The entire year is allergy season in some places. Allergies can range from minimal to acute and can be brought on by everything from pollen to pet dander. The first and most common signs that you are dealing with allergies are normally a runny nose and itchy eyes.
However, some will undergo enhanced symptoms like loss of hearing, bad balance, and tinnitus. Added pressure in the inner and middle ear are responsible for these symptoms.
Why is Your Hearing Impacted by Allergies?
Your body releases a chemical called histamine when it senses an environmental allergen. The familiar runny nose and itchy eyes are the outcomes of this release. One less prevalent symptom is fluid build up in your middle and inner ear. This is how your body stops the allergen from getting deeper into your ear canal. The resulting pressure can result in issues with your equilibrium leading to a clogged ear, trouble hearing, and balance issues.
Treatment For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
There are lots of ways to manage the symptoms of allergies. The majority of people begin with over-the-counter medicines such as Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra. These products are used to treat minor conditions and can begin working in as little as one dose with the maximum effect appearing after a few days of use. Extended use of these products is also safe. Others, like Benadryl, Sudafed, and Afrin, can be used temporarily for relief, but are not suggested for continuous use because they can cause unwanted side effects.
There are also natural approaches that can be used on their own or in combination with over-the-counter remedies. Saline solutions or a Neti pot are some examples. A vapor tablet, in certain scenarios, when used in a hot shower can be very helpful also. Environmental changes, such as regularly washing fabrics with hot water, using a damp cloth to minimize dust on surfaces, and using an air purifier can also go a long way. Be sure you give your pets a bath routinely if you have any and try to feed them dander control pet food if you’re allergic to them.
Already Tried All That?
For some individuals over-the-counter and natural treatments won’t be sufficient. If you’ve tried these methods over the course of several weeks and you aren’t experiencing any relief it may be time to get professional advice. An allergist will figure out if you are a good candidate for allergy shots. These shots will be delivered in slowly increasing dosages once a week for up to six months before transitioning to a shot once a month. Small amounts of the allergen will be released into your system letting your body slowly learn how to deal with it. This therapy does demand a long-term commitment of up to five years, however, patients tend to feel relief starting at about eight months.
If none of the above methods deliver relief, and you’ve made sure the pressure in your ears isn’t due to an ear infection, then it is time to get your hearing checked.