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Hearing Blog

Allergies and your hearing

November 21, 2022

Many people in central Florida express to me that they never had allergies or sinus issues up north or even over on the coast.  I guess our area just has a lot of allergies causing items in the great outdoors!  Allergies can affect your hearing.

Are your eyes itchy?  Do you have a little bit of a scratchy throat?  Do you just feel clogged up?  The pollen is in full swing in the heartland.   With the pollen and the seasonal change come the onset of allergies.  More people are experiencing allergy symptoms each year.   Thirty percent of adults and nearly fourth percent of children are now affected by allergens.  (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America April 7, 2017).   

Being exposed to grass, change in temperature, humidity, mold and pollen may trigger seasonal allergies.  You may get a runny nose or a consistent cough.  Sneezing will probably be a part of your day!  When you experience seasonal allergies, it takes a toll on your senses.  Your ears and your hearing can also be affected.   Your ears may become itchy.  Sometimes they may even swell.  They may feel blocked up or full.  If your allergies are severe, you may experience dizziness or vertigo.

Allergies may end up causing a conductive hearing loss.  Allergens can make your immune system produce antibodies that produce histamine.   Along with the other symptoms listed, the body may produce more mucus.  If this mucus settles in the middle ear behind the eardrum, then you may experience a temporary conductive hearing loss.   A Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound cannot travel through the outer and middle ear as it normally would when there is no fluid blocking the wave.   When this happens, you may have pain in the ear as well as dizziness.  Suddenly you may feel as everything sounds way too soft.

Your inner ear may also be affected by allergies and for those who already have inner ear disorders like Meniere’s disease you may have increased incidence of vertigo and increased tinnitus or ringing in the ears. 

While we all know how allergies can affect our eyes... our ears are just as susceptible to the seasonal climate changes.  While there are many over the counter medicines and nasal sprays available to help alleviate, they symptoms, it is always best to consult with your doctor to make sure you are not using something that will interfere with other medicines that you may be taking.  If you develop pain or fullness in your ear, you should immediately contact your doctor or an ENT (ear, nose, & throat doctor) to ensure the fastest relief of the symptoms and ward off any possible damage to your hearing.

Everyone should have a hearing test to monitor their hearing since many commodities are related to hearing loss.  To hear better is to live better!


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