It is very common that seasonal allergies such as hay fever can cause all sorts of problems. Symptoms like an itchy throat and a runny nose are commonplace. However, allergies can also affect your ears and even cause hearing loss and tinnitus.
So read below to find out how allergies cause these problems and how to remedy these issues if you’re suffering from them.
Can allergies affect your hearing?
For most people, allergies present themselves with a few common symptoms. These are usually itchy throat, sneezing or a runny nose etc. However, when allergies flare up, some of those people who are affected can get symptoms in their ears. This can cause hearing to worsen as well as conditions like tinnitus to become more problematic.
Causes of allergy-related hearing loss
Particular allergens that are not necessarily harmful to the body can cause an immune response. This is when the body musters its defences in the form of antibodies which release histamines. This is the cause of allergy symptoms. Things like itchy throat, skin and eyes as well as various other symptoms are the results of this release of histamine.
When your body starts to fight against allergens, there can be inflammation. This inflammation commonly appears in the eustachian tube (this connects your throat to your nose and ears), which can cause pressure to build up and make it feel like your ears are blocked up. When your hearing is affected by this blocking up, it is called conductive loss of hearing. This diminishes once the allergic response has lessened.
The blocking up of your ear means that sound has difficulty penetrating into your ear, specifically that your middle ear bones cannot vibrate as much from the sound waves. This can cause a degradation in your hearing quality, this can happen to many people who suffer from allergic reactions.
If you commonly experience problems in your ears because of allergies, there are some other symptoms you may encounter:
Itching in the ears
A feeling of dizziness or lack of balance
Aching in the ear
However, when your allergic reaction starts to cease, these symptoms will go as well.
If they do not, make sure to get medical advice from your doctor in case there are further problems that are causing the symptoms.
Can allergies cause tinnitus?
It is not uncommon to find tinnitus among the symptoms that blocked ears can cause. When allergies affect your ears and bring on tinnitus, this is called ‘allergy-related tinnitus’.
If you know that you get tinnitus already, having allergic symptoms can make your tinnitus worse or bring it on. This can be difficult to deal with and interfere with your quality of life in things like sleep and daily hearing.
When affected by tinnitus, you can hear noises that have no external origin, such as:
At best, these noise symptoms may happen for short periods of time, however, they can remain constant throughout the day as well. For someone who has to deal with this on a daily basis, it can be frustrating. Furthermore, tinnitus can make you more reactive to noises because your ears have become overstimulated. Tinnitus can also cause hearing to deteriorate.
Make sure to get medical advice if you think you’ve got tinnitus whilst having an allergic reaction. Your doctor can help you find out what may be causing it, as well as treat and manage it if your tinnitus remains beyond the allergic symptoms.
Types of allergy-related hearing loss
When you have an allergic reaction, your ears can be affected. This in turn will affect your hearing depending on which part of your ear is inflamed or blocked.
The outer ear
If the skin in your ear is inflamed and itchy, this can be because of your skin reacting to allergens.
The middle ear
Usually, your middle ear is most likely to be affected by allergies. This is because when inflammation of the middle ear happens, the eustachian tube can get blocked up. Normal ear fluid that would usually be able to flow freely now accumulates and creates pressure inside your ear. This pressure creates a feeling that you need to ‘pop’ your ear.
When this has happened, you may find that there is a difference in your hearing. You also might have feelings of dizziness or balance issues. It’s always a good idea to speak to your doctor if you’re worried about these sorts of issues or have uncomfortable symptoms or pain.
The inner ear
Ménière’s disease can cause problems with the inner ear which may change your hearing, as sufferers of this disease will know. Equally, if you get allergies as well, your symptoms can worsen as your allergic reactions increase. Things like hay fever can make these problems worse in summer.
It is well known that allergies can cause problems with hearing, due to the inflammation caused. Where these symptoms are most common in the middle ear, other parts of the ear can also be affected. Don’t worry though, as most of these allergy-related symptoms should pass once the reaction does.
Conductive hearing loss
When sound waves that enter your ear cannot affect the bones inside your inner ear, you will experience conductive hearing loss. This usually happens when you have an increased amount of mucus in your ear. Allergies can cause this and in this case, the symptoms will go away once your reaction dissipates.
When your hearing loss continues to be an issue, make sure to get medical advice from your doctor. They can help investigate the problem further.
How to treat hearing loss due to allergies
It’s not easy having to manage allergies on a daily basis, especially during the summer when hay fever is rampant. However, hearing conditions caused by allergies will subside once your allergies do.
So your hearing-related symptoms will subside, giving you relief.
If your symptoms need to be dealt with quickly, you can use certain remedy methods that will help:
You can try washing your ears lightly with a lukewarm wet cloth. Dry your ears after doing this, but make sure to avoid your ear canal.
Yawning sometimes can provide relief.
Over-the-counter and prescribed antihistamines are meant for relieving allergy-related symptoms.
Using a steam bath to breathe in the steam can help unblock your ears. Particularly, your middle ear may benefit from this causing the eustachian tube to widen letting fluid drain out.
Whenever you find that your hearing does not improve after having these sorts of symptoms, get medical advice from your doctor. It is important to do this when you have pain or persistent hearing loss.
You can also book an appointment with them, or call for advice.
Company Name: Deeside Ear Care
Email: Send Email
Phone: 0751 3821 587
Address:7 Queen’s Gardens
City: Aberdeen AB15 4YD