According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) the number of people affected by allergies is increasing, affecting as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children in the United States. If you sneeze, cough, have a runny nose or itchy, watery eyes during certain times of the year, you may have “seasonal allergies” which are commonly triggered by pollen, grass, mold or even sudden change in climate.
Your senses are closely related, so while it’s not the first thing that comes to mind when we have allergies, your ears and hearing can be affected. Allergies can cause a variety of discomfort in your ears like:
- Dizziness or vertigo
Achoo! Conductive Hearing Loss and Allergies
Allergens make your immune system produce antibodies that release histamine. Histamine produces involuntary allergic responses, like sneezing, itching and congestion, increasing mucus production. This can cause conductive hearing loss.
Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound waves are not able to travel through the outer ear due to a blockage. Fluid, earwax or an obstruction may cause the blockage – and is generally temporary.
There are three parts of your ear that can be affected by allergy symptoms: the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear.
- Outer: Skin reactions can cause swelling and/or itching of the outer ear and ear canal.
- Middle: This is where fluid buildup can happen, causing earaches or ear pressure. When swelling stops your middle ear from draining, it gives your ear a full feeling. Besides being uncomfortable, it can also cause balance issues.
- Inner: Hearing can be temporarily impaired in individuals with inner-ear disorders like Ménière’s disease. This can also cause vertigo — or feeling like the room is spinning and/or tinnitus, a ringing in the ears.
Remember, conductive hearing loss is generally temporary. Once your symptoms subside, your hearing should return to normal.
If you would you like to discuss the your allergies and how they may be affecting your hearing, contact us at Hearing Solutions, Inc. Schedule an appointment for a comprehensive hearing evaluation with one of our certified hearing care professional, and we will be able to test and diagnose your hearing loss, and if need be, offer effective treatment solutions to get you back on track and enjoying the outdoors!