All year is allergy season in some places. From pet dander to pollen, allergies can vary from a small inconvenience to a daily struggle that affects your quality of life. Itchy eyes and a runny nose are the symptoms people are most familiar with and can be the first indication that you’re dealing with allergies.
But more pronounced symptoms, such as tinnitus, bad balance, and hearing loss sometimes happen. Increased pressure in the middle and inner ear are responsible for these symptoms.
Why do Allergies Impact Your Hearing?
When your body senses an environmental allergen it responds by expelling a chemical called histamine. The common itchy eyes and runny nose are the result of this release. One less prevalent symptom is the buildup of fluid in your inner and middle ear. The fluid blocks the allergen from getting further into your ear canal. The resulting pressure can result in problems with your equilibrium leading to a blocked ear, trouble hearing, and balance issues.
Treatment Solutions For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
There are numerous ways to deal with the symptoms of allergies. Most people start with over-the-counter medicines like Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra. Mild cases can be effectively managed within a couple of days and initial relief normally begins after the first dose. Extended use of these medicines is also safe. Other allergy medication can be used short term but aren’t recommended as a long term strategy 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 remedies can in some cases even be used by themselves. These include a Neti pot or saline sprays. In certain situations, even a simple hot shower can lead to improvement, particularly when paired with a vapor tablet. You can also make changes to your environment like getting an air purifier, wiping dust off surfaces with a damp cloth, and washing your fabrics in hot water every couple of weeks. If you have pets and struggle with pet dander, be sure to give your pets a bath regularly.
If None of These Help
Over-the-counter and natural solutions may not work in some cases. When none of these methods help over the course of a few weeks professional help might be required. To find out if you need an allergy shot, you will have to consult an allergist. These shots will be given in slowly increasing dosages once a week for up to six months before switching to a monthly shot. These shots work by introducing a small bit of allergen into your system which allows your body to learn how to deal with it. This approach does demand a long-term commitment of up to five years, although, patients tend to feel relief beginning at about eight months.
If none of the above strategies provides relief, and you’ve made certain the pressure in your ears isn’t due to an ear infection, then it is time to have your hearing checked.