When you think about allergies, you probably think about runny noses, itchy eyes, hives, and stuff like that – you probably don’t think about ears at all, but hearing instrument specialists and other hearing health professionals do. Why? Because they know that it is possible for allergies, such as hay fever, to actually affect your hearing too.
Common symptoms of hearing issues related to allergies include:
- Fullness in the ear
- Hearing loss
Yes, your allergies could even potentially lead to hearing loss, which is why it is sp vital that you are aware of the impact allergies can have on your hearing health.
Allergies and hearing loss
When you have an allergy, your immune system responds by creating antibodies that deliver histamine into your system, this is what causes the allergic responses in your body, such as itching, sneezing, hives, and increased mucus production; it is the increased mucus production that can lead to hearing loss.
As you will know, substances like fluid and earwax in the ear canal can cause conductive hearing loss, which is when sounds cannot reach the middle and outer ear because the sound waves are blocked from doing so. The good news is, this is one kind of hearing loss that it is possible to cure.
What should you do if you are experiencing allergies and hearing loss?
When you’re experiencing any kind of hearing loss at all, you need to see a professional, such as a hearing instrument specialist, who can examine your beards and administer a hearing test if necessary. After all, you cannot be sure that your allergies are causing your hearing loss, even if it does appear to be the most likely cause.
What you should not do is try to remove mucus or other build-ups from your ear yourself by poking things like cotton swabs and hairpins into your ear. This can be really dangerous because it is so easy to make a slip and perforate your eardrum by doing this. You can, however, wash your ear carefully with warm water and a soft washcloth. Once you’re done, fry the area thoroughly, and see if your hearing has improved any, if not, then as mentioned above, seeing a hearing instrument specialist should be a priority.
What are the most common types of hearing loss caused by allergies?
There are three common kinds of hearing loss related to allergies because three parts of your ears can potentially be affected by allergies. They are as follows:
The outer ear can be prone to becoming itchy or swelling when something you are allergic to comes into contact with your skin. This could be anything from cat fur to pollen, so you need to try and identify your triggers so that you can minimize contact with them.
Allergies can cause the middle ear to swell, which means your Eustachian tube could become blocked with the excess fluid your allergies are also causing you’re to produce. This will leave your ear feeling full and vulnerable to infection. It may also make it more difficult for you to hear, or you could experience vertigo as a result.
What about allergies and hearing aids?
Unfortunately, allergies can sometimes clog up your hearing aids’ microphone ports, which could reduce your hearing aid’s function. If this happens, you can remedy the situation by buying replacement microphone port covers. You should also clean your hearing aids very regularly, as this can often prevent allergens from affecting your hearing aids.
Another issue you might want to be aware of is the fact that some people can actually experience an allergic reaction to their hearing aids. Should this happen to you, you may notice your ears are itchy, swollen, or infected, and you should talk to your hearing instrument specialist immediately because it could simply be that your hearing aid is not a good fit or that you require a hypoallergenic shell to be fitted.
It’s usually temporary!
As you can see, there are various ways that allergies can affect your hearing and even cause hearing loss, but the good news is, it is usually temporary, and your usual levels of hearing will normally return once your allergies are in control or when allergy season is over. If that doesn’t happen, seeing a specialist may be a good idea.
Better Hearing of Madison County can help you with all of your hearing loss needs. Call us on (315) 693-3637 to speak to an experienced HIS today.