Allergy diagnosis

I started seeing an inner-ear and allergy specialist for my vertigo about six months ago and she thought my vertigo was due to allergies and put me on an allergy-shot regimen. I started a 6-week treatment and it was inconvenient, expensive, and made my vertigo worse for some time (my doctor confirmed this could happen).

According to this article allergy-shots take up to 3-5 years to be fully effective! And the first 6 months are the “building up” stage where you’re pretty much pushing your immune system to the limit so it can “get used to” the substances in the shot. Do you all think it’s worth it? Has anyone else been told their vertigo is due to allergies?

the way i would put it is: there is a relationship between the allergy season and my vertigo. I believe my MAV is worse when my system is weaker - kind of like when Brian and MSDXD are worse when the temps drop to icy in the winter, or when I don’t get enough sleep. Although it is true that many people, not just MAVers suffer with dizziness due to allergies.


I used to believe my so-called “allergy” problems were allergy related. Although, I never could make heads or tails of them. They weren’t “seasonal”, etc. and when I went for allergy testing, I was told I was allergic to mold, cat dander, and Ash trees.
Now, I’ve come to realize after all these years, what I was led to believe were allergies, weren’t. Although, I may be as allergic as the next person to cat hair or mold, but MAV plays MAJOR havoc with my sinuses. Dizziness included.

I agree with Julie, allergies can definitely cause a person to be dizzy. However, a person with MAV can be misdiagnosed with “allergies”(and a MILLION other things) - I know, I’ve been there.

To answer your question, - no, I’ve never been told my dizziness was due to “allergies”, but I’ve also never been told my sinus problems were due to “MAV”. I had to figure that out on my own.

Something else real quick - through the years, I’ve been treated for sinus infection after sinus infection, all caused by untreated “allergies”. I wouldn’t ever take the antihistamines and decongestants prescribed for me because they never did me any good. (By the way, I never needed all the antibiotics I took either, I would have been better off taking ibuprofen).

Anyway, thats just me. Food for thought. Maybe it will be the missing puzzle piece for someone.
Hope you get to feeling better - :slight_smile:



Yes, that’s what I suspected–that maybe it isn’t necessarily a misdiagnosis, but the allergies were distracting this doctor from seeing the real problem. It kind of reminds me of what Buccholz said about “sinus headaches” and “sinus infections”–I had the same thing, constant series of so-called sinus or ear infections that just kept cropping up over and over, but it didn’t really explain all the other symptoms. I’m glad I’m not crazy! I feel better about questioning this so-called professional’s opinion!

In my case the allergy theory is one of several things we are trying. I’ve also been on allergy shots for about a year now. The allergist said I tested so extremely allergic to a couple of items that he has me on a very slow ramp up schedule and I probably still won’t be at a maintenance dose for the better part of a year.

A couple of things to keep in mind. First, allergens can be seasonal or perennial. My two “extreme” allergens (mold and household dust) are both perennials. So while it would be expected that my symptoms would ususally get worse in the Fall because of higher mold counts, it would also be expected that I would have some degree of symptoms year round. This is consistent with my experience.

Second, although Buccholtz discounts allergies as a migraine trigger, there is a great deal of evidence to the contrary.
(Check out this link: There are certainly many excellent doctor’s our there (ie Buccholtz) that are in the “migraine camp” and believe that many of the things such as nasal congestion that are often attributed to allergies are actually a product of migraine. However, there are also many excellent doctors (ie Derebery) that believe that allergies are the underlying factory in many if not most balance disorders.

A couple of things make me very suspicious of allergies in my case. First, I developed this condition when I was living in a house with signifcant mold issues. We’ve sense moved out, but I’ve apparently taken my highly sensitized immume system with me. Second, at about the same time that I started getting dizzy I also developed chronic sinusitus with nasal polyps - which according to Mayo - was almost certainly allergic fungal sinusitus.

My recommendation would be if you have significant allergies treat them as aggressively as possible: allergy shots, antihistamines, etc. It’s quite possible that some of the folks diagnosed with MAV actually have an allegic condition instead. It’s equally possible that for some of the folks with MAV the allergies may be a factor contributing to the development of the migraine in the first place. And of course it’s its always possible that the allergies are just an “incidental finding” and have nothing to due with an individual’s dizziness. The only way you will know for sure is to eliminate the allergies.


No, spunkie - your not crazy! :mrgreen:

You have to question the professionals, because after all, they are only human. Nobody knows your body like you do.


— Begin quote from “Chaz”

The only way you will know for sure is to eliminate the allergies.

— End quote

Or as was the case for me Chaz, treat the migraine, and watch your “allergy symptoms” all but disappear !! :wink:


— Begin quote from “AZdizzy”

No, spunkie - your not crazy! :mrgreen:

You have to question the professionals, because after all, they are only human. Nobody knows your body like you do.


— End quote

If I hadn’t questioned my original diagnoses, and let the ENT do the surgery he wanted, I would be deaf in one ear, and still suffering. So, yes, question the professionals, get a second opinion if you doubt any doctor.

BTW Spunkie I too have had a life long history of sinus headaches and ear infections.


I go to Dereberry too, but I just felt like she was condescending toward me and that she was trying to push the allergy shot program on me without understanding my circumstances–it’s very expensive and I’m about to go live abroad for 6 months. What has your experience been?


I had one doctor after another looking at me like i was a freak. I felt like a freak. They all thought I was a freak. My family has always thought I was a freak. The cat was finally out of the bag.

And then I found this forum and I felt right at home. So if I’m a freak, then we’re all freaks :mrgreen:

(now don’t anybody go taking that the wrong way! Am I okay Brian?!)


I saw Derebery for a consult about a year ago. She seemed very open minded in my case - said allergy was definitely one of the possibilities but there were several other things on the her “short list” as well. She might be a bit biased towards an allergy/dizziness connection as she has done a lot of research in that area. On the other hand, if she’s biased towards something that truely is an often overlooked cause of dizziness, that may be a good thing. Also, no one out there will argue about her credentials. Neurotologists all over the country have trained under her at the House Clinic and everyone I’ve talked to seems to think she is one of the top people in the field.

With regard to the cost of immunotherapy, I’ve been very lucky to have good insurance and it’s picking up nearly 100% of the cost.

As for convenience, I go in twice a week for shots. The office is fairly close to where I work so I can usually slip out on lunch and take care of it. Even still it’s a big committment in time to do this every week for 3 or 4 years. On the other hand, I’m determined to do everything I can to beat this thing. If there is a reasonable chance that the allegy shots may help me (and I think there is) I’m going to find a way to get them. Leaving the US for 6 months would be a BIG challenge to coordinate. If you’re going to a third world country I suspect it would be all but impossible to work out. However, Western Europe or someplace like that would be a differnt story. I’ll bet they could work out a referral for you if you were persistent.

Keep up the good fight