Are Allergies About to Affect Your Hearing?

Spring is on the way. It might still be lurking around the corner but it’ll be here soon.

Which, by and large, is a great thing. But for many folks, springtime is also allergy time. And if you’re really lucky, another aspect of seasonal allergies can be hearing issues.

By and large, this is about the fluids that the body produces in reaction to what’s floating in the springtime air. Things like pollen, mold, dander, and dust mites are taken as an invasive force and your body unleashes the dogs of the immune system—antibodies and histamines—against them. Unfortunately for you, this is a false flag operation, since allergens aren’t actually going to make you sick like germs and viruses do; your body just “thinks” they are.

And how do antibodies and histamines get around your body? In fluids, which can then overwhelm specific areas and produce bottlenecks, which results in swelling. If this happens in your ear canal, then you’ve got a hearing issue.

Several things can happen when fluid accumulates in your ears.

One, the already-narrow ear canal can get even slimmer, which throws off the auditory dynamics of the complex sound system deeper down in the middle and inner ear.

Fluid buildup in the inner ear will also degrade its functionality directly, including the calibration of the vestibular system. This is a crucial part of how we maintain our balance, based on maintaining equilibrium through the movement of fluid that sends signals, via tiny hairs and subsequent electrical impulses, to the brain. A buildup of excess fluid can throw the whole system off-kilter.

That’s why, for the allergy-prone, springtime can mean dizzy spells, along with hearing issues and ear-popping. Unless symptoms are severe or prolonged, it’s a matter of waiting things out, with over-the-counter antihistamines or decongestants serving as the best way to muddle through.

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