Environmental Allergies Can Cause Hearing Issues

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

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

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

Why is Your Hearing Impacted by Allergies?

Your body releases a chemical called histamine when it senses an environmental allergen. This release leads to the familiar sniffles and itchy eye symptoms of allergies. Fluid accumulation in the inner ear is a less known symptom. The fluid stops the allergen from going deeper into your ear canal. This fluid creates pressure that can trigger tinnitus, problems hearing, and even loss of balance as your equilibrium is disrupted.

Treatment Solutions For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies

There are numerous ways to manage the symptoms of allergies. Over-the-counter medications such as Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra are typically the first options. Minor cases can be successfully managed within a couple of days and initial relief usually begins after the first dose. These products are also safe for continued long term use if needed. Others, such as Benadryl, Sudafed, and Afrin, can be used short term for relief, but are not recommended for long term use as they can cause unwanted side effects.

There are also natural approaches that can be utilized by themselves or in combination with over-the-counter remedies. These include saline sprays or a Neti pot. A vapor tablet, in some scenarios, when used in a hot shower can be really helpful as well. You can also take steps to change your environment like purchasing an air purifier, cleaning dust off surfaces with a damp cloth, and washing your fabrics with hot water every couple of weeks. If you have pets and struggle with pet dander, make sure you give your pets a bath regularly.

Already Tried All That?

Over-the-counter and natural treatments might not work in some circumstances. When none of these solutions help over the course of a few weeks professional assistance might be required. 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 one every 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 therapy does demand a long-term commitment of up to five years, however, patients tend to experience relief starting at around eight months.

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

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