All year is allergy season in some places. From pet dander to pollen, allergies can vary from a small inconvenience to a daily battle that impacts your quality of life. The first and most common signs that you are dealing with allergies are commonly a runny nose and itchy eyes.
But some will undergo enhanced symptoms like hearing loss, poor balance, and tinnitus. Increased pressure in the middle and inner ear are responsible for these symptoms.
Why do Allergies Affect Your Hearing?
Your body produces a chemical called histamine when it senses an environmental allergen. This release leads to the familiar itchy eye symptoms and sniffles of allergies. One less prevalent symptom is the buildup of fluid in your inner and middle ear. The fluid stops the allergen from getting further into your ear canal. The resulting pressure can result in issues with your equilibrium leading to a blocked ear, difficulty hearing, and balance issues.
Treatment For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
Allergies can be treated in several different ways. The majority of people begin with over-the-counter products like Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra. Minor cases can be successfully treated within a couple of days and initial relief normally starts after the first dose. These products are also safe for continued long term use if necessary. Others, like Benadryl, Sudafed, and Afrin, can be used short term for relief, but are not suggested for continuous use as they can result in undesirable side effects.
You can also combine over-the-counter medications with natural solutions or the natural options can in some cases even be utilized by themselves. These include a Neti pot or saline sprays. In certain cases, even a simple hot shower can lead to improvement, especially when paired with a vapor tablet. Environmental changes, such as regularly washing fabrics in hot water, using a damp cloth to minimize 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 regularly.
If None of These Help
Over-the-counter and natural solutions may not work in some cases. If you’ve tried these approaches over the course of several weeks and you’re not experiencing any relief it could be time to get professional advice. 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 switching to a shot once a month. Small amounts of the allergen will be released into your system allowing your body to gradually learn how to handle it. Although it only takes around eight months for patients to feel some relief, this treatment will demand a long term commitment of up to five years.
If none of the above approaches deliver relief, and you’ve made certain the pressure in your ears isn’t caused by an ear infection, then it is time to get your hearing tested.