As the weather starts to change, you may be noticing an uptick in pesky seasonal allergy symptoms. The air starts to fill with new and different plant particles, and you start to experience symptoms like a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, a sore throat, and even trouble in your ears. Over one quarter of adults in the United States experience seasonal allergies, so while ear discomfort and hearing problems can be stressful, know you're not alone and there are steps you can take to help.
Seasonal allergies are triggered by your body having a histamine response to different pollens and spores in the air. Histamine causes different reactions in your body like inflammation, itching, and excess mucus. These reactions can specifically affect your ears because mucus can move into your Eustachian tubes, which are connected to your ears, and cause irritation. Inflammation can also make it difficult for fluid to drain, causing congestion.
Signs that allergies may be affecting your ears include:
Excess fluid in the ear can also increase your risk of developing an ear infection, and it may increase the duration or frequency of an infection.
Relieving your ear discomfort caused by allergies starts with precautions to eliminate the amount of allergens you encounter. You might take extra care to vacuum, dust, and wipe down surfaces around your living area, especially in areas near doors and windows. On high pollen count days, you can choose to wear a mask outside, or even avoid the outdoors altogether on those days. You might also speak to a doctor about using antihistamines to ease your symptoms.
While seasonal allergies may go away, persistent ear pain, pressure, tinnitus, or balance problems should not be taken lightly. You can avoid lasting discomfort, or even damage, by visiting your local hearing healthcare provider. We can evaluate your symptoms, discuss treatment options, and even look for any underlying causes for your symptoms that may not be related to your allergies.
Are you experiencing any of these symptoms? Call our office to set up an appointment today.