Hayfever, allergies and ear wax build up. Is there a link between these conditions?
Hayfever is a common condition that is caused by the allergic reaction to pollen. It is exacerbated when the pollen comes into contact with the nose, throat and eyes. The body’s natural defence mechanism can be triggered and this includes the production of excess mucus, excess cerumen (earwax) and watery eyes. These mechanisms that serve to protect the body’s mucous lining.
The ear, nose and throat are connected by a tube called the eustachian tube. Individuals experiencing hayfever can sometimes experience itchy ears. In worst case scenarios there would be a buildup of mucus on the eustachian tube which in turn causes a buildup in pressure and ultimately leading to a decrease in hearing.
A common symptom with eustachian tube blockage is the sensation of your head being underwater. This symptom is briefly relieved by sneezing or blowing your nose. If you have this symptom, book an appointment with our audiologist for an otoscopic examination. Due to the translucent nature of the tympanic membrane (eardrum) individuals who have eustachian tube blockage sometimes have bubbles which are visible on the eardrum upon an otoscopic examination.
Our audiologist can recommend over the counter nasal sprays to alleviate this middle ear condition or for individuals who have already these and require a stronger dose they will be referred to their doctor.
The other aforementioned reactive mechanism in response to pollen is the production of excess earwax. Symptoms would include decreased hearing, discomfort sometimes tinnitus, vertigo, dizziness. Earwax removal is a procedure that can be safely performed in a clinic mainly using micro-suction.
Sibekithemba Charlotte Matiba
Hearing Aid Audiologist