For the unlucky, the end of summer brings on a new bout of allergies. Usually, this means itchy eyes and a runny nose, but don’t be surprised if your ears get into the act as well.
Your ears, like other parts of the body, are just as susceptible to an overly aggressive immune system; one that has decided that the pollen from some plant that’s made its way into your nasal passage is an enemy that must be eradicated. Allergic reactions are basically your immune system making sure you know it’s doing its thing.
And since your ears are linked—via the Eustachian tubes—to the throat (and therefore the rest of the nasal cavity), it is not unusual for that immune-system chain reaction to get into the inner ear.
This can result in tissue inflammation and excessive fluid buildup, both of which can have a noticeable effect on hearing, especially if the surfaces of one or both eardrums are impacted. Allergies can also create excessive earwax production, which can clog up the ear canal.
In fact, the Eustachian tubes themselves—which are relatively tiny and provide a vital service by regulating air pressure within your head—can get clogged up themselves and throw off the mechanism that helps us maintain our balance.
Anything that helps with the more common allergy symptoms— over-the-counter antihistamines—will probably also help clear out the ears and alleviate any hearing issues that have developed. But if issues linger, then consult a medical professional who can prescribe more powerful prescription medications.