I actually have the exact same symptoms as you.
Mine came on last June, so I’m going on just over a year of feeling “drunk”. I also lack the typical “spinning” feeling that vertigo causes, mine has always been a very disoriented/disconnected feeling.
When mine first came on (very suddenly and with a panic attack), I was diagnosed (though no tests were done) with a sinus infection as well. After a few different doctor/hospital/ER visits, my GP finally suggested Labyrinthitis. Basically it is inflammation of the labyrinth (in your inner ear), which is caused by a viral infection, anywhere in your body, that has spread to and damaged the labyrinth. It’s likely that you DO have a sinus infection, but that it may have caused something like this as well.
It causes all sorts of fun symptoms… dizzyness/lightheadedness, inability to concentrate, heart palpitations, panic attacks, etc.
I found the following website really helped me describe my symptoms. It also calmed me down… I was pretty sure I had something MUCH more serious. It’s always nice to know that you’re not alone with your symptoms.
Labyrinthitis should clear up within 2-6 weeks. If, like in my case, it doesn’t, it is called “uncompensated labyrinthitis”, and you will probably have to go for further tests (to rule out similar issues like Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo and Meniere’s Disease).
Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do to treat it. Initially I was given a medication called Cerc, however I never found that it did much. Really the only thing that has helped is:
1. Get up and move. I sat in bed/stayed off work for almost a month. I kept getting worse. You’re brain needs to learn to compensate for the damage that has been done, and that can’t happen unless you are moving around.
2. Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT). These are simple exercises (if your doctor is not providing them to you, you can find them on Google/Youtube) that, again, train your brain to compensate for the damage. These have helped a ton – to the point where I have days where I feel almost normal.
3. Revamping my diet. My case has been complicated, as I presented with digestive symptoms as well (I couldn’t keep solid food down for about 3 weeks). Through trial and error, I have found that gluten, alcohol and caffeine have a huge effect on my dizzies. I also try to drink a glass of water every hour to 2 hours. I don’t know WHY, but it does seem to help.
4. Track your period. Like clockwork, my dizzies come back the week before my period. My doctor thinks it’s due to the fluid that the body retains during that time.
5. Keep to a sleep schedule. A tired brain cannot compensate!
6. Be aware of allergens/pollen counts. I never noticed allergy issues before, however they now bring on my dizzies (this may be why gluten has such a negative effect on my symptoms as well).
Obviously, I am not a doctor. However, I am going through something similar, and I know that knowing others may have experienced the same thing can really help with the anxiety. I have found that the doctors I have seen have not been a huge help, because they honestly don’t seem to know much about Labyrinthitis. While it’s apparently super common, it often goes undiagnosed.
In my experience, my GP & the doctors I have seen in between haven’t taken me too seriously, because I am not presenting with visible symptoms. I don’t even have an appointment with an ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist) until THIS October, where I will finally be properly tested and diagnosed.
If you can, I would suggest requesting an appointment with an ENT as soon as possible. This could be, and hopefully is, nothing – or like me you could have an inner ear issue like Labyrinthitis/Vertigo/BPPV/Meniere’s Disease.
I hope your doctors are helpful, and that you push to have the proper testing done. The anxiety is a monster, and even though I have been dealing with this for a year, I still end up in tears a couple of times a week thinking I have something horrible like a brain tumour. If nothing else, finding out exactly what you have and eliminating other ailments will keep you from becoming panicked (which in turn will only make your symptoms worse – it’s a vicious circle)!
Good luck, I truly hope that it’s nothing, and I’m sorry for being so longwinded!