Discover the link between seasonal allergies and your ears.
The warming temperatures and seasonal shift to spring can be a joyous time of year. However, spring allergens can sometimes cause temporary sensations you can feel in your ears. If you or someone you care about experiences seasonal allergies, keep reading to discover more about how they could affect your hearing and ways you can prepare your ears for spring.
How Allergies Can Affect Hearing
In some people, allergies can create swelling of the outer ear and ear canal, making soft noises harder to hear, loud noises sound muffled, or certain sounds may echo or seem far away. This is called conductive hearing loss, a temporary form of hearing loss in which sound transmission from the outer and/or middle ear into the inner ear is interrupted. Other sensations may include clogging, popping, or fullness in your ears. You may also feel these sensations if allergy-induced fluid builds up in the middle ear and blocks the Eustachian tube. While these symptoms in your ears are usually temporary, your doctor can provide an accurate diagnosis and suggest a treatment plan if needed.
Other Allergy Symptoms that can Affect Your Ears
Aside from swelling or fluid build-up that may cause temporary hearing loss, a few other allergy-related symptoms that may affect your ears, hearing, or balance include:
- Itching inside the ear canal
- Chronic ear infections
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
Be sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor or audiologist to discuss your symptoms and potential treatment plan.
How to Prepare Your Ears for Spring
While seasonal allergies can feel uncomfortable at times, a bit of proactive attention can help reduce their effect on your hearing. When allergy symptoms hit, some over-the-counter antihistamines or decongestants may help relieve excess fluid and reduce blockage. Note that it’s always best to check with your doctor before trying at-home allergy remedies. You may also want to adopt a regimen that can help reduce fluid build-up in your body, including exercise and a low-sodium diet. Some foods like grapes, watermelon, bell peppers, and asparagus are known to help minimize fluid retention.
If you wear hearing aids, keep them clean and dry from springtime moisture and pollens. Added TLC this time of year can help keep them functioning at peak level.
Not everyone experiences the same symptoms of seasonal allergies. If allergies affect your hearing, remember that for most people the sensations are usually temporary and manageable with a little extra care. Your doctor will be able to guide you through the treatment plan that is best for you.
If you’re sensitive to seasonal allergies, you can also try these tips for reducing allergens at home and browse our fast-growing library of other health and wellness posts for even more helpful lifestyle tips.
The above information is provided for the education and enjoyment of our readers and is not intended as medical advice. Please check with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.