All year is allergy season in some places. From pollen to pet dander, allergies can vary from a slight aggravation to a daily battle that impacts your quality of life. Runny nose and itchy eyes are the symptoms people are most familiar with and can be the first indication that you’re dealing with allergies.
However, some will experience advanced symptoms such as loss of hearing, poor balance, and tinnitus. These symptoms happen because of added pressure in your inner and middle ear.
Why is Your Hearing Affected by Allergies?
Your body releases a chemical called histamine when it detects an environmental allergen. The familiar runny nose and itchy eyes are the outcomes of this release. One less prevalent symptom is the buildup of fluid in your middle and inner ear. This is how your body stops the allergen from working its way deeper into your ear canal. The resulting pressure can result in issues with your equilibrium leading to a clogged ear, difficulty hearing, and balance issues.
Treatment Solutions For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
There are lots of ways to deal with the symptoms of allergies. Over-the-counter medications like Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra are usually the first solution. Mild cases can be effectively treated within a couple of days and initial relief normally starts after the first dose. These products are also safe for extended long term use if needed. Others, like Benadryl, Sudafed, and Afrin, can be used temporarily for relief, but are not recommended for continuous use as they can cause unwanted side effects.
You can also combine over-the-counter medications with natural solutions or the natural options can sometimes even be utilized by themselves. Saline solutions or a Neti pot are some examples. In certain cases, even a simple hot shower can lead to improvement, particularly when combined with a vapor tablet. You can also take steps to change your environment including purchasing an air purifier, cleaning dust off surfaces with a damp cloth, and washing your fabrics in hot water every two weeks. If you have pets and have trouble with pet dander, make sure you give your pets a bath regularly.
Already Tried All That?
Over-the-counter and natural remedies might not work in some cases. When none of these approaches help over the course of a few weeks professional assistance may be needed. An allergist will figure out if you are a good fit for allergy shots. Every week for around six months a shot will be given in increasing dosages then the shots will be decreased to once a month. Small amounts of the allergen will be released into your system letting your body progressively learn how to deal with it. This therapy does demand a long-term commitment of up to five years, however, patients often experience relief beginning at about eight months.
If none of the above strategies 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 checked.