Environmental Allergies Can Trigger Hearing Problems

HEARING TIPS

Woman in bed sneezing with allergies that are clogging her ear.

Depending on where you live, all year can be allergy season. Allergies can range from mild to acute and can be brought on by everything from pollen to pet dander. The first and most familiar indications that you are dealing with allergies are usually a runny nose and itchy eyes.

However, some will undergo enhanced symptoms like loss of hearing, bad balance, and tinnitus. These symptoms are a side effect of increased pressure in your inner and middle ear.

Why do Allergies Impact Your Hearing?

Your body releases a chemical called histamine when it senses an environmental allergen. The familiar itchy eyes and runny nose are the result of this release. One less prevalent symptom is fluid build up in your middle and inner ear. The fluid stops the allergen from going further into your ear canal. This fluid produces pressure that can trigger tinnitus, trouble hearing, and even loss of balance as your equilibrium is disrupted.

Treatment Solutions For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies

There are lots of ways to treat the symptoms of allergies. Over-the-counter medications such as Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra are usually the first solution. Mild cases can be effectively managed within a couple of days and initial relief usually begins after the first dose. These products are also safe for extended long term use if needed. Other allergy medication can be used temporarily but aren’t recommended as a long term strategy because of their potential side effects, these medications include Sudafed, Afrin, and Benadryl.

There are also natural solutions that can be utilized by themselves or combined with over-the-counter remedies. These include a Neti pot or saline sprays. In some cases, even a simple hot shower can lead to improvement, especially when paired with a vapor tablet. You can also make changes to your environment such as getting an air purifier, cleaning dust off surfaces with a damp cloth, and washing your fabrics in hot water every two weeks. Make sure you give your pets a bath regularly if you have any and try to feed them dander control pet food if you’re allergic to them.

When Nothing Else Helps

For some individuals over-the-counter and natural treatments won’t be enough. If you’ve tried these approaches over the course of a few weeks and you’re not experiencing any relief it could be time to get professional help. To figure out if you need an allergy shot, you will have to consult an allergist. Every week for about six months a shot will be given in increasing doses then the shots will be reduced to one every month. Small amounts of the allergen will be introduced into your system allowing your body to progressively learn how to manage it. Even though it only takes about eight months for patients to experience some relief, this treatment will require 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.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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