The “yellow stuff” we are going to be talking about is not earwax, but pollen. Believe it or not pollen affects our ears and can cause temporary ear problems which are usually worse during allergy season. Unfortunately, living in the South means high levels of pollen. Let’s learn more about pollen and how it affects our hearing.
During allergy season, the human body produces extra mucus and earwax which causes congestion, sneezing, and itching. Some symptoms of the ear during this time are infections, dizziness, and itching. While allerg y medications can stop all of those symptoms, once earwax builds up, it needs to be removed. If you get the feeling of pressure in your ears or stocked up, it would be time to clean them. Ignoring it could lead to ear infections or hearing loss.
Healthyhearing.com reports, “it’s never advisable to attempt to scratch an itch by putting anything inside your ear canal such as a hair pin or cotton swab. Instead, wash your ear gently with a warm, wrung-out washcloth and dry it thoroughly. If that doesn’t help, see your doctor”. If not properly cared for, you could mistake the fluid in your ear for hearing loss. This type of hearing loss would be considered conductive hearing loss because “the transmission of sounds is blocked during its journey from the outer or middle ear into the inner ear” (signiausa.com). Aside from fluid causing hearing loss or ear discomfort, it can also cause temporary tinnitus, ringing in the ears. For those who already have tinnitus, it can worsen the symptoms.
Not only do allergies mess with hearing but it also wreak havoc on your hearing aids. The excess mucus produced gets clogged in hearing aid ports causing the hearing aid to not properly function. It is important to regularly clean out your hearing aids, but during allergy season it is pertinent to care for your hearing aids. Cleaning out your hearing aids will not only allow you to hear at your best but also preserve your valuable hearing aids too.
Remember, if you notice a significant decline in your hearing ability, clean out your ears and your hearing aids. If the significant decline is still there, consult your audiologist or ENT right away.