As springtime approaches, you might be noticing yourself feeling rundown. The weather is warming, there’s more daylight, new plants are popping up, but your seasonal allergies are also starting to act up. More than 50 million people in the United States experience allergies throughout the year, so you’re not alone in feeling the uncomfortable and stressful symptoms that go along with them. One of the most stressful parts of allergies can be how they affect your ears. Here’s what you should know about seasonal allergies and their effect on your ears:
1. Allergy symptoms are different for everyone.
As a response to things like plant pollen and spores, your body produces histamine. Histamine is responsible for the reactions, or symptoms, you experience with seasonal allergies. Allergy symptoms can include:
- Dry Skin
- Sore throat
- Postnasal drip
- Ear discomfort
These are just a few of the symptoms that those dealing with seasonal allergies might experience. They can be different from person to person, and you might experience a combination of any number of these.
2. Allergies can cause hearing loss.
Seasonal allergy symptoms can be responsible for a lot of symptoms that affect your ears. You might experience things like:
- Ear pain
- Fullness in your ears
- Clogged ears
- Balance issues
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty hearing
Difficulty hearing in one or both ears can be due to excess fluid retained in your ears, or an increase in ear wax. This is called conductive hearing loss, where there is something blocking sound waves from passing through the outer or middle ear. If you are experiencing hearing loss, it’s important to see a hearing healthcare professional to determine the cause and potential treatment of your hearing loss.
3. Allergies can cause ear infections.
Your histamine response to allergens can cause swelling that makes it difficult for your ears to drain fluid. The extra fluid makes it easier for bacteria to get stuck and multiply, which then causes an infection. If your ear is having trouble draining for a prolonged period of time, the infection can get linger and worsen. Symptoms to look out for that may indicate an ear infection include ear pain, discharge, pressure, fever, and fatigue.
Seasonal allergies can cause a major disruption to your life, but it can be especially distressing when they affect your ears. For many, hearing loss and ear discomfort can be a source of anxiety. If you are experiencing any issues surrounding your hearing, seeing a hearing healthcare professional sooner rather than later can help alleviate some of your stress, get to the root of the problem, and help you to hear better faster.
Are you experiencing trouble hearing due to seasonal allergies? Call our office to schedule an appointment so we can help you hear better.