Anyone else get brain fog?

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I've been having periods of brain fog for the last 7-8 years. So far I've been managing ok but as I progress in my career I'm finding it more challenging.

My doctor says it's anxiety but sometimes it feels so physical, my ears become blocked as my head becomes congested.

If you have brain fog, how long does it last for you? Is it always there?

Thanks in advance smile

2 likes, 8 replies

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Elsie,

    I'm just wondering whether it's chronic sinusitis. I know that sounds a bit flippant, but the same thing happened to me. It's the bit about your ears feeling blocked and your head congested that makes me wonder. Sinusitis doesn't always manifest in the acute form, it can go underground for years.

    I went through a period of 10 years of having intermittent attacks similar to yours. In my case I also got toothache in my upper jaw from time to time, but no other signs of sinusitis (swollen face, runny nose, fever etc.) I used to feel as if there was a brick in my head that was stopping me from thinking straight! I could even feel it move if I bent my head forward. I kept going to see my dentist and my doctor - in fact I saw five dentists in two countries during that period - and they all said there was nothing physically wrong with me.

    10 years after the start of this I suddenly got a really bad attack of acute sinusitis - half my face swollen, one eye completely closed, horrendous stuff coming out of my nose etc. I was put on industrial strength antibiotics and sent to a specialist... who found a hidden infection in a tooth root that was eating into the bone.

    I'm not saying this is what's wrong with you, but it might be something worth considering. Alternatively, we all go through phases of brain fog, particularly when we're over-tired. I'm glad to hear that you're progressing in your career but also wondering whether you need to start looking at work/life balance. The modern work environment can be very stressful.

    Although my brain fog was very bad during the 10 years of sinusitis, I've always had it on and off anyway. Some people just get these feelings. And now I'm in my 70s I'm afraid it sometimes gets to worrying levels!wink

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    • Posted

      Thank you Lily!!

      I'll add that to my list of potential causes to investigate!

      Yes my current job is extremely stressful but I experienced the fog in previous non stressful jobs.

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  • Posted

    Are you on psych meds, Elsie?
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    • Posted

      Not at the moment but I have hd a low dose of escalitopram in the past. Currently wanted to isolate the issue so not on.
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    • Posted

      Just trying to tease apart the what is going on.  Long term use of ADs can cause cognitive issues, and so can withdrawal from ADs.  How long were you on the low dose and when did you come off?  Hitting tolerance can cause what seems like withdrawal symptoms, which are usually deemed a return of the original condition (ie. depression/anxiety) and so the dose is increased to overcome it.  I know I had severe cognitive issues when I was in withdrawal from Effexor.  So, that is why I was wondering.  I definitely have memory and concentration issues from being on the meds so long, and it got worse in withdrawal.
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    • Posted

      Hi Betsy

      Thanks for taking the time to read through and respond to me.

      I was on the AD for around 8 years. Then have been weaning off for 3 months. Now onto half a tablet every 4/5 days. The fog was there regardless of being on or off, it's just now that I'm not on, I have more motivation to look into he causes.

      I have hypoglycaemia also and PCOS but not sure of that's relevant.

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    • Posted

      Are you saying that you had the fog before going on the AD?

      The fog could definitely have come on due to the long term use of the AD.  It's not a direct cause and effect deal - take the drug, have the effect - it develops over time. This is why people don't put 2 and 2 together about the drug since the onset is so slow.   In fact, people who have been on ADs chronically have an increased risk of dimentia.  I'll have to look for the study on that but there is information about it out there.  It is good that you are coming off.  8 years is a significant period of time to be on an AD, and the three month taper is too fast given that your brain has become very used to operating with it around.  The brain actually modifies to take its action into account, and it is not quick to snap back when you remove the drug.  You might want to stretch this last part of the taper out longer.  Are you feeling any other withdrawal symptoms?

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    • Posted

      I just wanted to add that I am not implying that you are developing dimentia, just that people in their old age are more likely to develop it when they had used ADs chronically.
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