Environmental Allergies Can Trigger Hearing Issues

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

All year is allergy season in some locations. From pet dander to pollen, allergies can range from a slight inconvenience to a daily battle that affects your quality of life. The first and most familiar indications that you are dealing with allergies are normally itchy eyes and a runny nose.

But more advanced symptoms, including poor balance, tinnitus, and hearing loss often happen. Increased pressure in the middle and inner ear is the reason for these symptoms.

Why do Allergies Impair Your Hearing?

Your body releases a chemical called histamine when it detects an environmental allergen. The common itchy eyes and runny nose are the outcomes of this release. Fluid accumulation in the inner ear is a less common symptom. This is how your body stops the allergen from getting deeper into your ear canal. The resulting pressure can result in problems with your equilibrium leading to a clogged ear, difficulty hearing, and balance issues.

Treatment For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies

There are lots of ways to treat the symptoms of allergies. The majority of people begin with over-the-counter medicines such as Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra. Mild cases can be effectively managed within a couple of days and initial relief normally starts after the first dose. Long term use of these medicines is also safe. Others, like Benadryl, Sudafed, and Afrin, can be used temporarily for relief, but are not suggested for extended use as they can result in undesirable side effects.

You can also combine over-the-counter medications with natural remedies or the natural options can sometimes even be used by themselves. These include saline sprays or a Neti pot. In some situations, even an ordinary hot shower can lead to improvement, especially when paired with a vapor tablet. Environmental changes, such as routinely washing fabrics in hot water, using a damp cloth to minimize dust on surfaces, and running an air purifier can also significantly help. Make sure you bathe your pets routinely 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 solutions won’t be sufficient. If you’ve tried these approaches over the course of several weeks and you’re not experiencing any relief it might be time to seek professional assistance. To figure out if you require an allergy shot, you will have to consult an allergist. Every week for around six months a shot will be given in increasing dosages then the shots will be reduced to once a month. Small amounts of the allergen will be released into your system letting your body gradually learn how to handle it. Though it only takes around eight months for patients to feel some relief, this therapy will demand a long term commitment of up to five years.

If you still have pressure in your ears and none of these approaches help, it’s time to have a hearing exam.