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Can Seasonal Allergies Cause Sleep Apnea

What Is The Best Treatment For Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Seasonal Allergies or Sleep Disorder

Dr. Caballero offers both nonsurgical and surgical therapies to treat your sleep apnea so you can breathe better and enjoy life again. In all cases, weight loss is of crucial importance. The more weight you lose, the less severe your sleep apnea will become. As part of the treatment plan, Dr. Caballero refers all patients with obstructive sleep apnea to a nutritional and exercise program.

Although it can be cumbersome and annoying to patients, the gold standard treatment for the management of obstructive sleep apnea is still the CPAP mask. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. As the name implies, the CPAP mask increases pressure in your airway forcing it to stay open so you have fewer pauses in your breathing. The effectiveness of the CPAP mask is measured by a reduction in AHI These apnea episodes must last at least 10 seconds and must be accompanied by a drop in blood oxygen levels. While effective, CPAP is not the best treatment for all patient because many people have difficulty tolerating the mask due to claustrophobia, air leaking around the mask, gastric bloating and becoming tangled in the hose.

The efficacy of these surgical procedures can be improved by using a dental appliance which is similar to a mouth guard. Such an appliance brings the jaw forward during sleep and keeps the back of the throat open.

Snoring And Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Loud snoring combined with periods during which breathing frequently stops, is known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea . Serious OSA can result in breathing interruptions lasting more than ten seconds each, occurring multiple times an hour. This pattern can continue through the night as the individual tries to sleep. OSA can result in reduced blood oxygen levels, leading to problems with the cardiovascular system, and daytime fatigue which can affect work and lifestyle. ENT and Allergy Specialists now offers an At-Home Sleep Study that can help diagnose OSA.

How Can Allergies Make Osa Even Worse

When you sleep, nasal congestion from allergies makes it harder to breathe through your nose. Instead, you breathe through your mouth, causing dry mouth.

Both of these factors can lead to breathing delays while sleeping otherwise known as the apneas that are characteristic of obstructive sleep apnea. Additionally, if an allergic reaction causes the tonsils or adenoids to swell, the airway may be further blocked.

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How Allergies Can Impact Sleep

When the respiratory system suffers an allergic reaction, the airway can become narrowed. This makes breathing while sleeping a problem. If youve never experienced allergies, but have had a cold, you have an idea of what its like. Obstructive sleep apnea is when the muscles in the throat relax and block the airway during sleep. This means that breathing temporarily stops throughout the course of the sleep cycle. When you have allergies, you likely arent getting the proper amount of sleep your body requires and you could feel an overall sense of fatigue and fogginess throughout the day.

Some individuals may only have allergies that flare up during certain seasons, but those who have issues year round are more susceptible to developing a chronic sleep disorder. If you think you or a loved one may have OSA, here are some allergy related symptoms to look for.

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness

How Does Allergic Rhinitis Affect My Quality Of Your Sleep

The Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Allergies ...

Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever symptoms, include sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose and itchy eyes. Its the nasal congestion that can be a real problem, particularly if you have sleep apnea. It means that your nose is blocked, and your mouth is likely to be dry too both these issues can cause those sleep apneas to occur more frequently.

Similarly, some types of allergy can cause other sorts of reactions. If tonsils and adenoids swell, the airway can become obstructed. Again, this can lead to more apneas. Its not surprising that research has found that people with allergic rhinitis have more frequent and longer obstructive sleep apneas.

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Health Benefits Of Cpap

A CPAP mask will help prevent snoring, which your loved ones will be very thankful for. Regular use of a CPAP machine may also reduce your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

It may also reduce the risk of motor vehicle accidents by boosting emotional stability, daytime alertness, as well as improving focus and concentration.

There is also the benefit of reduced medical expenses. Left untreated, seasonal allergies and sleep apnea will lead to more doctor or hospital visits, which means more treatments and medications.

Please speak to your doctor to determine if CPAP therapy is right for you.

Can Sinus Issues Cause Difficulty Sleeping

We all know sinus issues and symptoms can cause discomfort, but they can also lead to difficulty sleeping, or even serious insomnia. Nasal congestion, usually a stuffy or runny nose due to excessive mucus production, can be caused by various sinus issues including nasal polyps, enlarged turbinates and deviated septum. Laying down flat and sleeping naturally relaxes the muscles in your throat and causes mucus to pool in the nasal cavities, leading to which congestion can lead to coughing, trouble breathing, snoring, or even more serious sleep apnea.

