Ear, nose & throat allergies
An allergy is an abnormal immune response to certain things in the environment called allergens, substances that trigger an allergic response, which is generally harmless to most people. When the ears, nose and throat were affected by allergies, the symptoms are referred to as otolaryngic allergies.
How allergies can affect the ears, nose & throat?
A middle ear infection is one of the most common medical problems in children. Allergic inflammation can cause swelling in the nose and around the opening of the ear canal. The swelling has the potential to interfere with drainage of the middle ear. Infection is more likely to happen when bacteria-laden discharge clogs the tube.
Allergies can cause inflammation that the opening to the sinuses is obstructed. A bacterial sinus infection occurs as a result. Allergens that are breathed in could cause a stuffy nose, itchy nose and throat, mucus production, cough, or wheezing.
Various allergens may also lead to the formation of excess mucus which can make the nose run or drip down the back of the throat, leading to ‘post-nasal drip’. It can lead to coughing, sore throats and a husky voice. Air conditioning, winter heating and dehydration can aggravate the condition as well.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of allergies include a wide range of physiological responses and may present themselves either suddenly or gradually. The presence and severity of each symptom may vary from person to person.
Some of the symptoms are:
- Runny nose
- Constant sneezing
- Nasal congestion
- Itching sensation in the eyes, nose and throat
- Frequent ear infections and sinus infections
- Reduced ability to smell or taste
- Cold-like symptoms for more than 10 days
- Frequent and unexplained nosebleeds
- Symptoms that recur at the same time every year
What are the treatments?
Your Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) Allergist may recommend the allergy medications below according to your specific diagnosis:
- Nasal sprays, including steroid or antihistamine sprays
- Leukotriene inhibitors
- Oral antihistamines
Your doctor will recommend that you avoid or remove the identified allergen from your environment when reasonable.
Why is it important to treat ear, nose & throat allergies?
Allergies can increase complications like asthma, recurrent sinusitis, middle ear infections, snoring and obstructive sleep apnea in the longer term. Other complications such as chronic cough, head congestion, recurring infection in the ears and sinus, hearing loss and asthma if left untreated. Talk to your ENT specialist and seek treatment if you experience any of the allergies symptoms mentioned in this article.
Learn more about your health condition with our Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT), Head & Neck Surgery medical experts at Regency Specialist Hospital.