Allergies can affect numerous parts of the body, whether it be the sinuses or throat. But allergies can also affect the ears in numerous ways. Allergies are commonly caused by reactions to specific materials, foods, or medicine, and can lead to loss of hearing, infections (see middle ear infection and hearing loss), and irritation.
Earrings are the most common issue with ear-related allergies. Artificially-created metal earrings can harm your ears, for they are often produced with certain chemicals and substances that your body may reject. It’s important then, to get earrings made of high quality metals, such as gold or silver. Allergic reactions to different materials can develop and change over time. You could start out with gold earrings, switch to aluminum, and come back to the gold only to find out that your ears become irritated with the gold. Conversely, when you switch to aluminum, your ears may become irritated due to the switch. If your earrings are causing your ears to be itchy and/or sore, take out your earrings and contact a doctor. Leaving them in your ears could lead to infection and may lead to hearing loss.
Food can be another cause of allergies that may affect the ears. Common food allergies include nuts, wheat, eggs, and milk – some cause severe reactions that restrict hearing and require medication. Food intolerance is different from allergies in that its effects are more mild. However, food intolerance can lead to tinnitus, ear infections, and general itchiness. Children are especially prone to losing hearing through certain food allergies.
Skin allergies like eczema can also affect the ears by causing skin to be itchy and flaky. Such effects on the skin of the ears may lead to hearing loss, especially if you find yourself or your children scratching/picking at the ears. Ointments may soothe itchiness or flakiness, but if your eczema is severe, then seek a doctor; medication may be needed.