Your Hearing Can be Affected by Environmental Allergies

Woman in bed sneezing with allergies that are clogging her ear.

All year is allergy season in some places. Allergies can range from mild to severe and can be brought on by anything from pet dander to pollen. The first and most familiar signs that you are suffering from allergies are commonly a runny nose and itchy eyes.

But more pronounced symptoms, like tinnitus, bad balance, and hearing loss sometimes occur. Increased pressure in the inner and middle ear is the reason for these symptoms.

Why is Your Hearing Affected by Allergies?

Your body produces a chemical called histamine when it senses an environmental allergen. The familiar itchy eyes and runny nose are the result of this release. One less common symptom is the buildup of fluid in your inner and middle ear. This is how your body stops the allergen from getting deeper into your ear canal. The resulting pressure can result in problems with your equilibrium leading to a clogged ear, trouble hearing, and balance issues.

Treatment For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies

There are lots of ways to manage the symptoms of allergies. Most people start with over-the-counter products like Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra. Mild cases can be effectively treated within a couple of days and initial relief typically begins after the first dose. Extended use of these products is also safe. Others, such as Benadryl, Sudafed, and Afrin, can be used short term for relief, but are not recommended for long term use because they can result in undesirable side effects.

You can also combine over-the-counter medications with natural remedies or the natural remedies can in some cases even be utilized by themselves. These include saline sprays or a Neti pot. A vapor tablet, in certain scenarios, when used in a hot shower can be very helpful as well. You can also make changes to your environment such as getting an air purifier, cleaning dust off surfaces with a damp cloth, and washing your fabrics with hot water every couple of weeks. Make 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 people over-the-counter and natural remedies won’t be sufficient. When none of these approaches help over the course of a few weeks professional assistance may be needed. To find out if you need an allergy shot, you will have to consult an allergist. Every week for around six months a shot will be given in increasing doses then the shots will be decreased to one every month. Small amounts of the allergen will be introduced into your system letting your body progressively learn how to deal with it. This therapy does require a long-term commitment of up to five years, however, patients often experience relief starting at around eight months.

If none of the above strategies deliver relief, and you’ve made sure the pressure in your ears isn’t caused by an ear infection, then it is time to have your hearing tested.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.