Thanks for your reply. I think 16 days was long enough, but I could be wrong. That said, I quit the drug yesterday, and I already feel better today (for one, my ears feel "unclogged"). However, my doctor suggested that I lay off the drug for a week and then see how I feel. He didn't mention reintroducing it, but I may give that a shot. If the exact symptoms return, then I'll know for sure the Benicar is causing them.
I haven't researched ARBs, but what you are saying is very interesting. I have terrible allergies and sinusitis, and it was if I had "poured gas on an open fire" from the day I started taking Benicar.
As of now, I am not taking anything. I checked my BP at noon and got 132/80, so I'm sure I'll be fine for a week. As for hydrochlorothiazide, a friend (who is a nurse) mentioned that drug to me yesterday - I need to look into it further. My problem is that at the moment I just don't have time to do much research between work and studying for the California bar exam.