All year is allergy season in some places. From pollen to pet dander, allergies can range from a minor aggravation to a daily battle that affects your quality of life. Runny nose and itchy eyes are the symptoms that are most familiar and can be the first indication that you’re suffering from allergies.
But more pronounced symptoms, including tinnitus, poor balance, and hearing loss often happen. Increased pressure in the middle and inner ear is the reason for these symptoms.
Why do Allergies Impair Your Hearing?
When your body detects an environmental allergen it responds by expelling a chemical called histamine. The common runny nose and itchy eyes are the outcomes of this release. One less common symptom is the buildup of fluid in your middle and inner ear. This is how your body stops the allergen from working its way deeper into your ear canal. This fluid produces pressure that can lead to tinnitus, problems hearing, and even loss of balance as your equilibrium is disrupted.
Treatment Solutions For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
There are numerous ways to deal with the symptoms of allergies. The majority of people start with over-the-counter medicines like Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra. Mild cases can be successfully managed within a couple of days and initial relief normally starts after the first dose. 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 extended use because they can cause undesirable side effects.
You can also combine over-the-counter medications with natural solutions or the natural remedies can sometimes even be used 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 as well. Environmental changes, including routinely washing fabrics in hot water, using a damp cloth to minimize dust on surfaces, and running an air purifier can also significantly help. Be sure you give your pets a bath frequently if you have any and try to feed them dander control pet food if you’re allergic to them.
If None of These Help
Over-the-counter and natural remedies might not work in some cases. When none of these approaches help over the course of a few weeks professional help might be required. An allergist will decide if you are a good candidate for allergy shots. These shots will be delivered in slowly increasing dosages once a week for up to six months before transitioning to a shot once a month. Small amounts of the allergen will be introduced into your system letting your body progressively learn how to manage it. Although it only takes about eight months for patients to feel some relief, this therapy 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 test.