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Allergies and Hearing Loss
If you get seasonal allergies, then you’ll already know just how annoying it can be to have a runny nose and itchy eyes, all because of something that has, well, nothing to do with you whatsoever. However, while these are the classic side effect symptoms of allergies, they’re not the only ones. They can also affect your hearing, too. Indeed, they can even cause a loss of hearing, and a sense that your ear is full. In this blog, we’re going to look at everything you need to know about allergies and hearing loss, including why they happen and what you can do about them.
When you have allergies, your body tries to fight off the allergies by creating antibodies called histamine. This is what causes the allergies in the first place. Among the symptoms that it produces, which include sneezing and itching, it’s the buildup of mucus that can affect your ears. The buildup of mucus can impact the ears, which then results in temporary hearing loss. This type of loss is called conductive hearing loss, which means that sound waves are prevented from entering the ear. It’s curable, but it could mean that you have to live with some temporary hearing loss.
One of the issues with this type of hearing loss is that there’s a temptation to scratch the itch that feels like it is inside your ear. When this happens, you may be tempted to put something in your ear to scratch the itch – for example, a hair pin or a cotton bud. But if you do this, then you’ll run the risk of damaging your ear, and that might turn a temporary issue into a longstanding issue. If you want to clean your ear, then it’ll be best to just gently wash your ear with a damp washcloth and then ensure that it’s fully dry. If that doesn’t work, then it’ll be best to visit your health practitioner, who will be able to clean your ear for you. They’ll also be able to see if there’s something else that may be causing your ear to scratch.
How Allergies Affect Different Parts of Ear
Your allergies may affect different parts of your ear. It can impact the inner, middle and outer parts of your ear.
The inner part of your ear could be affected by allergies if you also have Meniere's disease. The middle part of your ear may be affected by allergies if swelling from the impacted wax blocks the opening part of your ear. This will mean that your ear is not able to drain properly, which causes a build-up of fluid. It’s this that can make it feel like the ear is full. If this happens, then you may notice other symptoms, such as having difficulty retaining balance.
If the outer part of your ear is affected, then you may get a skin reaction. This can cause your ear to itch, which could also result in swelling that affects the inner and outer ear canal. There are many things that can cause a reaction in this part, including allergies.
How Allergies Affect Hearing Aids
If you wear a hearing aid, then allergies may interrupt how well they’re able to work. This is because some of the components of your hearing aid may become clogged. It’s a good idea to make a practice of cleaning your hearing aids regularly anyway, but especially important if you have allergies. If you’ve only recently gotten a hearing aid, and you seem to experience a reaction in your ear that had no other cause, then it could be because of the hearing aid itself. There are many reasons why this could happen. In that case, it’s best to speak to your audiologist, who will be able to correct the issue.
When to Seek Help
While allergies can commonly affect hearing loss, it’s still important that you seek help if the issue doesn’t resolve itself quickly. And, of course, if you think you’re experiencing hearing loss for reasons that might not be related to your allergies, then you should seek an appointment with your audiologist.
If you have any doubts about your hearing, then don’t experience in silence – make an appointment with an audiologist! You can book an appointment with us here at the Audiology and Hearing Aid Center by calling us today at 920-969-1768.