Environmental Allergies Can Cause Poor Hearing

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

Depending on where you live, all year can be allergy season. Allergies can range from mild to severe and can be brought on by everything from pollen to pet dander. Runny nose and itchy eyes are the symptoms that are most familiar and can be the first indication that you’re dealing with allergies.

But more pronounced symptoms, like poor balance, tinnitus, and hearing loss often occur. These symptoms occur because of increased pressure in your inner and middle ear.

Why is Your Hearing Impacted by Allergies?

When your body detects an environmental allergen it reacts by expelling a chemical called histamine. This release results in the familiar sniffles and itchy eye symptoms of allergies. Fluid buildup in the inner ear is a less common symptom. The fluid stops the allergen from going further into your ear canal. This fluid causes pressure that can lead to tinnitus, problems hearing, and even loss of balance as your equilibrium is affected.

Treatment Solutions For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies

Allergies can be treated in many different ways. Over-the-counter medications such as Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra are typically the first options. These medicines 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 products is also safe. Other allergy medication can be used temporarily but aren’t recommended as a long term strategy because of their potential side effects, these medications include Sudafed, Afrin, and Benadryl.

You can also combine over-the-counter medications with natural treatments or the natural remedies can in some cases even be utilized by themselves. Saline solutions or a Neti pot are some examples. In some cases, even an ordinary hot shower can lead to improvement, particularly when paired with a vapor tablet. You can also make changes to your environment such as purchasing an air purifier, cleaning dust off surfaces with a damp cloth, and washing your fabrics in hot water every two weeks. Be certain that you bathe your pets routinely if you have any and try to feed them dander control pet food if you’re allergic to them.

Already Tried All That?

Over-the-counter and natural solutions may not work in some cases. If you’ve tried these methods over the course of a few weeks and you aren’t having any relief it could be time to seek professional help. To find out if you require an allergy shot, you will need to consult an allergist. Every week for about six months a shot will be given in increasing dosages then the shots will be decreased to once a month. These shots work by releasing a small bit of allergen into your system which allows your body to learn how to cope with it. This approach does require a long-term commitment of up to five years, although, patients tend to feel relief starting at about eight months.

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