Depending on where you live, allergy season can be all year long. From pollen to pet dander, allergies can vary from a small inconvenience to a daily battle that impacts your quality of life. The first and most familiar signs that you are dealing with allergies are commonly itchy eyes and a runny nose.
However, some will experience enhanced symptoms such as loss of hearing, poor balance, and tinnitus. These symptoms happen because of increased pressure in your inner and middle ear.
Why is Your Hearing Impacted by Allergies?
Your body releases a chemical called histamine when it detects an environmental allergen. The common runny nose and itchy eyes are the outcomes of this release. Fluid buildup in the inner ear is a less common symptom. The fluid stops the allergen from going 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 Solutions For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
There are lots of ways to treat the symptoms of allergies. The majority of people start with over-the-counter medicines like Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra. Mild cases can be successfully treated within a couple of days and initial relief normally starts after the first dose. Extended use of these products is also safe. Other allergy medication can be used temporarily but aren’t suggested 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 in combination with over-the-counter medications. Saline solutions or a Neti pot are some examples. In some situations, even a simple hot shower can lead to improvement, particularly when paired with a vapor tablet. Environmental changes, like regularly washing fabrics with hot water, using a damp cloth to minimize dust on surfaces, and running an air purifier can also go a long way. Be sure you give your pets a bath regularly if you have any and try to feed them dander control pet food if you’re allergic to them.
When Nothing Else Helps
For some individuals over-the-counter and natural solutions won’t be enough. If you’ve tried these approaches over the course of a few weeks and you aren’t experiencing any relief it could be time to get professional assistance. To figure out if you require an allergy shot, you will need to consult an allergist. These shots will be given in slowly increasing doses once a week for up to six months before switching to a monthly shot. These shots work by introducing a small amount of allergen into your system which allows your body to learn how to cope with it. Even though it only takes about eight months for patients to experience some relief, this treatment will demand a long term commitment of as much as five years.
If you still have pressure in your ears and none of these strategies help, it’s time to have a hearing test.