How To Treat Sinusitis
Applying heated pads or warm compresses to the face may help. Some people may also find relief by taking allergy medications or over-the-counter pain relievers.
Antibiotics some sinus infections, but only if they are due to bacteria. They cannot help with viral infections.
Some people may develop a chronic form of sinusitis that may require a consultation with a specialist.
The middle ear makes fluid itself to keep itself clean. This fluid should drain into the throat through an opening. However, if the throat becomes swollen, the opening swells shut. Therefore, the fluid collects, which can be painful. It may then become infected.
Symptoms may come on suddenly, and most people develop a fever. A person may also have pressure in the head, ringing in the ears, or dizziness.
Seasonal Allergies And Stuffy Ears
Allergies are another unwanted accompaniment to spring. While most think of allergies as sneezing and sinus pressure, it is important to remember that the ears and sinuses are interconnected.
“People take it for granted that allergies cause sneezing in the nose and itching in the eyes. Yet they seem surprised to learn allergies inevitably affect their ears as well,” said Dr. Ronna Fisher, Au.D.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, seasonal allergies affect between 10 and 30 percent of adults in the U.S. and as many as 40 percent of children, which means as many as 60 million people in the U.S. suffer from not only sneezing, itchy eyes, itchy ears, and sinus pressure, but ear pressure as well. The warm, wet weather of spring causes trees to produce more pollen. For those who are allergic, the immune system reacts by producing antibodies.
Those antibodies release a substance called histamine, which leads to increased mucus production. Unfortunately allergies also cause swelling of the Eustachian tubes, meaning they dont open as they should. This causes the Eustachian tubes to become clogged with the excess fluid and wax, and the result is a feeling of fullness and pressure in the ears that can negatively affect hearing.
Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease
An autoimmune reaction occurs when the body produces an allergic reaction to itself. AIED occurs when the bodys immune system attacks the inner ear. This leads to a rapid hearing loss, as quickly as just a few weeks. It may occur in one ear or both, possibly at different times.
Its not known why AIED happens. It may be more likely in people with other autoimmune issues such as arthritis, allergies or rashes. About one-third of those with AIED also have symptoms of Menieres disease.
For most people, allergies are seasonal and can be treated with over-the-counter medicines such as antihistamines and decongestants. These types of drugs will help with all symptoms, including itchy eyes, a watery or stuffy nose and full-feeling ears. Allergies affect hearing on a short-term basis by making it difficult to hear. If any difficulty hearing continues, its best to see a health care professional.
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How To Prepare For Allergy Season
If you experience seasonal allergies, dont wait until you begin to experience symptoms to seek help. By getting a headstart on your allergies, you are in the best position to reduce them before they spiral into pain. In some cases, you might prevent them altogether.
As allergy season progresses, if you experience new symptoms, your ear doctor can modify your treatment plan accordingly. A proactive approach is especially important if you work outdoors or if the symptoms are so bad that they interfere with your ability to live a normal life.
If you still have questions about how allergies affect your ears, feel free to contact Happy Ears Hearing Center. Start by finding a location near you. We look forward to taking care of you and your family.
How To Treat Allergies
A number of treatments can help ease the symptoms of allergies. The first is avoiding allergens by staying indoors more often during allergy season or using an air filter. Some people also find that wearing masks helps ease allergy symptoms.
Taking allergy medications can also ease symptoms. Immunotherapy, which exposes a person to very small quantities of the allergen to stop their body from overreacting to it, can also be helpful. People who are interested in a permanent solution to allergies could ask a doctor about immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots.
A headache that results from sinusitis can cause feelings of pressure in the head, especially near the front of the face and under the eyes. This happens because fluid builds up in the sinuses, generally due to an infection.
Some people also get dizzy, feel sick, or have lower energy levels.
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How To Cope With Stuffy Ears
Clogged ears can have several causes this time of year it’s likely allergy-related. Over-the-counter antihistamines or decongestants might help relieve the problem of excess fluid if it is caused by allergies. Some other remedies that can reduce fluid build-up include exercising, eating a low-sodium diet, or eating fruits and vegetables that act as diureticsgrapes, watermelon, celery, bell peppers and asparagus all offer health benefits that include reducing fluid retention.
Since continuous pressure in the middle ear could result in permanent hearing loss, if you are experiencing any changes in hearing be sure to see a hearing healthcare professional or otolaryngologist to make sure the problem isnt something more serious.
The excess fluid build-up as a result of allergies, barometric pressure changes or inner ear conditions can not only cause a feeling of fullness or pressure, but can also cause conductive hearing loss as a result of sound being prevented from traveling to the cochlea. Another risk of excessive fluid build-up when the Eustachian tubes arent functioning properly is ear infections the increased fluid provides an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive.
