Do Allergies Make You Drunk?
In the wake of recent studies showing that impaired thyroid function can lead to impaired reflexes a la drunk driving, we have this new finding which draws a similar conclusion about seasonal allergies:
Common seasonal allergy symptoms, such as watery eyes, sneezing and fatigue, can significantly impair driving ability, says a study in the July issue of Allergy. Allergy symptoms’ effect on driving was comparable to having a blood-alcohol concentration nearing impaired levels, according to the researchers. Allergy medications weren’t wholly effective at reducing the symptoms’ effects.
The study was conducted in the Netherlands and involved allergy sufferers who were exposed to either allergens or a placebo, then given various medications to combat their symptoms. The worst-performing group showed driving skills consistent with a 0.03% blood alcohol level – below the legal limit, but still significant.
This is perhaps no surprise to those who stumble through their days leveled by the effects of rhinitis and seasonal inflammation. It’s not unusual for allergy sufferers to report feeling fatigued and cloudy—symptoms not dissimilar to being inebriated.
Allergies are more than a nuisance; they can be debilitating, and in some cases dangerous. To learn more about how you can fight seasonal allergies, visit our ENT specialist for allergy testing today.