Depending on where you’re located, allergy season can be all year long. Allergies can range from minimal to severe and can be brought on by anything from pollen to pet dander. The first and most common signs that you are dealing with allergies are commonly itchy eyes and a runny nose.
But more advanced symptoms, such as tinnitus, bad balance, and hearing loss often occur. These symptoms are a side effect of added 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 accumulation in the inner ear is a less common symptom. This is how your body stops the allergen from working its way deeper into your ear canal. The resulting pressure can cause problems with your equilibrium leading to a blocked ear, trouble hearing, and balance issues.
Treatment For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
There are numerous ways to deal with the symptoms of allergies. The majority of people start with over-the-counter products such as Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra. Minor cases can be successfully managed within a couple of days and initial relief typically begins after the first dose. These products are also safe for extended long term use if needed. 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.
You can also combine over-the-counter medications with natural solutions or the natural remedies can in some cases even be used by themselves. A Neti pot or saline solutions are some examples. In some cases, even a simple hot shower can lead to improvement, especially when paired with a vapor tablet. Environmental changes, such as routinely washing fabrics with hot water, using a damp cloth to minimize dust on surfaces, and using an air purifier can also significantly help. Be certain that you bathe your pets routinely 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 aren’t experiencing any relief it might be time to get professional advice. An allergist will decide if you are a good fit for allergy shots. 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 allowing your body to slowly learn how to deal with it. This therapy does demand a long-term commitment of up to five years, although, patients often experience relief beginning at around eight months.
If none of the above strategies deliver relief, and you’ve made certain the pressure in your ears isn’t due to an ear infection, then it is time to get your hearing tested.