Seasonal Allergies And Your Hearing
Many people experience allergies in the fall, most commonly hay fever. Allergy symptoms may include fullness in the ear, temporary difficulty hearing or itchy ears. These symptoms usually can be treated with over-the-counter medicines.
A sometimes more serious problem involves dizziness or ringing in the ears . Some people experience these symptoms due to seasonal allergies. Others may have health problems that can become worse due to allergies. Your audiologist can determine if the symptoms are due to allergies or other issues.
How Allergies Can Lead To Menieres Disease
Menieres disease can cause a feeling of pressure in the ear. It often affects only one ear and can result in a ringing sensation, known as tinnitus. Interestingly enough, tinnitus is most common among people who worked in loud environments, such as military personnel and construction workers. It results from damage to the ears and partial hearing loss. In these cases, the ringing in the ear is permanent and may worsen over time.
When your ears become affected by allergies, it can have a similar effect on the ears. These instances of ringing in the ear are temporary and correlate with allergies. Seasonal allergies are not the only culprits food allergies can cause this too. Some people who suffer from Menieres disease have experienced relief by using allergy immunotherapy.
About Sore Throat And Ear Pain
Ears and nose are two of the important sense organs of the human body. It may be interesting to note that ears, nose, and throat have a connection between them which links all the three to one another. Infection or an allergy affecting any one of these three structures results in discomfort in all the three. The middle ear and the throat are connected by a narrow tube known as Eustachian tube. Sore throat almost always blocks this tube, which is a result of swelling of the tube, and this in turn results in increased pressure in the ear causing ear pain.
However, in some cases patients also experience one-sided sore throat and ear pain. This happens when the infection affects only one side of the throat. In such cases the pain only affects on one side leaving the other side pain free.
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Allergies Can Cause Ear Infections Too
If you have allergies, youre at a higher risk for developing ear infections. This is because when the Eustachian tubes are blocked and fluid begins to pool, the ears become a breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to an infection. This type of infection is known as otitis media, which can cause other symptoms such as tinnitus , dizziness and balance issues. In rare but severe cases, the eardrum may even rupture.
What Causes A Sore Throat
Infections by contagious viruses or bacteria are the source of most sore throats. Other potential causes include:
VirusesSore throats often accompany viral infections, including the flu, colds, measles, chicken pox, croup, or mononucleosis . Mono has the longest duration of symptoms, such as sore throat and extreme fatigue, and can last several weeks. Other symptoms include swollen glands in the neck, armpits, and groin fever, chills, headache, or sometimes, serious breathing difficulties.
Bacterial infectionsStrep throat is an infection caused by Streptococcus bacteria. This infection can also cause scarlet fever, tonsillitis, pneumonia, sinusitis, and ear infections. Symptoms of strep throat often include fever , white draining patches on the throat, and swollen or tender lymph glands in the neck. Children may have a headache and stomach pain.
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria. This infection can bring about violent, uncontrollable coughing, making it hard to breathe and causing you to make a whooping sound. Whooping cough can affect people of all ages, but can be especially serious, even deadly, for babies less than one-year-old.
AllergiesYou may also be allergic to pollens, molds, animal dander, and/or house dust, for examples, which can lead to a sore throat.
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Allergies And Hearing Loss
The immune system responds to allergies by producing antibodies that release the compound histamine. Histamine causes itchy eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose essentially, hay fever. This excess mucus production can obstruct the Eustachian tube, which is the drainage passage for the middle ear. The middle ear amplifies and transfers sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. Therefore, any inflammation or blockage in this area can interfere with your sense of hearing and/or cause an ear infection.
Dr. Julie Prutsman, the owner and founder of Sound Relief Hearing Center, describes the relationship between allergies and hearing loss in the following way: Oftentimes allergic patients complain of a slight hearing loss and a sense of fullness or pressure. Usually, a hearing test will show some hearing loss, and a tympanogram will reveal reduced mobility of the tympanic membrane. That means the middle ear has some fluid or inflammation that may need to be addressed with medication.
Can Allergies Cause Dizziness
Mohammad A Younus, M.D. contributes to topics such as Allergy and Immunology.
Have you ever felt faint, lightheaded or unsteady on your feet when you were experiencing an allergic reaction? It doesnt happen often, but there are a number of reasons why having allergies may make you feel dizzy.
Fortunately, its possible to treat dizziness caused by allergic reactions, which should help you feel steady and stable once again.
Dizziness is a rare but possible side effect of allergies, and once you identify the cause, its possible to treat it and feel like your usual self, says Mohammad Younus, M.D., an allergy and immunology specialist at Hackensack Meridian Health.
