Can allergies affect your ears? Yes, in several ways. There’s also pollen, grass, pet dander and dust contributing to allergies. The most common symptoms are itchy and watery eyes and a stuffy nose. Why do you have an allergic reaction?
When a foreign substance, such as pollen. causes hypersensitivity, your immune system responds by producing antibodies that release histamine. Histamines cause itching, mucus and sometimes swelling. Allergies can occur year-round, but for many people pollen and grass allergies are more likely to occur in the spring or fall.
How are your ears affected?
Our ears are made up of three parts – the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. Allergic reactions can cause the outer ear to itch or swell. The middle ear contains the Eustachian tube, which acts as a drainage tube of sorts. When mucus clogs the middle ear it affects that drainage. Pressure builds, which can lead to discomfort, popping in the ears or an earache. Your middle ear may itch as well. The inner ear is filled with fluid, and if this fluid becomes infected, you may suffer dizziness, ringing in the ear or loss of balance.
Sometimes a stuffy nose and sinus pressure can radiate to the ears, causing pressure or earaches.
Some people experience a short-term hearing loss due to an allergic reaction. This is known as conductive hearing loss and usually is temporary and resolves itself when the allergies subside.
Young children commonly experience middle ear infections, which may be triggered by allergies. If these occur often, a professional may recommend allergy tests.
Will allergy medicine help?
Over-the-counter allergy medications can help take care of multiple symptoms, including any allergic reactions in the ear. Antihistamines and decongestants can reduce the feeling of fullness in the ear.
Other treatments that may help with allergic reactions in the ear include a warm compress, such as a washcloth placed on the ear or prescription eardrops. Pain medication also may help an earache.
If you have an infection, your Columbus, IN health care provider can prescribe an antibiotic. If pressure in the ear doesn’t go away or becomes painful, it’s important to see Southern Indiana ENT right away.
Millions of people suffer from allergies, and allergies can affect the ears. Over-the-counter medications usually can help alleviate the symptoms. If your ear health is suffering due to Columbus, IN allergies or another reason, schedule an appointment at (812) 376-3071 with Southern Indiana ENT as soon as possible to get to the bottom of it!