The entire year is allergy season in some locations. From pet dander to pollen, allergies can vary from a minor aggravation to a daily struggle that impacts your quality of life. The first and most common indications that you are dealing with allergies are normally a runny nose and itchy eyes.
But some will undergo advanced symptoms like loss of hearing, poor balance, and tinnitus. Added pressure in the inner and middle ear are responsible for these symptoms.
Why do Allergies Affect Your Hearing?
When your body detects an environmental allergen it reacts by expelling a chemical called histamine. The common itchy eyes and runny nose are the result of this release. One less common symptom is the buildup of fluid in your inner and middle ear. The fluid blocks 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 treated in several different ways. Most people begin with over-the-counter products like Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra. Minor cases can be effectively treated within a couple of days and initial relief normally begins after the first dose. Long term use of these products is also safe. Others, like Benadryl, Sudafed, and Afrin, can be used short term for relief, but are not recommended for long term use as they can result in unwanted side effects.
You can also combine over-the-counter medications with natural treatments or the natural options can sometimes even be used by themselves. These include saline sprays or a Neti pot. A vapor tablet, in certain scenarios, when used in a hot shower can be very helpful as well. You can also take steps to change your environment including buying an air purifier, wiping dust off surfaces with a damp cloth, and washing your fabrics in hot water every two weeks. Be certain that you bathe your pets frequently if you have any and try to feed them dander control pet food if you’re allergic to them.
If None of These Help
Over-the-counter and natural remedies may not work in some cases. If you’ve tried these methods over the course of a few weeks and you’re not experiencing any relief it may be time to seek professional advice. To figure out if you need an allergy shot, you will have to go see an allergist. Every week for around six months a shot will be given in increasing doses then the shots will be decreased to once a month. These shots work by introducing a small bit of allergen into your system which enables your body to learn how to deal with it. This treatment does require a long-term commitment of up to five years, however, patients tend to experience relief starting at around eight months.
If none of the above methods provides relief, and you’ve made sure the pressure in your ears isn’t caused by an ear infection, then it is time to have your hearing checked.