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Allergy and Hearing Loss

Your symptom (''profound hearing loss'') is a bit vague, an audiogram (hearing test) should have been performed in order to determine whether the hearing loss was coming from the outer, middle or inner ear. Assuming the cause of the hearing loss truly is ''allergy,'' the possibilities include:

1. Middle ear fluid. The middle ear can react to an allergic challenge by secreting fluid which may remain in the middle ear space for days, weeks, even months. This condition presents as a conductive hearing loss. It is usually treated with antihistamines and occasionally steroids. Rarely a small incision in the eardrum is made to evacuate the fluid.

2. Inner ear response. The inner ear (cochlea) can also be an organ that reacts to an allergic challenge by filling up with excessive fluid, a condition referred to as endolymphatic hydrops. This may cause a sensorineural hearing loss, in association with a sensation of fullness, pressure and often vertigo.

However, without a proper audiogram, all of this is speculation, as sudden hearing loss may be caused by viral infection, tumor, multiple sclerosis, stroke and chronic ear infections.

A visit to your audiologist and/or otologist would be prudent.

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