Can Allergies Cause Ear Pain?


Do allergies cause ear pain?

Environmental and seasonal allergies can cause ear pain because when you have an allergy reaction, your body releases a chemical called histamine. Histamine can cause irritation and inflammation in the ears, which can be very painful.

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When people think about allergy symptoms, it’s often congestion, a runny or stuffy nose, and itchy eyes that come to mind. But many allergy sufferers also experience earaches during allergy season. And they’re left to wonder if allergies cause ear pain and, if so, what they can do about it.

Can Seasonal Allergies Cause Earaches?

Seasonal and environmental allergies can cause earaches and ear pain. During an immune response, your body releases a flood of chemicals, including histamine, which causes inflammation and the overproduction of mucus. While histamine primarily targets the eyes, nose, and throat, it can impact the ears.

On each side of the eardrum, you can find the Eustachian tubes. These tubes allow excess fluid to drain from the ear to the back of the throat. This process keeps pressure balanced in the inner and outer ears.

Histamine can cause irritation and inflammation in and around these tubes. In addition, if your sinuses swell, these tubes also swell and cause the ears to feel full or under pressure. If this swelling continues, the Eustachian tubes can close and prevent fluid from draining. This fluid collects behind the eardrum and can lead to ear infections.

Allergy Ear Pain Symptoms

Allergies can impact your ears in various ways. Here are some of the most common ear allergy symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Pressure
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Popping or cracking sounds
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Short-term hearing loss

If you look in the ear, you may also notice swelling in the inner ear and redness around the eardrum. Severe cases of allergy ear pain may also lead to ear infections. These infections need medical attention. If you have allergies and experience ear pain accompanied by a fever or discharge from the ear, reach out to your physician.

How to Relieve Ear Pain From Allergies

When you experience ear pain associated with allergies, you must first find out what’s causing your allergic response. An allergy test can identify your specific allergens. Once you know what allergens cause your allergies, you can start to reduce your exposure. For instance, if it’s pollen causing your symptoms, avoid going outside when the pollen count is high. Or if you’re allergic to cat dander, consider limiting your time at the animal shelter to only walking dogs.

You can try over-the-counter antihistamines and corticosteroid nasal sprays. Lifestyle adjustments can also help you manage symptoms. For ear pain caused by allergies, use an ice pack on the ear for 20 minutes. If you have pressure, sleep slightly upright so that fluid can drain more easily from the ears. During the day, chewing gum may ease the feeling.

If your allergy ear pain doesn’t respond to these medications and starts to impact your life, consider immunotherapy. This long-lasting allergy treatment changes your immune system, where allergies start. By gradually exposing your body to increasing levels of allergens, your immune system becomes desensitized to the allergens. When this happens, the body stops releasing histamine, eliminating your allergy symptoms.

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