All year is allergy season in some places. Allergies can range from minimal to extreme and can be triggered by anything from pet dander to pollen. Itchy eyes and a runny nose are the symptoms that are most familiar and can be the first sign that you’re dealing with allergies.
But more advanced symptoms, including tinnitus, bad balance, and hearing loss often occur. Increased pressure in the middle and inner ear are responsible for these symptoms.
Why is Your Hearing Impacted by Allergies?
Your body produces a chemical called histamine when it detects an environmental allergen. The familiar runny nose and itchy eyes are the result of this release. Fluid buildup in the inner ear is a less common symptom. The fluid blocks the allergen from getting deeper into your ear canal. The resulting pressure can result in issues with your equilibrium leading to a blocked ear, difficulty hearing, and balance issues.
Treatment For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
There are numerous ways to treat the symptoms of allergies. Over-the-counter medications such as Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra are typically the first solution. Minor cases can be successfully treated within a couple of days and initial relief typically starts after the first dose. 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 potential side effects, these medications include Sudafed, Afrin, and Benadryl.
There are also natural approaches that can be utilized by themselves or combined with over-the-counter remedies. A Neti pot or saline solutions are some examples. In some cases, even a simple hot shower can lead to improvement, particularly when paired with a vapor tablet. You can also make changes to your environment including getting an air purifier, cleaning dust off surfaces with a damp cloth, and washing your fabrics in hot water every couple of weeks. If you have pets and have trouble with pet dander, make sure you give your pets a bath regularly.
If None of These Help
For some people over-the-counter and natural remedies won’t be sufficient. If you’ve tried these approaches over the course of a few weeks and you aren’t experiencing any relief it might be time to seek professional assistance. To find out if you require an allergy shot, you will need to go see an allergist. These shots will be delivered in slowly increasing dosages once a week for up to six months before changing to a monthly shot. These shots work by introducing a small amount of allergen into your system which enables your body to learn how to deal with it. This treatment does require a long-term commitment of up to five years, however, patients often feel relief starting at around eight months.
If none of the above strategies deliver relief, and you’ve made sure the pressure in your ears isn’t caused by an ear infection, then it is time to get your hearing tested.