Depending on where you’re located, all year can be allergy season. From pollen to pet dander, allergies can vary from a slight aggravation to a daily struggle that impacts your quality of life. Itchy eyes and a runny nose are the symptoms people are most familiar with and can be the first indication that you’re dealing with allergies.
But more pronounced symptoms, such as tinnitus, poor balance, and hearing loss sometimes occur. These symptoms occur because of increased pressure in your inner and middle ear.
Why do Allergies Impact Your Hearing?
Your body releases a chemical called histamine when it senses an environmental allergen. The common itchy eyes and runny nose are the result of this release. Fluid accumulation in the inner ear is a less common symptom. The fluid stops the allergen from going deeper into your ear canal. This fluid causes 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 managed in many different ways. Over-the-counter medications such as Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra are typically the first solution. These products are used to manage mild cases and can start working in as little as one dose with the full effect manifesting after a few days of use. Extended 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 lead to 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. In some situations, even an ordinary hot shower can lead to improvement, especially when paired with a vapor tablet. You can also make changes to your environment including buying an air purifier, cleaning dust off surfaces with a damp cloth, and washing your fabrics with hot water every two weeks. If you have pets and struggle with pet dander, make sure you give your pets a bath regularly.
When Nothing Else Works
Over-the-counter and natural remedies may not work in some circumstances. When none of these approaches help over the course of several weeks professional assistance may be required. To find out if you require an allergy shot, you will need to go see 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 allowing your body to gradually learn how to deal with it. Though it only takes about eight months for patients to feel some relief, this treatment will demand a long term commitment of up to five years.
If none of the above approaches 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.