Depending on where you live, all year can be allergy season. Allergies can range from minor to extreme and can be triggered by everything 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, like poor balance, tinnitus, and hearing loss sometimes occur. These symptoms are a side effect of increased pressure in your inner and middle ear.
Why is Your Hearing Impacted by Allergies?
Your body releases a chemical called histamine when it senses an environmental allergen. The common runny nose and itchy eyes are the outcomes 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 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 disrupted.
Treatment For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
There are numerous ways to treat the symptoms of allergies. Most people start with over-the-counter products such as Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra. These medicines are used to manage minor cases and can start working in as little as one dose with the maximum effect appearing after a few days of use. Long term use of these products is also safe. Others, such as Benadryl, Sudafed, and Afrin, can be used short term for relief, but are not suggested for long term use as they can lead to 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. In some cases, even an ordinary hot shower can lead to improvement, particularly when combined with a vapor tablet. Environmental changes, including routinely washing fabrics with hot water, using a damp cloth to minimize dust on surfaces, and using an air purifier can also significantly help. If you have pets and have trouble with pet dander, make sure you bathe your pet frequently.
If None of These Help
For some individuals over-the-counter and natural remedies won’t be enough. If you’ve tried these solutions over the course of several weeks and you’re not having any relief it might be time to seek professional assistance. To figure out if you need an allergy shot, you will need to consult an allergist. Every week for about six months a shot will be given in increasing doses then the shots will be reduced to once a month. Small amounts of the allergen will be released into your system letting your body gradually learn how to deal with it. Although it only takes about eight months for patients to feel some relief, this therapy will require a long term commitment of up to five years.
If you still have pressure in your ears and none of these methods help, it’s time to have a hearing exam.