When the inflammation and irritation in the sinus airways become a troublesome infection, this is termed Sinusitis. Sinusitis is caused and worsened by swelling in the nasal air passages, often leading to pain or pressure around the nose, eyes, cheeks or forehead. These symptoms of sinus issues and swelling can make getting a restful nights sleep nearly impossible.

If you are having difficulty sleeping along with symptoms of a sinus issue or sinusitis infection, you may also experience the following:

  • Nasal or facial pressure

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Allergies And Sleep Disorders

In the study, French researchers compared the prevalence of sleep disorders and other troubles sleeping in a group of 591 people who were being treated for allergic rhinitis with a similar group of 502 adults without allergic rhinitis.

The results showed that all sleep disorders and sleep-related complaints were much more common in people with allergies than those without.

For example:

  • 36% of people with allergic rhinitis reported insomnia compared with 16% of those without.
  • 42% of those with allergic rhinitis vs. 18% of those without said they had difficulty falling asleep.
  • 63% of allergic rhinitis sufferers said they felt like they weren’t getting enough sleep compared with 25% of the controls.

They say the results, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, suggest that people with allergies should talk with their doctors about any sleeping problems to aid in early detection and treatment of sleep disorders and to improve their quality of life.

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Archives of Internal Medicine

Types Of Allergens That Can Affect Sleep

Allergies, Poor Sleep, and Sleep Disorders

Allergies, whether its seasonal hay fever or year-round allergies to elements in your environment, can impact your ability to get a good nights rest. Substances that can cause allergies are called allergens. There are four very common ones.

  • Pet Dander: Pets, usually dogs and cats, continually shed flakes of dead skin.
  • Pollen: Common in the spring and fall months, pollen spreads as trees and flowers reproduce.
  • Mold: Mold spores are the reproductive particles that help spread mold.
  • Dust Mite Remains: These microscopic creatures eat dead skin cells found in household dust.

Breathing in these allergens during the night can trigger allergic reactions, making it difficult to relax, fall asleep and experience restful sleep.

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The Impact Of Seasonal Allergies On Snoring

For those who suffer from snoring or sleep apnea, seasonal allergies may be a big part of the problem. Spring allergies causing snoring, congestion and related sleep issues have become more prevalent over the years. To learn how seasonal allergies may be affecting your quality of life, let’s take a few moments to evaluate the impact of allergies on snoring and explore how these problems can be treated, both at-home and with minimally invasive in-office treatments.

Can Sleep Apnea Be Worse In Different Seasons Such As In Autumn When The Weather Gets Colder Or When There Are Different Allergens Present In The Air

I’ve noticed the belief that I could have Sleep Apnea gets stronger during certain seasons, as the weather gets colder and the humidity increases.

One example is Autumn, when it can switch from hot, dry weather to cold, damp, humid weather fast.

Could it be possible therefore that either the release of Allergens, or some allergens that are more prevalent or I am more allergic to at particular times of the year, Humidity, or Coldness could be either causing or contributing a little or significantly to my Sleep Apnea.

Some of the symptoms I’ve noticed as it got colder are: I feel tired throughout the day I wake up with an awful taste in my mouth in the mornings that will only go away with food and lots of water, which I havent had in the summer I wake up with a ridiculousy stuffy nose and postnasal drip I have lower energy throughout the day. I am waking up a lot later than I did in Summer. I have signs of teeth bruxism that I never had before, and I have more prominent jaw ache.

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When To See A Doctor

If you find yourself constantly dozing off during the day or if lack of sleep and allergy symptoms are impacting your work and daily life, you may need professional treatment. This can include a regimen of allergy shots or a sleep study to diagnose sleep apnea. You may also want to undergo an allergen test to pinpoint specific substances so that you can avoid them in daily life.

Allergies And Their Symptoms

Could Allergies Be Causing You To Lose Sleep?

On the other hand,allergiesVerified SourceNational Library of Medicine Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View sourceare the immune systems response to allergens, irritating foreign substances that cause inflammation in the sinuses and nasal passages. What we most often refer to as allergies is technically called allergic rhinitis. It also goes by the names of hay fever or seasonal allergies.

According to the Centers for Disease Control,more than 19 million AmericansVerified SourceCenters for Disease Control and Prevention The United States health protection agency that defends against dangers to health and safety.View source were diagnosed with allergic rhinitis in 2018. For some, its a genuinely seasonal condition, heightened at certain times of the year. Others experience allergies year-round.

  • Sore throat.
  • Puffiness or discoloration under the eyes.

While OSA patients may not know that they have the condition, people with hay fever can often pinpoint allergies as the cause for their sleeping issues. The general symptoms and discomfort present with allergies make their impact much more apparent.

