ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Middle Ear and Allergies

Updated on June 3, 2008

The middle ear is an important part of the auditory system. It is a cavity inside the head found between the external auditory canal and the inner ear. In the cavern there are three very small bones, called ossicles which move and transmit sound waves by their movements into the fluid of the inner ear canals. The middle ear is an air filled cavity that house ossicles. They are three very small bones connected to each other in series. The first one, the hammer, is in contact with the eardrum and the last one the stirrup fits into a window leading to the inner ear canal. The middle ear cavity also has a long tube that connects it to the area in the back of the throat, called the Eustachian tube. The function of this tube is to equalized pressure and to provide and outlet for ear secretions.

If the middle ear cavity is supposed to be air-filled, then how does fluid get in it? The cavity is lined with tissue that can be irritated by viruses, bacteria and allergens. Once the tissue is irritated there are chemical reactions that can cause the tissue the weep, like when the nose runs. Under normal conditions the secretions run down the Eustachian tube into the throat and are swallowed. Sometimes the tissue of the Eustachian tubes becomes inflammed due to irritants, they swell and prevent the flow of secretions out of the middle ear. This happens in young children who suffer repeated ear infections. Eventually, there is enough fluid build up in the ear that tubes must be placed in the eardrum to allow the middle ear secretions to drain through the external ear canal instead of the eustachian tube. Once the ear infection cycle is stopped, the tissue inflammation goes down and the eustachian tube relaxes allowing normal drainage.

The middle ear membranes and the Eustachian tube can also respond to allergens. Allergens are contact irritants, they don't cause a disease or illness, they cause a tissue reaction, the tissue swells and weeps. Again, this is a chemical reaction, but it can be impaired by taking antihistamines, Benadryl, Allegra, Claratin, Zyrtex, just to name a few. With the weeping tissue also comes congestion and that is what blocks the Eustachian tubes as well as causing that feeling of pressure and the feeling that the ears need to "pop". This can be helped by decongestants, the most common being pseudoephedrine.

Ideally allergy medicine and decongestants should help, but sometimes in extreme cases they don't. If you have fluid in your middle ear that is not being drained out through the Eustachian tubes, most likely you won't be able to hear well and you are probably feeling a lot of pressure in your ears. If this is the case you should run, not walk, to an Ear, Nose , and Throat specialist or at the very least your Primary Care Doctor who should be wise enough to refer you to a specialist. If drainage of fluid from the middle ears is blocked for a long period of time, permanent hearing loss can result. Who knows you may even have an infection of the middle ear that needs to be treated with antibiotics. If you are sure that the fluid build up in the middle ears was caused by allergy irritants then finding a good program to decrease your sensitivity to those irritants should be pursued.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Nikki 

      6 years ago

      I would like to know what allergens cause this? Thanks.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)