It is estimated that more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. If you are one of them, you may already be dreading a stuffy nose and itchy eyes with the changing of the seasons. Unfortunately in many people who suffer with allergies, their hearing can also become reduced. (But, they may or may not be aware of this.) This happens mainly because of congestion and swelling impacting auditory function.
What Are Allergies?
An allergic reaction is basically your body’s immune system reacting to a perceived threat such as an infection. Your body will create antibodies as a means of protecting you and fighting off the perceived threat. In some people, this happens in response to pollen or dust. Once your body has reacted in this way, it will continue to do so each time you encounter the same allergen.
Common allergy symptoms that impact hearing are:
To help you enjoy the warmer weather whilst protecting your hearing from allergic reactions, here are some helpful tips to consider.
If you have sensitive or dry skin, a poorly fitted hearing aid (or the material it’s made from) could be causing irritation. Ask you audiologist to check the fit and discuss hypoallergenic materials.
Regularly Clean Your Hearing Aids
Allergens can clog hearing aid microphone ports, regular cleaning will prevent any build up and they can be replaced easily.
Discuss with a pharmacist or health practitioner if taking antihistamines could be suitable for you. They can significantly reduce symptoms thereby improving your hearing.
Don’t Turn Up The Volume
Long term damage can be caused by loud noise. If you are struggling to hear things at normal volumes, get your hearing checked or speak to a doctor for allergy advice.
Think Before You Scratch
Please never itch your itchy inner ear with a Q-tip, bobby pin or similar. Instead, try gently washing with a wrung out cloth and dry well. This should remove irritants, excess moisture or ear wax. Alternatively, seek a professional to examine and clean it for you.
Allergies can also be triggered by foods, your laundry detergent or more. If the problem persists, ask your local medical practitioner for allergy screenings.
Although allergies are a temporary nuisance, if you do notice your hearing has changed it’s always best to discuss it asap with a hearing care professional. Call us on 1-800-HEAR-IT-1 to request an appointment today. Alternatively, click here to request a consultation online.