Depending on where you live, all year can be allergy season. Allergies can range from minimal to extreme and can be triggered by everything from pollen to pet dander. Runny nose and itchy eyes are the symptoms that are most familiar and can be the first sign that you’re experiencing allergies.
But some will undergo advanced symptoms such as loss of hearing, bad balance, and tinnitus. These symptoms are a side effect of increased pressure in your inner and middle ear.
Why do Allergies Impair Your Hearing?
When your body detects an environmental allergen it reacts by expelling a chemical called histamine. The familiar itchy eyes and runny nose are the outcomes of this release. Fluid accumulation in the inner ear is a less known symptom. The fluid blocks the allergen from getting deeper into your ear canal. This fluid produces pressure that can lead to tinnitus, trouble hearing, and even loss of balance as your equilibrium is affected.
Treatment Solutions For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
There are numerous ways to treat the symptoms of allergies. Most people begin with over-the-counter products like Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra. These medicines 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. These products are also safe for prolonged long term use if needed. Others, like Benadryl, Sudafed, and Afrin, can be used short term for relief, but are not advised for extended use because they can lead to undesirable side effects.
There are also natural solutions that can be utilized by themselves or combined with over-the-counter medications. Saline solutions or a Neti pot are some examples. In certain cases, even an ordinary hot shower can lead to improvement, particularly when combined with a vapor tablet. You can also make changes to your environment like purchasing an air purifier, wiping dust off surfaces with a damp cloth, and washing your fabrics with hot water every couple of weeks. 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.
If None of These Help
Over-the-counter and natural remedies may not work in some cases. When none of these approaches help over the course of a few weeks professional assistance might be needed. An allergist will determine if you are a good candidate 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 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, however, patients tend to experience relief starting at about eight months.
If none of the above strategies provides relief, and you’ve made certain the pressure in your ears isn’t caused by an ear infection, then it is time to get your hearing checked.