There are a number of health issues that can affect your hearing, including stress and cardiovascular problems. But one very common thing to be aware of is allergies.

One of the underlying challenges with allergies is that they oftentimes cause the human immune system to overreact. This is obvious in the case of severe allergic reactions to things like peanuts and bee stings, where the body goes into shock when faced with chemical irritants that have been introduced into the body.

But even milder forms of allergies, especially seasonal ones related to pollen, cause the body’s immune system to produce chemical reactions to ward off what’s perceived as an invasion.

That chemical reaction, in the form of congestion and mucus, is what can adversely affect your hearing.

The human ear is a finely calibrated system in which stable air pressure and flow are crucial. Excess fluids throw that calibration off — or even block things up completely — messing up the whole system.

To keep that system working properly there are small tubes in the middle ear that allow for the free drainage of fluids. If those get clogged up — as happens when congestion sets in — then your hearing can suffer. Likewise, some allergies will induce your body to produce greater-than-normal quantities of earwax, which will also cut down on the efficiency of your hearing.

Dizziness, ringing in the ear, and extreme itchiness inside the ear are all signs that allergies are at work. And a degradation of your hearing, obviously.

There are no magic bullets. Treating the allergies with over-the-counter and prescription medications and/or avoiding whatever it is that you’re allergic to are the only real strategies.

If sudden and significant hearing loss occurs it is best to seek professional medical advice.