Nobody likes allergy season (unless they’re one of those lucky people who are allergy free). The itchy eyes, the runny nose, the sneezing … and the hearing issues.

Yes, that’s right; allergies can do a number on the ears too. Even the change in weather that is usually an aspect of allergy season can throw things off.

Most of the discomfort due to allergies is from fluids, which create swelling. The fluid buildup is your body’s way of trying to fight off the infection that allergies mimic.

And swelling doesn’t help your ears function better. In addition, ears are also uniquely susceptible to fluid fluctuations.

The swelling is an issue because it will often mean the already narrow passages of the inner ear get even tighter. This results in their being more easily clogged by earwax and anything else that might get in there and it also throws off the calibration of the entire system. Also, the Eustachian tubes — which are vital in maintaining inner ear pressure — might also get congested, resulting in pressure-related ear popping and clicking sounds.

Excess fluids due to the release of histamines can also affect the parts of the ear where the calibration of fluids is important, especially the vestibular system, which is key to maintaining one’s balance.

Fluctuations in the barometric pressure — the kind that is common during seasonal transitions — can also cause pressure issues in the ear. These are only more pronounced if allergies are already at work.

All of these things can cause discomfort and ear popping. Some hearing loss is also a possibility due to sound waves not making their way as efficiently down the ear canal.

The usual allergy cures — antihistamines or decongestants — are your best bet. If prolonged hearing problems occur then seek out your hearing health professional.