When Seasonal Allergies Flare Up You Can Expect Nasal Symptoms Like Sneezing Itching Runny Nose And Congestion These Symptoms Are Called Allergic Rhinitis Or More Commonly Hay Fever Although Fatigue Is Not Part Of Allergic Rhinitis It Can Also Be A Symptom Of Seasonal Allergies
Antihistamines got you dragging through the day? We have options outlined here, all backed by scientific studies.
A flare up of allergy symptoms can happen any time of year. In fact, about two-thirds of people who have seasonal allergy, actually have allergy symptoms all year, although they may not be as obvious. Symptoms like cough and congestion may be caused by winter or indoor allergies like pets, mold, or dust.
Seasonal allergy can start when trees start to pollinate. Tree pollen allergies can start as early as February. Grass pollen starts next in early spring. If you live in a tropical climate, grass pollens may be around most of the year. A rainy April or May can cause mold pollens to last into the fall. Weed pollens, especially ragweed, kick in from August through November.
Why Do Seasonal Allergies Make Us Tired
Seasonal allergies can do more than just cause a runny nose or coughwhen left untreated, they can lead to drowsiness and poor concentration, too.
Allergy fatigue is the result of your body working hard to fight off a foreign invader. Its similar to the way your body fights a virus like the common cold or the flu, which can also leave you feeling drained.
When you have an allergic response to something like dust, pollen, or pet dander, your body also releases proteins , which can cause inflammation in your nose. Chronic inflammation has been linked to fatigue and depression.
Allergies can also indirectly cause you to feel tired during the day by disrupting your sleep at night. Common allergy symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and congestion can make it hard to get a good nights rest, making it hard to stay focused the next day.
Treating seasonal allergy tiredness isnt always simple, either. Common medications like Benadryl often cause drowsiness as a side effect. Fortunately, there are ways to manage fatigue and stay alert during allergy season.
Why Cant I Just Catch Up On Sleep At Night
Its not that you cant sleep, its that allergies can cause both insomnia and very fragmented sleep, explains Dr. Kansagra, who serves as the director of Dukes Pediatric Neurology Sleep Medicine Program. The inability to fall asleep, or period waking, is due mainly to irritation and discomfort. Allergies may cause mucous buildup, and swelling and inflammation in the airway that can lead to sleep apnea, which is intermittent blockages in your airway while you sleep, said Dr. Kansagra. This leads to low quality of sleep.
Remember, when allergies are triggered, your body is waging war against the allergens.
A meta-analysis in the Public Library of Science looked at the association between allergic rhinitis and sleep. Researchers found that those with allergies reported higher incidents of nocturnal dysfunctions, including insomnia, restless sleep, sleep-disordered breathing, and snoring. The same research also found the nighttime issues led to daytime dysfunction, including difficulty waking up, daytime sleepiness, morning headache, and the use of sleep medications.
Even if you cant remember waking up from your allergy symptoms during the night, you probably did, says Dr. Haden. Even getting the recommended eight hours of sleep doesnt mean that those were eight quality hours of deep sleep, he adds.
Does Pollen Make You Tired
Those who suffer from allergies are used to a wide range of bothersome symptoms. But in addition to everything else, does pollen make you tired, too? Some have noticed that when their allergies kick in, so does the desperate need to get some extra sleep. Here’s what you need to know about pollen, allergies and sleepiness.
If Allergies Make You Tired Fastmed Can Help
Managing your allergy symptoms starts by finding the source of your allergies. FastMed offers allergy testing at all locations. Be sure to let us know about any over-the-counter medications you are already taking to relieve your symptoms.
Keeping an allergy log is another tool that can help identify what is causing your symptoms. When you feel especially fatigued, jot down what you were exposed to that day.
Your FastMed provider may recommend combination treatments, including prescription medication, nasal sprays and eye drops. Well also discuss over-the-counter medications that are less likely to make you feel drowsy but can still alleviate your symptoms.
For more severe allergies, ask your FastMed professional if you are a good candidate for allergy shots. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America confirms that allergy shots are a highly effective treatment, reducing symptoms in about 85% of people with allergies.
Recommended Reading: Can Allergies Make It Hard To Breathe
Things You Should Know Aboutallergy
- 09 Jul, 2020
Allergies can cause all kinds ofunpleasant, distracting symptoms, from digestive upsets and headachesto respiratory trouble and runny eyes. However, you may also haveexperienced another few hallmark symptoms of allergy problems:fatigue, drowsiness, and mental sluggishness.
If you have had noticeable troublegathering your thoughts, maintaining your alertness, or even stayingawake during the day, you need to understand how your allergies maycreate or aggravate your tiredness. Take heed of the following fourkey points about allergy-related fatigue.
1. Allergens Cause BiochemicallyBased Fatigue
An allergic reaction occurs when yourimmune system goes into battle by mistake, attacking a harmlesssubstance as if it were a virus or other germ. It does this byinstructing mast cells to produce antibodies for release into thebloodstream. These antibodies belong to a category known asimmunoglobulin E.
