden onset headache, and then later the same disoriented feeling. An MRI/MRA of the brain, taken in late October, was negative. I went to my general practitioner yesterday to see what was wrong. I'm scheduled for another MRI, just to be on the safe side.

My question is -- could allergies cause this type of constant disorientation? (it's almost like I'm in a fish bowl looking out at everyone)


Thanks for asking about having allergy symptoms and feeling 'dopey headed'.

Many allergy sufferers feel as though they are "spaced out". No one really knows the reason, but it may have to do with the fact that allergy patients have a lot of fluid and mucus which accumulates in the middle ear region. This is the area which controls dizziness.

My patients complain of being "fog headed" even though when I examine them they do not have any fluid that is visible within the middle ear or behind the ear drum.

Hope this helps with understanding your complaints.
Be certain to discuss your symptoms with your doctor.

Good luck.

Steve Kagen, M.D.