All About Allergy Fatigue
When we think about our allergy symptoms we typically think of the “normal” symptoms – Runny nose, cough, itchy eyes. Allergy fatigue is the lurking symptom that we seem to forget about or not realize, even though it takes a big toll on our bodies. Individuals with allergies are 76% more likely to feel unrested during the day.
Take A Shower Before Bed
Taking a shower before bed can help wash pollen or other allergens out of your hair or off your skin, ensuring that you are not bringing allergens into bed with you. Taking a shower or bath before bed may even improve your ability to get a good nightâs sleep by lowering your body temperature, which can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. This should help you feel more rested when you wake up the next morning.
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.
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Find The Source Of Your Symptoms
To manage your symptoms, start by finding the source of your allergies. Taking a quick allergy test from the comfort of your home can help you narrow down possible culprits.
Keeping an allergy log is another great way to figure out whatâs causing your symptoms. Recording notes and identifying patterns when youâre experiencing symptoms of fatigue and jotting down what youâve been exposed to that day is a great way to find the link between an allergen and your symptoms.
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.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Allergy Shots
The side effects of allergy shots are usually minimal. Most commonly, patients will feel slight itching or swelling at the site of the injection. Other people may experience more severe allergy symptoms like sneezing, watery eyes, nasal congestion, and hives. While rare, a person can have a serious reaction, like anaphylaxis, typically within 30 minutes after the shot is given. Therefore, waiting at an allergy office is required after an allergy shot is given. It is important for trained allergy staff to monitor patients after their allergy shots to ensure no reaction occurs.
How Can You Treat Fatigue Caused By Allergies
The good news is there are many ways to get allergy relief so you can get rid of that looming, tired feeling. The first step in finding this relief is getting tested for allergies, so you know whats causing your symptoms. Then you can work together with your doctor to find an allergy treatment thats right for you.
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Allergies Can Lead To Sinusitis
If you suffer from allergies, youâre also more likely to have sinus problems such as sinusitis. Sinusitis is a condition in which the tissue lining of the sinuses becomes inflamed. The sinuses are responsible for making the mucus that drains out of your nose channels, keeping the nose filled with air and free of bacteria, but inflammation can make it harder for your sinuses to do their job.
While the symptoms of allergies and sinusitis have some overlapâsuch as sneezing, itchy eyes, wheezing, or a runny noseâsinusitis can cause additional symptoms like pain and swelling on the face, headaches, postnasal drip, and fatigue.
How Can Parents Help
Doctors give allergy shots with needles that are smaller than those used for most childhood vaccinations, so they’re less painful. Still, for some kids a shot can seem scary. A parent’s positive and supportive attitude can help. Treatment goes much better when parents are confident and committed to the immunotherapy.
While getting a shot, your child can squeeze your hand, sing a song, watch a video, or use another distraction that will take the focus off the injection.
Understanding the benefits of allergy shots and how they work will help you and your child accept them as routine.
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How To Manage Fatigue Associated With Allergies
Managing fatigue from allergies usually requires figuring out how to best manage the allergy itself.
If youre struggling with allergies and associated fatigue, your doctoror an allergistcan diagnose your allergy and recommend a treatment plan to stave off tiredness and other allergy symptoms.
Here are some of the most impactful ways to improve fatigue from allergies:
What Should I Expect Afterward
Usually, youâll stay at the doctorâs office for about 30 minutes after you get an allergy shot. That’s to make sure you don’t get side effects like itchy eyes, shortness of breath, a runny nose, or a tight throat. If you get these symptoms after you leave, go back to your doctor’s office or to the nearest emergency room.
Redness, swelling, or irritation right around the site of the injection is normal. These symptoms should go away in 4 to 8 hours.
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They’re A Big Time Commitment
Allergy shots are given in two phases. In the “build-up” phase, you’ll need a shot once or twice a week for about three to six months. After that, you’ll enter the “maintenance” phase and receive them less oftenabout once or twice a month, for several years, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology ,
Sticking to this schedule is important, for the shots’ effectiveness and to reduce your chances of having a bad reaction. “For some people it’s absolutely worth it, but some people just don’t have that time to spare,” Dr. Dziadzio said. And while the shots themselves only take a minute, you probably will have to wait those 30 minutes in your healthcare provider’s office after each one.