In addition to immunoglobulin E, theimmune system releases a substance called histamine. When both ofthese substances produce an inflammatory reaction in the body, youmay experience a sense of tiredness alongside other, more obviousallergic symptoms.
2. Allergic Sinusitis Can CauseBrain Fog
Individuals who feel dazed and unableto think well often describe their problem as brain fog. While brainfog may occur in association with many health problems, most notablyfibromyalgia, it can also occur as a side effect of a conditioncalled allergic sinusitis.
The Scientific Reason Why Hay Fever Makes You Tired
It’s got nothing to do with antihistamine tablets making you drowsy.
It’s great when the sun comes out, unless you’re allergic to pollen of course, and it also signals regular twenty-minute-straight sneezing sessions, red eyes and and an itchy throat. Hay fever, you demon.
But those aren’t the only symptoms of hay fever that can crop up. Have you ever noticed yourself feeling unnecessarily tired during times of high pollen count? If so, there’s a science-approved explanation behind it, and it’s got nothing to do with the drowse-inducing antihistamines you’ll have been scoffing.
Speaking to Live Science, allergist and immunologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Dr. Kara Wada, explained that seasonal allergies can notably reduce energy levels, leading to feelings of tiredness.
The expert described how the body expends substantial amounts of energy creating “the cells, proteins and all of the other substances” – collectively called inflammation – that emerge as part an allergic response. Effectively, inflammation tries to fight off the allergy, which results in the body being drained and subsequently emitting some of the same chemical signals as the ones released when you’re run down or unwell.
Plus, if you’re unlucky enough for your reaction to pollen to continue throughout the night, this can interrupt sleep and significantly reduce the quality of rest you get.
Great. That’s another one to add to your list of reasons why having hay fever is shit.
Recommended Reading: Can Allergies Make You Feel Hot
The Immune Response Is Tough On Your Body
Allergies cause bodily inflammation, and when your immune system is inflamed, your body uses up a fair amount of energy and resources to make an immune response, says Kara Wada, M.D., an allergist and immunologist at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. Plus, when youre having an allergic reaction and histamines are released, that can make you feel tired, notes Dr. Monteleone.
How To Deal With Pollen
Does pollen make you tired? The answer is a definite yes. But how can you combat the problem, especially when medications meant to relieve the symptoms might actually make you more tired than you were in the beginning? Here are ways that might help:
1. Get Away from Pollen
- Check pollen counts and try to stay inside when they are too high outside.
- Keep your windows and doors closed and use your air conditioning to limit indoor pollen count.
- Turn off your attic fans.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollen.
- Go on vacation only to places where the pollen count is low, like the beach or the mountains in the wintertime.
- Change your clothing when you come in from outside.
- Shower as soon as you come into the house to remove the pollen from your hair.
- Let someone else mow your grass and handle the landscaping.
- When working outside, wear a N95-grade mask.
- Look into immunotherapy shots.
- Never use a clothesline to dry clothes and always use the dryer.
- Keep your outdoor pets well brushed and never allow them to sleep in your bedroom.
2. Change Allergy Medication
Changing your allergy medication can help you dodge the sleepiness. Some newer medications such as Allegra, Claritin, or Zyrtec do not make you drowsy. Speak to your doctor about which ones might work best for you.
3. Develop Good Sleep Patterns
4. Allergy Shot
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Treatment For Seasonal Allergies
Sleep Disorders And Fatigue
Symptoms: Chronic fatigue, feeling exhausted upon awakening, snoring
Sleep disorders are a group of conditions that disrupt or prevent restful, restorative sleep. That can take a toll on your health and quality of life, so its important to look out for signs and symptoms.
Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders. If you or your partner notices loud snoring and you wake up tired and stay that way, you could have sleep apnea. More than one-third of adults in the U.S. snore at least a few nights a week. But if the snoring stops your breathing for seconds at a time, it could be sleep apnea. Learn more about the best sleep positions and see if sleeping on your stomach is bad or not.
Obstructive sleep apnea causes low blood oxygen levels. That’s because blockages prevent air from getting to the lungs. The low oxygen levels also affect how well your heart and brain work. Sometimes, the only clue that you might have sleep apnea is chronic fatigue.
Your doctor may prescribe a medical device called CPAP that helps keep your airways open while you sleep. In severe cases of sleep apnea, surgery may help. The surgeon will remove tissues that are blocking the airways. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of a stroke or heart attack.
But sleep apnea is just one of many sleep disorders that cause fatigue. Other common types include:
Underactive Thyroid And Fatigue
Symptoms: Extreme fatigue, sluggishness, feeling run-down, depression, cold intolerance, weight gain
The problem may be a slow or underactive thyroid. This is known as hypothyroidism. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of your neck. It helps set the rate of metabolism, which is the rate at which the body uses energy.
According to the American Thyroid Foundation, about 17% of all women will have a thyroid disorder by age 60. And most won’t know it. The most common cause is an autoimmune disorder known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Hashimoto’s stops the gland from making enough thyroid hormones for the body to work the way it should. The result is hypothyroidism, or a slow metabolism.
