The entire year is allergy season in some locations. Allergies can range from mild to acute and can be brought on by everything from pet dander to pollen. The first and most common indications that you are dealing with allergies are usually a runny nose and itchy eyes.
But more advanced symptoms, like poor balance, tinnitus, and hearing loss sometimes occur. These symptoms are a side effect of added pressure in your inner and middle ear.
Why is Your Hearing Affected by Allergies?
When your body detects an environmental allergen it reacts by expelling a chemical called histamine. This release results in the familiar itchy eye symptoms and sniffles of allergies. One less common symptom is fluid build up in your inner and middle ear. The fluid stops the allergen from getting further into your ear canal. The resulting pressure can result in problems with your equilibrium leading to a clogged ear, trouble hearing, and balance issues.
Treatment Solutions For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
Allergies can be managed in several different ways. The majority of people start with over-the-counter medicines such as Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra. These medicines are used to manage minor conditions and can begin working in as little as one dose with the maximum effect manifesting after a few days of use. These products are also safe for continued long term use if needed. Others, such as Benadryl, Sudafed, and Afrin, can be used temporarily for relief, but are not advised for long term use because they can lead to unwanted side effects.
You can also combine over-the-counter medications with natural treatments or the natural options can sometimes even be utilized by themselves. A Neti pot or saline solutions are some examples. A vapor tablet, in some scenarios, when used in a hot shower can be very helpful as well. Environmental changes, including routinely washing fabrics with 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 bathe your pet regularly.
Already Tried All That?
For some people over-the-counter and natural solutions won’t be enough. If you’ve tried these methods over the course of several weeks and you aren’t having any relief it could be time to seek professional assistance. To find out if you require an allergy shot, you will have to go see an allergist. Every week for around six months a shot will be given in increasing dosages then the shots will be reduced to one every month. Small amounts of the allergen will be released into your system allowing your body to progressively learn how to deal with it. Though it only takes around eight months for patients to experience some relief, this treatment will demand a long term commitment of up to five years.
If you still have pressure in your ears and none of these methods help, it’s time to get a hearing exam.