The entire year is allergy season in some locations. Allergies can range from minor to acute and can be caused by anything from pet dander to pollen. The first and most common signs that you are dealing with allergies are usually a runny nose and itchy eyes.
But some will undergo enhanced symptoms such as hearing loss, bad balance, and tinnitus. Added pressure in the inner and middle ear are responsible for these symptoms.
Why is Your Hearing Affected by Allergies?
Your body produces a chemical called histamine when it senses an environmental allergen. This release results in the familiar itchy eye symptoms and sniffles of allergies. One less prevalent symptom is fluid build up in your inner and middle ear. This is how your body stops the allergen from getting deeper into your ear canal. The resulting pressure can cause problems with your equilibrium leading to a blocked ear, trouble hearing, and balance issues.
Treatment Solutions For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
Allergies can be treated in several different ways. Most people begin with over-the-counter products like Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra. These products are used to manage mild cases and can start working in as little as one dose with the full effect manifesting after a few days of use. These products are also safe for extended long term use if needed. Others, such as Benadryl, Sudafed, and Afrin, can be used temporarily for relief, but are not advised for continuous use as they can cause undesirable side effects.
There are also natural approaches that can be utilized on their own or combined with over-the-counter remedies. Saline solutions or a Neti pot are some examples. A vapor tablet, in certain situations, when used in a hot shower can be very helpful also. Environmental changes, including routinely washing fabrics with hot water, using a damp cloth to reduce dust on surfaces, and running an air purifier can also significantly help. If you have pets and struggle with pet dander, be sure to give your pets a bath frequently.
When Nothing Else Works
Over-the-counter and natural solutions might not work in some situations. When none of these solutions help over the course of several weeks professional help may be required. An allergist will decide if you are a good fit for allergy shots. These shots will be delivered in slowly increasing dosages once a week for up to six months before changing to a shot once a month. Small amounts of the allergen will be introduced into your system letting your body slowly learn how to manage it. Though it only takes around eight months for patients to experience some relief, this therapy will demand a long term commitment of as much as five years.
If you still have pressure in your ears and none of these approaches help, it’s time to have a hearing test.