You know the familiar symptoms of allergies: itchy, watery eyes, sinus pain/pressure, congestion, runny nose and sneezing. But did you know that allergies can also cause ear pain? We review this connection and how to find relief below.
How Do Allergies Cause Ear Pain?
When the body is exposed to allergens – normally harmless substances that the immune system deems a threat – it releases the chemical histamine, which causes inflammation, mucus production and itching. This primarily affects the eyes, sinuses, nose and throat, but can also affect the ears.
More specifically, allergies can cause:
- Blockage of the Eustachian tubes.
- Fluid buildup behind the eardrum.
- Development of an ear infection.
How Do Ear Infections Occur?
The Eustachian tubes connect the middle ears to the back of the nose/throat and allow fluid to drain. When they’re inflamed during an allergy attack, they become blocked, meaning fluid builds up in the middle ear. This is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow, causing an infection.
Symptoms of an ear infection include:
- Feeling of fullness.
- Ear pain.
- Reduced hearing.
- Balance problems.
How Is Ear Pain Caused by Allergies Treated?
The best way to treat ear pain caused by allergies is to address the underlying condition. Below are some strategies for preventing or treating allergies.
In order to practice avoidance of allergens, you first need to get an allergy test. Allergy tests reveal what allergens you’re specifically reactive to, whether it’s cat dander or pollen found near Riverfront Fort Wayne.
Once you know what you’re allergic to, you can incorporate strategies such as:
- Tracking local pollen counts using the National Allergy Bureau’s website and staying indoors with the windows closed when pollen counts are high.
- Delegating yardwork to someone without allergies or hiring a professional.
- Running the air conditioning or installing a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
- Washing bedding regularly in hot water.
- Bathing pets not more than once per week.
Taking Allergy Medications
Over-the-counter allergy medications provide a lot of relief for some people. These include:
- Nasal corticosteroid sprays.
Talking to Your Allergist About Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy is a long-term solution for allergies that works by helping your body build up a tolerance to allergens over time. For more information about immunotherapy or other allergy solutions, call Ear, Nose & Throat Associates, P.C. today.