How Allergy Season Can Affect Your Ears
If you’ve ever noticed a decrease in your ability to hear well during allergy season, you’re not alone. In addition to clogging your nose, allergies can stop up your ears, too. It’s called conductive hearing loss – the kind that occurs when something blocks the clear flow of soundwaves.For instance, the outer ear and ear canal can itch and swell from allergies, shrinking the amount of sound-gathering space in your ear. In the middle ear, allergy-related swelling can prevent the fluid from draining completely, causing a build-up that blocks sound. Fluid build-up can also create a thriving environment for infection-causing bacteria.How does all this happen? When your body encounters something it’s allergic to, the immune system steps in to fight it off; that process causes histamines to be released into your bloodstream. Histamines are what cause much of the discomfort of allergy season, since they lead to itching, sneezing and congestion.
If you feel allergy-related discomfort in your ear, please do not put anything in there to scratch your itch, or clear a sense of fullness, not even a cotton swab; that can easily irritate the already swollen area and make matters worse.
Once your annual allergies subside, any hearing difficulty they cause should go away, as well. If it doesn’t, please see your doctor or a hearing health professional like the pros you’ll find on staff at Bravo Hearing.