How Your Ears Can Be Affected By Springtime Seasonal Allergies
Spring signifies higher temperatures and colorful flowers, but it can also indicate the onset of seasonal symptoms for anyone who suffers from allergies. Millions of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies at some time during the year, and unfortunately, allergies and ear pain can go hand in hand. For many, this includes discomfort and pain affecting the ear canals and inner ear. The most common allergies, sometimes called hay fever, are pollen from plants and mold spores. The immune system’s overreaction to foreign contaminants is known to cause allergy attacks. Normally, these substances are harmless to most people, but these proteins and spores feel anything but benign for those with a sensitivity.
Allergies and Ear Pain: How the Body Reacts to Allergens
When a hyper-sensitive immune system is exposed to an allergen, it produces histamine chemicals that trigger the symptoms of an attack.
These symptoms include headache, sinus pressure, mucus production, and inflammation of the nasal cavities. These events can lead to swelling of the passages linking your throat and sinuses to the middle ears, called the Eustachian tubes. These tubes allow fluids to drain and flow from the ears, but when they are swollen and full of fluid, making the ears feel like they are stuffed up or full. The body adjusts the amount of fluid in the ears based on the atmospheric pressure on the outside air. When this system is blocked and unable to regulate appropriately, it can lead to outbreaks of tinnitus, vertigo, hearing loss, and a sensation of fullness in the ear. If left untreated, this condition can damage your hearing health long-term.
Complications Associated with Meniere’s Disease
While histamines can create blockages and interrupt the flow of fluids and mucus, Meniere’s disease is a condition where fluid builds up because it cannot drain properly and can create the same symptoms in the ears as allergies. People with both conditions have reported severe symptoms, making an already intolerable situation even worse.
Luckily the last decade has brought with it a good number of effective treatments and solutions. If you or a loved one has been experiencing worse than typical allergy symptoms, make sure to schedule an appointment with a doctor or allergy specialist to find the solution right for you.