Allergy Shots Effectiveness My Opinion
Are allergy shots effective? A few years ago, prior to starting allergy shots, I was in a horrible place.
I couldnt make it to work, I stopped socializing, and I stopped exercising. I became obsessive about controlling my environment and reducing any stress.
I didnt know what was causing me to feel bad and I didnt know what to do.
Thankfully I was allergy tested.
But that didnt solve the problem. The first allergist I visited didnt help me.
He tested me for a couple things and gave me allergy drops there was very little communication or explanation on his part. After that experience, if you were to ask if allergy immunotherapy is effective I would have said no.
Thankfully I was retested for allergies by a reputable allergist.
I received the full spectrum of tests and the process was explained to me. We decided on a way to move forward. I strongly believe that allergy shots are effective.
Over the past few years Ive reduced my allergy symptoms by about 80%. I can breathe through my nose and my eyes are less itchy.
My fatigue is gone. I only need 7 hours of sleep a night and I wake up energized and ready to go. Ive also been able to hold a job.
I suffered from allergies year-round, not just seasonally. I was desperate to find a solution and Ive followed the schedule outlined by my doctor.
Ive also been retested a few times to make sure the allergy shots are working. Guess what? I no longer react to many of the allergens I first reacted to.
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Certain Allergy Medications Can Cause Drowsiness
Reaching for allergy medications to combat or prevent allergy symptoms might help ward off your allergies, but certain medications like antihistamines may also lead to drowsiness during the day.
Not only can certain antihistamines induce drowsiness during the day, but they may also contribute to poor sleep quality at night, leading to feelings of fatigue in the morning.
Why Do Allergies Make Us Tired
In the United States, allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness. Allergens can exist both indoors and outdoors, and it can be a challenge to limit your exposure to them. When it comes to indoor and outdoor allergies, there are a few common culprits that can cause seasonal or recurring allergic reactions such as sinus swelling, nasal congestion or a runny nose, watery eyes, and tiredness. The most common triggers include dust mites, mold, pollen, and pet danderâall of which may cause fatigue.
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Potential Reactions To Allergy Shots
Every patient must wait 20 minutes after their shot before leaving the clinic. When a new vial is started, patients will be given a skin test. If the test is negative, we will administer the injection. Reactions are rare but are possible, so every patient must wait 20 minutes prior to leaving the clinic.
Patients who are undergoing treatment have been asked to fill a prescription for an Epinephrine Injector . As a delayed reaction may occur up to two hours after injection, a Wake ENT staff member will show each patient undergoing treatment how to use their Epi-Pen should it ever be necessary to do so.
If an injection is skipped, we may not be able to advance patients to their next dose at their next visit.
They’re Not Just For Seasonal Allergies
Allergy shots can be effective for people with hay fever and other seasonal allergies, but they can also work for year-round indoor allergieslike mold, dust mites, and animal danderand allergies to insect bites or stings. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to work for food allergies.
“In the case of stinging insects, the shots can be close to curative,” Dr. Dziadzio said. “That’s the one time I really push people to get the shots no matter what, because it’s such a dangerous allergy.” Allergy shots may also be a good choice for people who don’t like taking medications or can’t avoid the thing they’re allergic tolike a pet or the great outdoors.
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Do Antihistamines Make You Sleepy
It depends on the type. Allergy symptoms are caused by your bodys defense system, called the immune system. If you have allergies, your immune system identifies otherwise harmless substances like mold spores or tree pollen as foreign invaders, and launches an attack against them. One of the main chemicals released is histamine. It causes allergic rhinitis and itchy, watery eyes. To treat your seasonal allergy symptoms, you may opt for over the counter medication found in the allergy section of your pharmacy. These are OTC antihistamines and are effective for some seasonal allergy sufferers because they block the effects of histamine.
There are two types of OTC antihistamines. Older antihistamines, called first-generation antihistamines cause drowsiness along with dry eyes and constipation. Common brand names are Benadryl and Chlor Trimeton. Both the FDA and ACAAI suggest avoiding these antihistamines.
The best bet is to ask your doctor to recommend an OTC allergy medication or to choose a newer non-sedating OTC antihistamine. Non-sedating means it wont make you sleepy. There are several OTC non-drowsy antihistamine brands, such as Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra. Look for non-sedating on the label or ask your pharmacist.
