It’s that time of the year again. You find yourself sneezing, your eyes are itchy, and your throat is sore. Yes, it’s allergy time again. This year you’ve also discovered that you’re having issues with your hearing.
Although you’ve never suffered from hearing loss during this time of the year before you’re wondering if the two could be connected. You’re also wondering what you can do to help yourself hear better so you don’t miss out on what’s happening around you. Take a few moments to find these answers and more interesting facts about this issue.
Understanding the Connection Between Allergies and Hearing Loss
The way your immune system responds to an allergy is by releasing histamine-producing antibodies. Once released you’ll sneeze, feel itchy, become congested, and produce more mucus. What you may not know is that you may also have some temporary problems with hearing that don’t require hearing aids.
The reason why you’re more prone to suffer from problems with your hearing at this time of the year is because something (e.g., fluid, earwax) is preventing sound waves from flowing through your ear and reaching the middle ear’s tiny bones. When this happens you don’t want to insert something into your ear (e.g., hairpin, cotton swab) to try to fix the issue.
Types of Allergy-Related Hearing Loss
Before you can determine what type of hearing loss you’re suffering from you must understand what the different parts of the ear are. The three major parts of your ear that can suffer from hearing loss caused by an allergy include:
- Outer ear: When you have an allergic skin reaction your outer ear and ear canal may become itchy and swollen.
- Middle ear: When your middle ear grows swollen, it may prevent your Eustachian tube from draining correctly. This swelling frequently results in your ear feeling “full.” It also makes the perfect breeding ground for bacteria which will then result in an infection. You may also suffer from balance problems caused by feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
- Inner ear: An allergy may also cause you to lose your hearing, especially if you already have hearing problems.
Determine if You Need Hearing Aids
Allergens won’t only cause you discomfort, but they may also clog the microphone part of your hearing aids. When this occurs, it’ll affect how they function. While you should clean your hearing aids frequently, you may also need to replace the covers of the microphone ports.
Some people do have an allergic reaction to their hearing aids. If you feel that you’re one of these people, you should make an appointment to talk to your hearing health professional. You may be suffering from a poor fit, have moisture or wax built up in your ear, or your skin is dry. Of course, you may have an allergy to earmold or dome material. In this case, you may want to see what options the manufacturer has for you (e.g., hypoallergenic shell materials, coatings that provide relief).
Decide What’s Best for You
While it isn’t pleasant to suffer from hearing loss during this time of the year, you should know that it isn’t permanent. You probably don’t need hearing aids unless you find yourself struggling with hearing things at other times as well. In that case, we invite you to schedule an appointment with us here at Countryside Hearing Aid Services in Pinellas County, FL.
Over the years, we’ve helped lots of people, such as yourself, be able to start hearing better once again. We understand just how valuable your hearing is, which is why we encourage you to make an appointment and have it tested today.
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