When youre having an allergic reaction, these factors may cause dizziness:
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Allergies And Ear Pressure
An allergic reaction causes sinus inflammation, eye irritation and skin complications.Ear pressure related to allergies is the result of swollen sinuses that place pressure on the inner ear, according to MedlinePlus 2. An allergy is a term used to describe an immune system reaction to an allergen, according to Rutgers University 1. An allergen can be pollen, a food or beverage or medication that causes the immune system to release chemicals to fight off the substance. The result is an allergic reaction.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Ear Symptoms Of Allergies
Having allergies means the the immune system is over responding to some type of substance, that does not normally trigger a response. Common substances that cause allergies are pollen, mold, pet hair, dust, pollution and some types of foods. Allergies can be seasonal or year round and the symptoms can be mild or severe. Along with runny itchy eyes, stuffy nose, rashes and fatigue, there are also ear related symptoms of allergies. To help fully manage this condition, it is important to know what symptoms to look for and to seek medical care early.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Image: Kari Perrin
For those with environmental allergies, Florida can provide a year-round supply of irritating allergens, from pollen to indoor dust mites. Aside from the typical allergy symptoms like runny nose and itchy eyes, allergy sufferers can also experience hearing loss, tinnitus and even poor balance.
Dr. Nilamben Patel at Allergy Associates of Sarasota says environmental allergens can cause pressure to build up in the middle and inner ear. The fluid that builds up to prevent the allergen from reaching further into the ear canal presses against the ear drum. It is caused by your body releasing the chemical histamine.
Patel says there are many ways to cure this common allergy symptom.
If after all treatments and remedies your ears are still a cause for concern, Patel recommends seeing an ear, nose and throat specialist.
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The Skin And Allergies
An allergic response can affect the skin with swelling and an itchy rash, too. The ear has a considerable amount of skin that is at risk when allergies hit. There is the skin that covers the outer ear, known as the pinna, for example. The ear canal is covered with skin that can swell and itch enough to close the passage and prevent sound waves from moving forward.
Treating Recurrent Sinus Infections
Q1. My 19-year-old son has been experiencing popping in both ears for the last year or more. He says it happens every time he swallows and it is now driving him “insane.” I have taken him to ear, nose, and throat specialists, and he has tried steroids, decongestants, and now has tubes in his ears. None of it has helped. Could this have anything to do with allergies?
Ellie, New York
Popping in the ears is often caused by a dysfunction of the eustachian tubes . These tubes should open slightly as needed to allow the pressure between the ear and the nose/throat to equalize. If they aren’t working well because the tissue around or near them is swollen or irritated, the pressure difference between the ear and the nose/throat will build until the tube is suddenly forced open, causing a popping sensation.
Also, it might be worth asking the ENTs who evaluated him if they saw any signs of allergy. Sometimes they do but simply neglect to mention it to the patient because they are more focused on problems that can be corrected surgically. People can also have symptoms of allergy but not have allergies as can be seen with a condition called nonallergic rhinitis. In this condition, things like cigarette smoke, traffic fumes, and changes in temperature and humidity trigger inflammation in the nose and respiratory tract.
Q5. How do I prevent sinus infections? I understand they are caused by allergies. Is that right?
Learn more in the Everyday Health Allergy Center.
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Can Allergies Cause Ear Infections
Allergies can also lead to the development of ear infections. People who have seasonal or year long allergies are more likely to experience ear infections than those without.
Environmental allergies can irritate the eustachian tube, which runs from the middle ear to the throat. The eustachian tube helps balance pressure between the outer and inner ear.
An allergy can cause swelling around the eustachian tube, which can prevent fluid from draining away from the middle ear.
If this fluid collects behind the ear drum, it increases the risk of bacteria and viruses growing in the fluid. These bacteria and viruses can cause an ear infection in the middle ear.
Symptoms of a middle ear infection can appear suddenly and may include:
Allergy Treatment In Metro Atlanta
At the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia, our highly-qualified medical team provides diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose and throat conditions that may be caused by chronic conditions like asthma or allergies. Speak to one of our Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia board-certified allergy specialists about the possibility of allergy shots to find relief.
Our board-certified doctors understand that these conditions may cause severe discomfort, and offer a no-wait appointment policy that ensures you receive immediate care.
Schedule your same-day appointment with Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia today! Our team of board-certified allergy specialists will discuss your options and recommend an appropriate course of treatment. Contact us at 285-5200 or visit us online to book your appointment.
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Strep Throat Is Lurking
Though its not as common in adults, strep throat is a bacterial infection that can cause swollen tonsils and inflammation, says Dr. Zalvan. Besides difficulty swallowing, you might also experience bad breath and have trouble opening your mouth.
Left untreated, bacterial tonsillitis can lead to a more complicated infection that causes pus to collect around the capsule of the tonsil. This infection may require intravenous antibiotics and a drainage procedure to remove the abscess, says Brad DeSilva, MD, otolaryngologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Because strep is sometimes associated with sinusitis, ear infections, and pneumonia, it can be hard to tell if your swollen tonsils are the victim of a viral or bacterial infection. If symptoms persist, Dr. DeSilva recommends having your doc run a rapid strep test to determine if antibiotics are needed.