Depending on where you’re located, all year can be allergy season. Allergies can range from minor to extreme and can be caused by everything from pet dander to pollen. Runny nose and itchy eyes are the symptoms that are most familiar and can be the first indication that you’re dealing with allergies.
But more advanced symptoms, including poor balance, tinnitus, and hearing loss often happen. These symptoms are a side effect of increased pressure in your inner and middle ear.
Why do Allergies Impact Your Hearing?
When your body detects an environmental allergen it reacts by releasing a chemical called histamine. The familiar runny nose and itchy eyes are the result of this release. One less prevalent symptom is the buildup of fluid in your middle and inner ear. The fluid stops the allergen from going further into your ear canal. This fluid creates pressure that can lead to tinnitus, trouble hearing, and even loss of balance as your equilibrium is disrupted.
Treatment Solutions For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
There are lots of ways to deal with the symptoms of allergies. Most people begin with over-the-counter products such as Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra. Minor cases can be effectively managed within a couple of days and initial relief normally starts after the first dose. These products are also safe for continued long term use if needed. Other allergy medication can be used short term but aren’t recommended as a long term solution because of their potential side effects, these medications include Sudafed, Afrin, and Benadryl.
There are also natural solutions that can be utilized by themselves or combined with over-the-counter remedies. These include a Neti pot or saline sprays. A vapor tablet, in some scenarios, when used in a hot shower can be very helpful also. Environmental changes, such as regularly washing fabrics in hot water, using a damp cloth to reduce dust on surfaces, and running an air purifier can also go a long way. Be certain that 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 Works
For some people over-the-counter and natural remedies won’t be sufficient. If you’ve tried these methods over the course of a few weeks and you’re not having any relief it may be time to get professional advice. To find out if you require an allergy shot, you will have to consult an allergist. These shots will be delivered in slowly increasing dosages once a week for up to six months before switching to a shot once a month. Small amounts of the allergen will be introduced into your system letting your body progressively learn how to deal with it. Though it only takes about eight months for patients to experience some relief, this treatment will require a long term commitment of up to five years.
If none of the above approaches provides 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 checked.