Depending on where you live, allergy season can be all year long. Allergies can range from minor to severe and can be triggered by anything from pollen to pet dander. The first and most common signs that you are dealing with allergies are commonly itchy eyes and a runny nose.
But some will experience advanced symptoms like loss of hearing, poor balance, and tinnitus. Increased pressure in the middle and inner ear are responsible for these symptoms.
Why do Allergies Impact Your Hearing?
When your body detects an environmental allergen it reacts by expelling a chemical called histamine. The common runny nose and itchy eyes are the outcomes of this release. Fluid buildup in the inner ear is a less common symptom. This is how your body stops the allergen from working its way deeper into your ear canal. This fluid produces pressure that can lead to tinnitus, problems hearing, and even loss of balance as your equilibrium is affected.
Treatment Solutions For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
Allergies can be managed in many different ways. Over-the-counter medications such as Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra are normally the first options. These products are used to manage minor conditions and can start working in as little as one dose with the full effect appearing after a few days of use. These products are also safe for extended long term use if necessary. Other allergy medication can be used temporarily but aren’t recommended as a long term strategy because of their possible side effects, these medications include Sudafed, Afrin, and Benadryl.
There are also natural approaches that can be utilized by themselves or combined with over-the-counter remedies. These include saline sprays or a Neti pot. In certain situations, even an ordinary hot shower can lead to improvement, particularly when paired with a vapor tablet. You can also make changes to your environment like buying an air purifier, cleaning dust off surfaces with a damp cloth, and washing your fabrics in hot water every two weeks. Be sure you bathe your pets routinely if you have any and try to feed them dander control pet food if you’re allergic to them.
When Nothing Else Helps
Over-the-counter and natural solutions might not work in some situations. If you’ve tried these methods over the course of a few weeks and you’re not having any relief it could be time to get professional help. To find out if you require an allergy shot, you will have to consult an allergist. These shots will be given in slowly increasing doses once a week for up to six months before switching to a shot once a month. These shots work by introducing a small bit of allergen into your system which enables your body to learn how to cope with it. This treatment does demand a long-term commitment of up to five years, although, patients often experience relief beginning at about eight months.
If none of the above approaches 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.