The entire year is allergy season in some locations. Allergies can range from mild to extreme and can be caused by anything from pollen to pet dander. The first and most common indications that you are dealing with allergies are usually itchy eyes and a runny nose.
But more pronounced symptoms, such as poor balance, tinnitus, and hearing loss sometimes occur. Increased pressure in the middle and inner ear is the reason for these symptoms.
Why is Your Hearing Impacted by Allergies?
When your body senses an environmental allergen it responds by releasing a chemical called histamine. This release results in the familiar itchy eye symptoms and sniffles of allergies. Fluid accumulation in the inner ear is a less known symptom. The fluid stops the allergen from getting further into your ear canal. This fluid creates pressure that can trigger tinnitus, problems hearing, and even loss of balance as your equilibrium is affected.
Treatment For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
There are many ways to manage the symptoms of allergies. Over-the-counter medications such as Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra are normally the first solution. Minor cases can be effectively treated within a couple of days and initial relief typically starts after the first dose. These products are also safe for prolonged long term use if necessary. Others, such as Benadryl, Sudafed, and Afrin, can be used short term for relief, but are not suggested for continuous use because they can result in unwanted side effects.
There are also natural solutions that can be used on their own or in combination with over-the-counter medications. Saline solutions or a Neti pot are some examples. In some cases, even a simple hot shower can lead to improvement, especially when combined with a vapor tablet. Environmental changes, such as routinely 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. Be sure you bathe your pets regularly if you have any and try to feed them dander control pet food if you’re allergic to them.
Already Tried All That?
For some individuals over-the-counter and natural treatments won’t be enough. If you’ve tried these methods over the course of a few weeks and you aren’t having any relief it might be time to get professional help. An allergist will decide if you are a good fit for allergy shots. Every week for about six months a shot will be given in increasing dosages then the shots will be reduced to once a month. Small amounts of the allergen will be introduced into your system letting your body gradually learn how to deal with it. Even though it only takes around eight months for patients to experience some relief, this therapy will require a long term commitment of as much as five years.
If none of the above methods provides 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.