Depending on where you’re located, allergy season can be all year long. Allergies can range from minimal to extreme and can be caused by anything from pollen to pet dander. The first and most common signs that you are suffering from allergies are commonly a runny nose and itchy eyes.
However, some will undergo advanced symptoms such as loss of hearing, poor balance, and tinnitus. These symptoms are a side effect of added pressure in your inner and middle ear.
Why is Your Hearing Impacted by Allergies?
When your body detects an environmental allergen it responds by releasing a chemical called histamine. The familiar runny nose and itchy eyes are the result of this release. One less prevalent symptom is the buildup of fluid in your middle and inner ear. The fluid blocks the allergen from getting deeper into your ear canal. This fluid creates pressure that can trigger tinnitus, problems hearing, and even loss of balance as your equilibrium is affected.
How to Manage This Allergy-Related Hearing Loss
There are numerous ways to treat the symptoms of allergies. Over-the-counter medications like Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra are generally the first options. Mild cases can be effectively managed within a couple of days and initial relief typically begins after the first dose. These products are also safe for continued long term use if need be. Others, like Benadryl, Sudafed, and Afrin, can be used temporarily for relief, but are not suggested for extended use as they can cause unwanted side effects.
You can also combine over-the-counter medications with natural solutions or the natural remedies can sometimes even be utilized by themselves. These include a Neti pot or saline sprays. A vapor tablet, in some scenarios, when used in a hot shower can be really helpful also. You can also take steps to change your environment such as buying an air purifier, wiping dust off surfaces with a damp cloth, and washing your fabrics with hot water every two weeks. Be certain that you bathe your pets frequently 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 treatments may not work in some circumstances. When none of these approaches help over the course of a few weeks professional assistance might be needed. To find out if you require an allergy shot, you will have to go see an allergist. Every week for around six months a shot will be given in increasing doses then the shots will be reduced to once a month. These shots work by releasing a small amount of allergen into your system which allows your body to learn how to cope with it. Although it only takes around eight months for patients to feel some relief, this therapy will require a long term commitment of up to five years.
If you still have pressure in your ears and none of these methods help, it’s time to get a hearing test.