Pollen is notorious for causing allergic reactions, but allergy isn't the only danger associated with exposure to allergens. Things like pollen, dust, and mold spores can also worsen an existing hearing impairment. Here are two ways in which this can happen.
Obstruction of the Ear Canal
Conductive hearing loss occurs when something obstructs the path followed by sound waves from the outer ear canal to the eardrum or middle ear. It so happens that allergic reactions can cause this obstruction; you will understand this better once you understand what happens when you develop allergic reactions.
Allergic reactions occur when your body's immune system attacks allergens that you have been exposed to. The body produces antibodies to fight the allergens using different chemicals, one of which is histamine. These chemicals are irritating to the body, causing the characteristic symptoms of allergic reactions such as itching, swelling, and fluid leakage. The swelling and flow of fluid then block your ear canal, making it difficult for sound waves to flow through.
Obstruction of the Microphone Ports
A typical hearing aid is designed with microphone ports that pick up the sounds before they are amplified and directed to your ears. The microphone ports consist of tiny holes that can easily be clogged by debris. In fact, this is one of the most delicate parts of a hearing aid, which is why it's advisable to turn the hearing aid upside down before cleaning the ports.
Unfortunately, the pollen particles are tiny enough to clog the ports. Therefore, if there is too much pollen in the air, they may get into the microphone ports and reduce their effectiveness.
What You Can Do About It
When it comes to the obstructed ear canals, the best thing to do is to reduce the severity of the allergic reactions. This will cause the swelling to subside and open up your ear canal. You can use your normal allergy medication or go to the emergency room if your symptoms seem particularly severe.
As for the obstruction of the microphone ports, cleaning the ports (a cleaning brush is usually provided with the hearing aids) may help you maintain the effectiveness of the ports. Take these measures to prevent the obstruction from happening in the first place:
For more personalized tips and information, talk to your audiologist and allergist.
I was badly injured a year ago, and it took a long time to get back to my normal level of ability. One of the things that helped more than anything was the time that I spent in physical therapy. I didn’t always love going to physical therapy – in fact, sometimes, I really didn’t enjoy it at all. But ultimately, the therapists and other patients I worked with helped inspire me to get better, and the exercises facilitated my healing process. I started this blog to talk about all of the things I learned about physical therapy and healing during my recovery time. I hope my blog reaches other accident victims. I want to offer encouragement, hope, and information for people who are in the same boat that I was in.