Depending on where you live, allergy season can be all year long. From pollen to pet dander, allergies can range from a minor annoyance to a daily struggle that impacts your quality of life. The first and most common signs that you are suffering from allergies are normally itchy eyes and a runny nose.
However, some will undergo advanced symptoms like hearing loss, bad balance, and tinnitus. These symptoms occur because of increased pressure in your inner and middle ear.
Why do Allergies Impair Your Hearing?
When your body senses an environmental allergen it responds by expelling a chemical called histamine. This release leads to the familiar itchy eye symptoms and sniffles of allergies. Fluid buildup in the inner ear is a less known symptom. This is how your body stops the allergen from getting 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 For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
There are numerous ways to deal with the symptoms of allergies. Over-the-counter medications like Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra are typically the first solution. Mild cases can be effectively managed within a couple of days and initial relief typically starts after the first dose. These products are also safe for continued long term use if necessary. Other allergy medication can be used short term but aren’t recommended as a long term strategy because of their possible side effects, these medications include Sudafed, Afrin, and Benadryl.
You can also combine over-the-counter medications with natural solutions or the natural remedies can in some cases even be used by themselves. These include saline sprays or a Neti pot. A vapor tablet, in some situations, when used in a hot shower can be really helpful also. Environmental changes, including routinely washing fabrics with hot water, using a damp cloth to reduce dust on surfaces, and using an air purifier can also go a long way. 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 Works
For some people over-the-counter and natural solutions won’t be enough. If you’ve tried these solutions over the course of several weeks and you’re not experiencing any relief it could be time to get professional help. An allergist will determine 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 reduced to once a month. These shots work by releasing a small bit of allergen into your system which enables your body to learn how to cope with it. Although it only takes around eight months for patients to feel 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 get a hearing exam.