Allergies striking in the fall season can sometimes lead to temporary hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
An allergy is a common autoimmune disease, which is the body’s overly aggressive response to an allergen. Audiology & Hearing Aid Solutions, with six locations in New Jersey, reminds the public that up to 30 percent of American adults are affected by allergies, which can affect all three parts of the ear: outer, middle and inner.
Outer ear: Ear canal may itch frequently or become red
Middle ear: The Eustachian tube – which releases pressure in the ear – may become swollen or filled with mucus. Your hearing may be negatively impacted, causing sounds to seem muddled or a feeling of fullness in your ears, which is known as conductive hearing loss.
Inner ear: Allergic reactions here may cause tinnitus, vertigo (dizziness), and ear fullness or pressure. Meniere’s disease can be caused by allergic reactions.
Autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED)
When the immune system’s response to an allergen is to attack the inner ear, it is known as autoimmune inner ear disease. The inner ear’s hearing nerve can be damaged in the process, causing hearing loss that can strike quickly or progressively get worse. Other symptoms of autoimmune hearing loss – the cause for which is unknown – include Meniere’s disease, changes in your hearing, dizziness, and ear fullness.
Your audiologist may recommend a blood test to show if the immune system is attacking the inner ear. They may also recommend you speak with your primary physician regarding using a steroid to slow down the body’s response to the allergens, which can lead to a reduction in symptoms, better balance, and more stabilized hearing.
Over-the-counter medications such as decongestants and antihistamines help most seasonal allergy sufferers with their allergic symptoms, including those experienced in the ear. The symptoms usually subside at the conclusion of the allergy season.
For more information on how Audiology & Hearing Aid Solutions - with offices in Clifton, Paramus, Pompton Lakes, Mahwah, Morristown, and Pompton Plains, New Jersey - can help with allergic reactions, call us at 888-573-6412 or contact us online.