Blood tests known as T3 and T4 will detect thyroid hormones. If these hormones are low, synthetic hormones can bring you up to speed, and you should begin to feel better fairly rapidly.
Read Also: Can Outdoor Allergies Cause Itchy Skin
Know What Youre Allergic To
To fix your fatigue symptoms, you should find out what exactly is causing your allergies. If you do not know what you are allergic to, you can schedule with one of our board-certified allergists. Our doctors ask about your medical history and perform an allergy test to determine what allergens are bothersome to you. Patients will learn which allergens they tested positive to during their initial visit. Based on the test results of your allergy skin test, our allergists will determine the best treatment options for your allergy symptoms.
Are You Struggling With Allergy
Dr. Chacko and his team can help you identify what allergens are keeping you awake at night and come up with an allergy treatment plan that is right for you. Schedule an appointment at one of the Chacko Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center clinic locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek. Call us at .
Also Check: What To Take For Seasonal Allergies
What Does Allergy Fatigue Feel Like
It can feel like extreme drowsiness, not even depending on the amount of sleep you get. There can also be other symptoms such as brain fog, leaving people feeling hazy, tired, and unable to focus on anything. Many experienced brain fog from COVID-19 as well. If you are unsure if you are feeling symptoms of allergies or COVID, watch this video.
Symptoms that can disrupt sleep include:
Tips For Getting Quality Sleep With Allergies
If your allergies are keeping you up at night or causing fatigue during the day, itâs important to take the proper steps to get quality sleep each night. Below are a few simple tips that can help you get a good nightâs sleep so you can feel rested and alert during the day, even if allergies are a problem.
Read Also: How To Stop Allergies Immediately
The Causes Of Fatigue In Hayfever
There are many ways that hayfever can cause fatigue, though the usual culprit is the chemical known as histamine.
Histamine primarily acts as a guardian of sorts for your immune system, protecting it from potential invaders. This is why histamine is stored in areas of the body that are vulnerable to attack, such as the nose, mouth, our stomach and even your blood. When the immune system identifies pollen as an alien threat, histamine is released in large quantities to fight the potential menace.
This can lead to inflammation when your blood flow is increased to allow infection fighting cells to leak out of our blood vessels, triggering a string of common hayfever symptoms such as congestion, blocked nose, earache or headache.
These unpleasant afflictions then have the potential to disrupt your sleep patterns – it is difficult to wake up in a bright and bubbly mood when youve spent the night coughing into your pillow or wondering if youll ever be able to stop rubbing your eyes. This rapid outburst of histamine can also exhaust your nervous system.
The adrenal glands produce a hormone known as cortisol, which can limit the level of inflammatory reactions in the body. The more histamine that is released the more the adrenals have to work to compensate, which can place them under a great deal of stress. When the adrenals become fatigued, this can lower your immune system and make you feel more tired than usual.
How To Treat Fatigue Caused By Allergies
If allergies are truly the source of your fatigue, treating the allergies is the best way to treat the fatigue. An ENT specialist or allergist can help you determine or confirm the root cause of your issues. After conducting an allergy test in the office or at home to diagnose your allergies, consider which allergy treatment option may work best to treat your fatigue and eliminate other symptoms.
Also Check: Can Pollen Allergies Cause Canker Sores
What Causes Allergy Fatigue
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology , although you might not think about fatigue or sleepiness as allergy symptoms, untreated allergies often lead to these symptoms. One reason is that an allergic reaction can release chemicals in your body that directly cause fatigue.
A more obvious cause is lack of sleep. When you cant breathe well through your nose or you are coughing and sneezing all night, its hard to get a good nights sleep. Finally, if you are not careful choosing the right over-the-counter allergy medications , they may cause drowsiness or disrupt your sleep.
Allergens Are All Around Us
Allergens exist both indoors and outdoors, so limiting your exposure to them can be challenging. You may be allergic to something and not even know it. The most common allergy triggers include tree pollen, grass pollen, mold, dust mites and pet dander all of which can cause allergy-related fatigue.
Other typical allergy symptoms include:
- Sneezing or sniffling
- Itchy eyes, nose, or throat
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
- Hives or rashes
Combine all this with feeling tired and its easy to understand why people search for relief from their allergies, not just in spring but all year round.
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How To Tackle Allergy Fatigue
To fight allergy fatigue, individuals need to remove allergens wherever possible. Dust, pollen, and even pet hair can cause symptoms like breathing issues at night. A bed should be covered throughout the day by a mattress encasement and pillow covers. Likewise, a person should vacuum their homes floors often and keep windows closed. An air purifier that removes allergens can make sense for certain households.
Allergy sufferers can take steps to protect their own body, too. For instance, allergy medications can be purchased over the counter at drug stores. Antihistamines and decongestants are popular options to fight back against allergy symptoms. Individuals can take a nightly bath or shower before bed. In doing so, they wash away allergens and particles on their skin and hair.