The entire year is allergy season in some locations. From pet dander to pollen, allergies can vary from a small annoyance to a daily struggle that affects your quality of life. The first and most common signs that you are dealing with allergies are usually a runny nose and itchy eyes.
However, some will experience enhanced symptoms like hearing loss, poor balance, and tinnitus. Increased pressure in the middle and inner ear are responsible for these symptoms.
Why is Your Hearing Impacted by Allergies?
When your body senses an environmental allergen it responds by expelling a chemical called histamine. This release leads to the familiar sniffles and itchy eye symptoms of allergies. Fluid buildup in the inner ear is a less known symptom. The fluid blocks the allergen from getting deeper into your ear canal. This fluid creates pressure that can trigger tinnitus, problems hearing, and even loss of balance as your equilibrium is disrupted.
Treatment For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
Allergies can be managed in many different ways. Over-the-counter medications such as Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra are normally the first solution. These medicines are used to manage mild cases 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 needed. Other allergy medications can be used temporarily 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 solutions that can be utilized on their own or combined with over-the-counter medications. These include saline sprays or a Neti pot. A vapor tablet, in some situations, when used in a hot shower can be very helpful also. Environmental changes, like routinely washing fabrics with hot water, using a damp cloth to minimize dust on surfaces, and using an air purifier can also go a long way. If you have pets and have a problem with pet dander, make sure you bathe your pet regularly.
Already Tried All That?
Over-the-counter and natural treatments may not work in some situations. If you’ve tried these solutions over the course of a few weeks and you aren’t experiencing any relief it might be time to seek professional help. To figure out if you need an allergy shot, you will have to consult an allergist. These shots will be delivered in slowly increasing doses once a week for up to six months before transitioning to a monthly shot. Small amounts of the allergen will be introduced into your system letting your body gradually learn how to manage it. Though it only takes around eight months for patients to experience some relief, this therapy will require 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 test.