All year is allergy season in some locations. Allergies can range from mild to severe and can be caused 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 tinnitus, poor balance, and hearing loss sometimes happen. Added pressure in the middle and inner ear are responsible for these symptoms.
Why do Allergies Impair Your Hearing?
When your body senses an environmental allergen it responds by discharging a chemical called histamine. This release leads to the familiar sniffles and itchy eye symptoms of allergies. 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 produces pressure that can trigger tinnitus, trouble hearing, and even loss of balance as your equilibrium is affected.
Treatment For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
Allergies can be treated in many different ways. Over-the-counter medications such as Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra are normally the first solution. Minor cases can be effectively treated within a couple of days and initial relief usually begins after the first dose. Long term use of these medicines is also safe. Others, like Benadryl, Sudafed, and Afrin, can be used temporarily for relief, but are not advised for extended use because they can result in undesirable side effects.
You can also combine over-the-counter medications with natural treatments or the natural remedies can in some cases even be utilized by themselves. These include a Neti pot or saline sprays. A vapor tablet, in some situations, when used in a hot shower can be really helpful also. You can also take steps to change your environment such as getting an air purifier, cleaning dust off surfaces with a damp cloth, and washing your fabrics in hot water every couple of weeks. If you have pets and have trouble with pet dander, make sure you give your pets a bath regularly.
Already Tried All That?
Over-the-counter and natural treatments might not work in some cases. When none of these solutions help over the course of a few weeks professional assistance might be needed. To find out if you need an allergy shot, you will need 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. These shots work by releasing a small amount of allergen into your system which allows your body to learn how to deal with it. This approach does require a long-term commitment of up to five years, however, patients often feel relief starting at around eight months.
If none of the above approaches 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.