Spring is the season most people associate with flowers, evening rain, and beautiful sunshine. But for allergy sufferers, it can mean a season of discomfort involving the sinuses and the ears. Most people think of symptoms of allergies as involving the eyes and nose, but the actual effect is on the sinuses as a whole, including the ears. Studies conducted by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America have shown that allergies are the sixth highest cause of chronic illness, affecting more than 50 million people across the U.S.
Sinuses and the Ears: How Your Ears Are Affected By Spring Allergies
Allergic reactions occur when contaminants like pollen and mold come into contact with someone with selective sensitivity to these kinds of environmental irritants. The reaction happens when the body produces histamine, which increases mucus production and can cause swelling in the nasal cavity. When this occurs in the Eustachian tubes, it can become blocked and prevent drainage inside the ears. If left untreated, this blockage can result in hearing loss.
While dealing with springtime allergies is bad enough already, adding barometric pressure changes into the mix can make things worse. Allergic reactions can cause a narrowing of Eustachian tubes, preventing the proper flow of fluid in the inner ears. This can make dealing with changes in air pressure hard to deal with as the ears cannot adjust to the new levels.
Those diagnosed with Meniere’s disease typically have more issues with sudden pressure changes caused by weather. Studies have shown that Meniere’s disease has been linked to the overproduction of fluid in the inner ear. This fluid build-up prevents circulation inside the ears leading to pressure, pain, and symptoms like vertigo and tinnitus.
If you have allergies and have been experiencing a sudden change in hearing health, make sure to make an appointment with an ear, nose, and throat specialist as soon as possible. Many treatment options are available to help prevent permanent damage to your hearing health.