The entire year is allergy season in some places. Allergies can range from minor to extreme and can be triggered by everything from pet dander to pollen. Runny nose and itchy eyes are the symptoms people are most familiar with and can be the first indication that you’re suffering from allergies.
But more pronounced symptoms, like poor balance, tinnitus, and hearing loss often happen. Added pressure in the middle and inner ear is the reason for these symptoms.
Why is Your Hearing Impacted by Allergies?
When your body detects an environmental allergen it reacts by expelling a chemical called histamine. This release causes the familiar sniffles and itchy eye symptoms of allergies. Fluid accumulation in the inner ear is a less known symptom. This is how your body stops the allergen from working its way deeper into your ear canal. This fluid causes pressure that can lead to tinnitus, problems hearing, and even loss of balance as your equilibrium is affected.
Treatment For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
Allergies can be managed in several different ways. Over-the-counter medications like Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra are typically the first options. These products are used to manage minor 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 continued long term use if needed. Others, such as Benadryl, Sudafed, and Afrin, can be used short term for relief, but are not suggested for continuous use as they can result in undesirable side effects.
You can also combine over-the-counter medications with natural solutions or the natural remedies can sometimes even be utilized by themselves. Saline solutions or a Neti pot are some examples. A vapor tablet, in certain scenarios, when used in a hot shower can be very helpful also. Environmental changes, such as regularly washing fabrics with hot water, using a damp cloth to reduce 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, be sure to bathe your pet regularly.
If None of These Works
Over-the-counter and natural solutions might not work in some cases. If you’ve tried these methods over the course of several weeks and you aren’t having any relief it could be time to get professional help. 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 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. Although it only takes around eight months for patients to feel some relief, this treatment will demand a long term commitment of up to five years.
If you still have pressure in your ears and none of these approaches help, it’s time to have a hearing exam.