Texas Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists, LLP - Bedford, Grapevine and Southlake, TX

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

All year is allergy season in some locations. Allergies can range from minor to extreme and can be brought on by everything from pet dander to pollen. The first and most familiar indications that you are suffering from allergies are normally itchy eyes and a runny nose.

However, some will undergo advanced symptoms such as loss of hearing, bad balance, and tinnitus. These symptoms occur because of increased pressure in your inner and middle ear.

Why do Allergies Affect Your Hearing?

When your body detects an environmental allergen it reacts by discharging a chemical called histamine. The common runny nose and itchy eyes are the result of this release. One less common symptom is the buildup of fluid in your inner and middle ear. The fluid stops the allergen from getting deeper into your ear canal. The resulting pressure can cause problems with your equilibrium leading to a blocked ear, difficulty hearing, and balance issues.

Treatment Solutions For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies

There are numerous ways to treat the symptoms of allergies. Most people start with over-the-counter products like Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra. Minor cases can be effectively treated within a couple of days and initial relief usually starts after the first dose. Extended use of these medicines is also safe. Other allergy medication can be used temporarily but aren’t suggested as a long term solution because of their potential side effects, these medications include Sudafed, Afrin, and Benadryl.

You can also combine over-the-counter medications with natural remedies or the natural remedies can in some cases even be used by themselves. These include saline sprays or a Neti pot. A vapor tablet, in certain situations, when used in a hot shower can be very helpful as well. 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 go a long way. Make sure you bathe your pets frequently if you have any and try to feed them dander control pet food if you’re allergic to them.

If None of These Works

Over-the-counter and natural remedies might not work in some situations. When none of these methods help over the course of several weeks professional help may be required. To figure out if you need an allergy shot, you will need to go see an allergist. Every week for around 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 progressively learn how to manage it. Though it only takes about eight months for patients to experience some relief, this treatment will demand a long term commitment of up to five years.

If you still have pressure in your ears and none of these strategies help, it’s time to have a hearing exam.

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