Depending on where you’re located, all year can be allergy season. Allergies can range from minor to severe and can be caused by everything from pollen to pet dander. The first and most familiar indications that you are suffering from allergies are commonly itchy eyes and a runny nose.
But more pronounced symptoms, including poor balance, tinnitus, and hearing loss often occur. These symptoms are a side effect of increased pressure in your inner and middle ear.
Why is Your Hearing Impacted by Allergies?
When your body senses an environmental allergen it responds by discharging a chemical called histamine. The familiar itchy eyes and runny nose are the outcomes of this release. One less common symptom is fluid build up in your inner and middle ear. This is how your body stops the allergen from working its way deeper into your ear canal. The resulting pressure can cause issues with your equilibrium leading to a blocked ear, difficulty hearing, and balance issues.
Treatment Solutions For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
There are lots of ways to deal with the symptoms of allergies. Over-the-counter medications like Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra are generally the first solution. These products are used to treat mild conditions and can start working in as little as one dose with the full effect manifesting after a few days of use. These products are also safe for prolonged long term use if need be. 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 remedies or the natural options can sometimes even be used by themselves. These include a Neti pot or saline sprays. In some cases, even an ordinary hot shower can lead to improvement, especially when combined with a vapor tablet. You can also take steps to change your environment like buying an air purifier, wiping dust off surfaces with a damp cloth, and washing your fabrics in hot water every two weeks. Be sure you bathe your pets regularly if you have any and try to feed them dander control pet food if you’re allergic to them.
If None of These Works
For some individuals over-the-counter and natural solutions won’t be sufficient. When none of these methods help over the course of several weeks professional assistance might be needed. An allergist will determine if you are a good fit for allergy shots. Every week for around six months a shot will be given in increasing doses then the shots will be reduced to one every month. Small amounts of the allergen will be introduced into your system letting your body gradually learn how to manage it. Although it only takes about eight months for patients to experience some relief, this treatment will demand a long term commitment of up to five years.
If you still have pressure in your ears and none of these approaches help, it’s time to get a hearing test.