All year is allergy season in some locations. Allergies can range from minimal to severe and can be caused by anything from pollen to pet dander. Runny nose and itchy eyes are the symptoms people are most familiar with and can be the first indication that you’re suffering from allergies.
But more advanced symptoms, like poor balance, tinnitus, and hearing loss sometimes happen. Increased pressure in the inner and middle ear is the reason for these symptoms.
Why do Allergies Impair Your Hearing?
Your body produces a chemical called histamine when it senses an environmental allergen. The familiar runny nose and itchy eyes are the result of this release. One less prevalent symptom is fluid build up in your middle and inner 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, difficulty hearing, and balance issues.
Treatment Solutions For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
There are many ways to deal with the symptoms of allergies. The majority of people start with over-the-counter products such as Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra. These products are used to treat mild conditions and can begin working in as little as one dose with the maximum effect manifesting after a few days of use. Extended use of these medicines is also safe. Other allergy medication can be used temporarily but aren’t suggested as a long term strategy because of their potential side effects, these medications include Sudafed, Afrin, and Benadryl.
You can also combine over-the-counter medications with natural treatments or the natural options can in some cases even be utilized by themselves. A Neti pot or saline solutions are some examples. A vapor tablet, in some situations, when used in a hot shower can be really helpful also. You can also take steps to change your environment like getting an air purifier, cleaning dust off surfaces with a damp cloth, and washing your fabrics in hot water every couple of weeks. Be 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 Helps
For some individuals over-the-counter and natural remedies won’t be sufficient. When none of these methods help over the course of several weeks professional help might be needed. An allergist will determine if you are a good fit for allergy shots. These shots will be delivered in slowly increasing dosages once a week for up to six months before switching to a shot once a month. Small amounts of the allergen will be introduced into your system allowing your body to slowly learn how to handle it. This treatment does demand a long-term commitment of up to five years, however, patients tend to experience relief starting at about eight months.
If you still have pressure in your ears and none of these strategies help, it’s time to have a hearing exam.