The Link Between Allergies, Tinnitus, and Hearing Loss

Histamine is a compound that causes the nose to run, as well as itchy eyes and sneezing. The immune system is designed to respond to allergies by releasing certain antibodies. The mucus that is generated by allergies can obstruct your eustachian tube. 

The eustachian tube serves as your middle ear’s drainage passage. The middle ear is responsible for amplifying and transferring sound from your outer ear to your inner ear. As such, if the middle ear becomes infected or inflamed, then your hearing will become impaired.

Allergy-induced tinnitus is a form of tinnitus that develops alongside other symptoms. Tinnitus is a condition that is characterized by a strange running or buzzing sound in one’s ears. As mentioned, allergies can trigger tinnitus, albeit tinnitus can also develop independently.

What are the different kinds of allergy-related hearing issues?

When the middle ear is blocked, the sound will be unable to reach it. The result is conductive hearing loss. Once the cause of the hearing loss is removed or eliminated, the hearing loss issue will be solved.

An accumulation of fluid may also cause what is known as fullness. You may experience some intense pressure in your ears, and your ears may feel clogged. Your hearing should eventually return to full capacity in due time. 

However, if the fullness persists, you may have an ear infection that requires medical intervention. Allergies may also cause tinnitus, a condition marked by a strange ringing sensation in one’s ears

If your tinnitus is persistent, you should consult an audiologist to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

What are the symptoms of allergy-related hearing loss?

Your ears may feel blocked, clogged, or congested. You may have trouble hearing. Sounds may sound distant or muffled. An earache is common. You may think you have an ear infection that makes studying difficult.

Some people all describe itchiness in their ears which can be quite bothersome. Please do not insert Q-tips into your ears to deal with the itchiness, as it may rupture your ear canal or push the obstruction further into your ear.

Swelling of the ear or inflammation is also common. Your ear or ears may appear red and puffy due to an allergic reaction, and you may experience a sense of imbalance. Your equilibrium may be thrown off, making you suddenly feel lightheaded or dizzy.

Getting up suddenly may trigger a severe bout of vertigo that can be terrifying or off-putting. In some cases, dizziness can be caused by high blood pressure, so getting a full physical evaluation will help determine the root cause of your vertigo.

If your hearing loss is short-term or acute, it may be caused by an allergic reaction. When your allergy symptoms subside, the hearing loss will reduce with them. 

Still, a comprehensive hearing test is the only way to determine the root cause of your hearing loss or other hearing-related symptoms.

What can be done about allergy-induced hearing loss?

To manage your allergy-based hearing loss, you must prevent your allergies from flaring up. Once your allergies are treated, the swelling that caused your hearing loss will also dissipate.

Zyrtec, Allegra, and Claritin are some medications your doctor may recommend to treat your allergies. The good news is these medications can be taken over a prolonged period without any concerns about your health.

However, other anti-allergy drugs, such as Sudafed, Afrin, and Benadryl, are not intended for long-term use and may cause permanent health problems if taken too long.

If over-the-counter (OTC) medications do not provide relief, you must see your physician. If your allergies are deemed severe, your doctor may suggest immunotherapy. They may inoculate you to provide long-term relief. 

Or, they may provide you with oral drops instead to help you get through the summer. Once your allergies have been kept under control, you should notice your conductive hearing loss disappear.

Even a hot shower may help clear your eustachian tube so you can normally hear again. If you own pets, you should try to reduce the amount of pet dander they produce by bathing them more frequently.

There is Hope

Allergies tend to cause flare-ups that radiate throughout the patient’s entire body. Your sinuses may become clogged, and your ears may become inflamed and blocked due to the excess mucus production. 

Please speak to your doctor to determine if allergies or an underlying health condition causes your hearing loss. A hearing test may also help diagnose the issue.

Sources:

How to Treat Hearing Loss Due to Seasonal Allergies | Beltone Dallas Fort Worth (beltonedfw.com)

Allergies and Hearing Loss (entphysiciansinc.com)

Do Allergies Cause Hearing Loss or Tinnitus? (soundrelief.com)

Photo by Brittany Colette on Unsplash

 

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