Hay fever – also known as allergic rhinitis – is a common allergic reaction which occurs at particular times of the year. Rhinitis refers to irritation or inflammation of the nose. There are many symptoms when it comes to diagnosing hay fever but here is how to tell if you have a pollen allergy from a sign in your ears.
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Common symptoms include sneezing, coughing, sinus pressure, watery eyes, and itchy nose, mouth, throat and fatigue.
However blocked ears may also be another symptom of hay fever. It is not the most common but can be a symptom of seasonal allergies from grass, weed and trees.
According to Avogel, blocked ears normally occur in hay fever due to the body producing an excessive amount of histamine, irritating the lining of the ears.
This can be a crucial part of managing hay fever symptoms as it could affect your hearing.
Like with other symptoms of hay fever, blocked ears is the result of the body’s immune system reacting to pollen and then producing too much histamine.
Excess of this chemical causes inflammation and irritation in the lining of the nose, throat, ears and in particular of the Eustachian tube.
Hay fever expert Louise Baillie explains that the Eustachian tube connects the middle ear with the back of the nose.
When you swallow or do any movement with your mouth, the tube opens and air is allowed into the middle ear.
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This keeps the air pressure equal on both sides of the eardrum.
She explains: “Any fluid present in the middle ear flows to the back of the throat through this tube. However, when the mucous lining is inflamed, the Eustachian tube is not able to fully open, interrupting the drainage of fluid. This causes the sensation of ‘blocked ears’.”
The symptom of blocked ears may affect your hearing and well as ringing and buzzing in the ears. This is known as tinnitus.
Louise recommends holding your nose and mouth closed and blowing until your ears pop. This will help equalise the pressure in your middle ear, relieving the symptoms of a blocked ear.
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However do not blow too hard as this may damage them.
Another way to reduce this symptom is to inhale steam. The steam will help to loosen the mucus, this can be done by having a hot shower, or using a humidifier.
Eating hot and spicy foods can also help alleviate this symptom. It will help with any congestion in the nose and will help soften the mucus that is blocking your ears, causing that heavy feeling.
Also, Louise advises to keep your head up as much as possible because bending over with your head down can increase the pressure inside your ears which will worsen the symptom of congestion.
In terms of medication, it is important to combat symptoms by taking antihistamine tablets which can be purchased at the pharmacy.
A nasal spray may also be helpful in alleviating hay fever symptoms.
Mayo clinic recommend using a nasal spray which will help prevent and treat the nasal inflammation, nasal itching and a runny nose caused by hay fever.
Nasal sprays are an effective way of helping hay fever symptoms.
You can find the accurate pollen count here: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/warnings-and-advice/seasonal-advice/pollen-forecast#?date=2020-05-12
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