The inner ear is filled with fluid which is extremely sensitive to the sudden changes in barometric pressure that occur in springtime. When the barometric pressure drops rapidly, that means the pressure outside your ears goes down before the pressure inside your ears can acclimate. The result is a pressure imbalance, which can cause a sensation of fullness or popping in the ears.
Seasonal allergies affect between 10 and 30 percent of adults in the U.S. and up to 40 percent of children. This means as many as 60 million people in the U.S. suffer from not only sneezing, itchy eyes, 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 don’t open as they should. This causes the Eustachian tubes to become clogged with the excess fluid, and the result is a feeling of fullness and pressure in the ears that can negatively affect hearing.
Another risk of excessive fluid build-up when the Eustachian tubes aren’t functioning properly is ear infections; the increased fluid provides an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive.
Spring also brings challenges for those with hearing aids, as the rise in allergens and wet weather means paying closer attention to maintenance and upkeep of hearing devices. For example, increased allergens can clog microphone ports in hearing aids, so be sure to have hearing aids cleaned regularly.
As always, be sure to seek a hearing healthcare professional if your hearing problems persist along with the barrage of wet weather and sudden barometric changes so you can enjoy the sounds of springtime.
Content provided by HealthyHearing