Depending on where you live, allergy season can be all year long. From pollen to pet dander, allergies can vary from a slight aggravation to a daily battle that affects your quality of life. Itchy eyes and a runny nose are the symptoms that are most familiar and can be the first indication that you’re experiencing allergies.
However, some will undergo enhanced symptoms such as hearing loss, poor balance, and tinnitus. These symptoms are a side effect of increased pressure in your inner and middle ear.
Why is Your Hearing Impacted by Allergies?
Your body releases a chemical called histamine when it senses an environmental allergen. This release results in the familiar sniffles and itchy eye symptoms of allergies. One less common symptom is the buildup of fluid in your middle and inner ear. The fluid stops the allergen from going further into your ear canal. This fluid causes pressure that can trigger tinnitus, problems hearing, and even loss of balance as your equilibrium is disrupted.
Treatment For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
Allergies can be treated in several different ways. Over-the-counter medications such as Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra are usually the first options. Mild cases can be effectively treated within a couple of days and initial relief usually starts after the first dose. Extended use of these products is also safe. Other allergy medication can be used temporarily but aren’t suggested as a long term solution because of their possible 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 sometimes even be utilized by themselves. A Neti pot or saline solutions are some examples. In certain situations, even a simple hot shower can lead to improvement, particularly when combined with a vapor tablet. Environmental changes, such as routinely washing fabrics in hot water, using a damp cloth to minimize dust on surfaces, and using an air purifier can also go a long way. Be certain that you give your pets a bath routinely if you have any and try to feed them dander control pet food if you’re allergic to them.
Already Tried All That?
Over-the-counter and natural remedies may not work in some cases. If you’ve tried these approaches over the course of a few weeks and you’re not having any relief it could be time to seek professional advice. An allergist will figure out 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 releasing a small bit of allergen into your system which allows your body to learn how to deal with it. Even though it only takes about eight months for patients to experience some relief, this treatment will require a long term commitment of up to five years.
If none of the above strategies provides relief, and you’ve made sure the pressure in your ears isn’t due to an ear infection, then it is time to have your hearing checked.