Depending on where you’re located, allergy season can be all year long. From pet dander to pollen, allergies can vary from a slight aggravation to a daily battle that impacts your quality of life. The first and most common signs that you are suffering from allergies are normally a runny nose and itchy eyes.
However, some will experience advanced symptoms like loss of hearing, bad balance, and tinnitus. Increased pressure in the inner and middle ear is the reason for these symptoms.
Why do Allergies Impair Your Hearing?
Your body releases a chemical called histamine when it senses an environmental allergen. This release leads to the familiar sniffles and itchy eye symptoms of allergies. One less prevalent symptom is fluid build up in your inner and middle ear. This is how your body stops the allergen from getting deeper 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 For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
Allergies can be managed in many different ways. Most people start with over-the-counter medicines like Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra. These medicines are used to manage mild conditions and can start working in as little as one dose with the full effect appearing after a few days of use. Long term use of these medicines is also safe. Other allergy medication can be used temporarily 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 solutions or the natural options can in some cases 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. Environmental changes, including regularly washing fabrics with hot water, using a damp cloth to reduce dust on surfaces, and using an air purifier can also go a long way. Be sure you bathe your pets frequently 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 people over-the-counter and natural remedies won’t be sufficient. When none of these approaches help over the course of a few weeks professional assistance might be needed. To find out if you need an allergy shot, you will have to consult an allergist. Every week for about 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 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 therapy will demand a long term commitment of up to five years.
If you still have pressure in your ears and none of these strategies help, it’s time to get a hearing exam.