What If My Fatigue Is Not Caused By Allergies
There is a chance that you may have allergies, but also a deeper sleep issue. If that is the case, our physicians can refer you to one of a sleep expert. A sleep expert may have you take a sleep test, which can be in completed your own bed at home. The results from this test can help your doctors determine why you are feeling so tired.
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Figure Out Whats Causing Allergies
Allergy symptoms are a sign your body is fighting off an allergen.
So to best manage those symptoms, its important to identify what youre allergic to.
If you have allergy symptoms that only happen certain times of the year you might have allergic rhinitis .
The most common causes of allergic rhinitis include:
- Pollen, which usually causes allergies in the spring and early summer
- Mold, or tiny fungi that float in the air like pollen, which usually causes symptoms in late summer and early fall
Other forms of allergic rhinitis also stem from environmental allergens, but they may occur year-round:
- Dust mites, tiny organisms found in household fibers
Other common allergy causes may be easier to identify, because theyre not circulating in the environment:
- Insects and insect stings
If you have persistent allergy symptoms and youre not sure what youre allergic to, speak with your doctor.
An allergist can diagnose you via allergy testing and recommend a treatment to help.
Learn Your Allergy Profile With Wyndly
If the idea of long-term allergy relief without the hassle of allergy shots appeals to you, look no further than Wyndly. From 24/7 access to doctors to personalized treatment plans delivered to your door, were here to make your allergy treatment hassle-free. Book your initial consultation with one of our allergy doctors and get a free at-home allergy test! Theres no reason to keep suffering. Book your call today!
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What Is Rush Immunotherapy
Itâs a faster way to get to a maintenance dose, but itâs also riskier.
During the first part of the treatment, you get doses of the allergen every day instead of every few days. Your doctor will check on you closely, in case you have a bad reaction. In some cases, you may get medicine before you get the dose of the allergen, to help prevent a reaction.
What Can Affect How Well They Work
The effectiveness of the treatment does vary. Often this is to do with the length of the program a person is undertaking or the dose of the allergen.
Some people will have lasting relief while others may have a relapse after treatment has stopped. If a person experiences no improvement after 12 months of allergy shots, it could be due to several factors:
- wrong dose of the allergen in the allergy shot
- missed allergens in the individual when they are first evaluated
- high levels of the allergen in the environment the person is in
- exposure to non-allergic triggers, such as tobacco smoke
If allergy shots are not working, for whatever reason, then an allergist or immunologist will be able to discuss alternative treatment options.
Normally, the only side effect that people experience after having an allergy shot is redness or swelling at the site of the injection. This can happen immediately after the injection or a few hours afterward.
In some cases, people can experience increased allergy symptoms, such as:
Anaphylactic shock needs to be treated immediately with an injection of epinephrine, which is also called adrenaline.
A second anaphylactic reaction called a biphasic reaction can occur up to 12 hours after the initial shock.
Allergy shots have traditionally been the most common form of immunotherapy and are known as subcutaneous immunotherapy or SCIT.
This treatment is when an allergen is injected under the skin.
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How To Prevent Allergy
Step one is getting to the source of whats causing your allergies in the first place. An allergist can help you do just that. He or she can perform allergy testing by skin testing or by blood work to help identify any allergy triggers, says Patricia Takach, M.D., an allergist and immunologist with Penn Medicine.
Once you know whats triggering an allergic reaction, do your best to avoid those substances, says David Corry, M.D., professor of medicine in immunology, allergy, and rheumatology at Baylor College of Medicine. That means taking steps like staying indoors on high pollen count days and making a few lifestyle changes such as showering when you come indoors, cleaning your sheets regularly, and keeping petswho can carry things like pollen and grassout of your bed. Wearing a face mask when youre outdoors can also help filter out pollen and other allergens that may be irritating.
Youll also want to do your best to prioritize sleep to help you recharge at night and keep your bodys immune system in prime working order, Dr. Wada says.
Make drinking water a priority, too. Staying well hydrated can help thin out mucous and also help with some aspects of fatigue as well, Dr. Wada says. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend that men aim to take in 15.5 cups of fluids a day and that women strive for 11.5 cups a day.
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