A doctor typically diagnoses allergies from a description of your symptoms and a physical exam. When allergies are persistent, allergy tests may help you and your doctor identify the specific allergens causing you problems, allowing you to formulate a focused treatment plan.

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Allergies And Sleep Apnea: The Cpap Connection

However, when discussing allergies and sleep apnea, another factor often comes into play: Allergic reactions can disrupt the CPAP therapy often used to treat sleep apnea.

Manufacturers of CPAP masks and sleep apnea therapy equipment have taken steps to help you get around potential problems caused by the presence of both sleep apnea and allergies. For instance, if allergies make breathing through your nose difficult, youre more likely to experience effective treatment from a full face mask than from a nasal pillows mask. While a nasal mask only delivers air through your nose, a full face mask covers your mouth and nose, ensuring that you still receive air whether your nose is congested or not.

In addition, advanced CPAP technology in the form of APAP or automatic positive airway pressure, as we recently discussed can help people who have both allergies and sleep apnea. How? Allergies can cause your breathing to fluctuate throughout the night, and APAP is designed to deliver different amounts of air as needed to keep up with those fluctuations.

If your allergies are interfering with your sleep apnea therapy, we encourage you to talk to your doctor or sleep therapist about possible solutions, such as switching to a different CPAP mask, or a different type of PAP therapy machine.

This blog post contains general information about medical conditions and potential treatments. It is not medical advice. If you have any medical questions, please consult your doctor.

Where Can I Get Treatment For My Sinusitis And Sleep Apnea In Houston

Dr. Yeung can determine the exact cause of your symptoms and explain the available treatments that can address your problem. Hes one of the top Houston ENT physicians and sinus specialists and is known for his professionalism for leading the way in functional endoscopic sinus surgery. In fact, he pioneered the use of this surgery in Houston and has performed over 4,000 highly successful sinus surgeries.

Dr. Yeung offers a successful, minimally invasive approach to treating sinus diseases. If youre suffering from sinusitis and sleep apnea, schedule a consultation today.

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Is There A Connection Between Sinusitis And Sleep Apnea

Medical research has shown that just because you are diagnosed with sleep apnea does not mean you will automatically develop sinusitis and vice versa. There is a slight increase that an individual with sleep apnea will also develop sinusitis, but the research is fuzzy on a clear link between the two.

A 2016 study is one of the most often cited scholarly articles on the topic, but it doesnt offer conclusive answers. Researchers followed 971 people with OSA, as well as 4,855 people not diagnosed with OSA, for five years. The researchers reported fewer than seven percent of people with OSA were later diagnosed with sinusitis. Among those without OSA, only two percent developed sinusitis, therefore there is no conclusive evidence linking the two.

A year later, doctors from Northwestern University and Rush University Medical Center studied general sleep disruptions in individuals with chronic rhinosinusitis. They noticed in preparation for their research that the medical community had not yet found any consistent links between the two.

Antihistamines For Allergies Relief

Better Sleep Tips for Allergy Sufferers

Antihistamines come as pills, chewable tablets, capsules, liquids, nasal sprays and eye drops. Histamine receptors in your body also affect levels of wakefulness, so antihistamines are known to increase daytime sleepiness or drowsiness. In fact, antihistamines are often used in sleep aid medicines. Antihistamine medicine may have a lingering effect and cause you to feel drowsy the next day. Additionally, they may lead to sleepwalking and parasomnias. While they may help with sleep onset, the quality of sleep is often poor. Some studies suggest that the short-term benefits are negligible, while long-term use is associated with reduced wellness.

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What Do I Do If I Think I Have Allergies

If you want to pinpoint the root of your sleep problems, and you suspect that allergies are the culprit, talk to your family physician or an otolaryngologist .

Your physician may initially recommend over-the-counter drugs, if you havent tried these already, says Dr. Adam. He breaks these down into three categories:

  • Antihistamines, which block the effects of histamines . Examples are Allegra®, Claritin® and Zyrtec®.
  • Topical nasal steroids, which work to reduce inflammation. Flonase® is one example.
  • Leukotriene inhibitors, which reduce congestion and inflammation, as well as watery eyes, sneezing and itching. Singulair® is a common example.

If you continue to have problems, and your doctor has tested you for your response to specific allergens, he may recommend immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots, Dr. Adam says. This long-term approach not only treats symptoms, but also addresses the cause of the allergy.

If you dont respond to any of the above, your doctor may recommend surgery to reduce or eliminate portions of the interior of your nose, especially if you have recalcitrant nasal polyps. These benign, teardrop-shaped, translucent growths in your nasal cavity often result from nasal irritation. While they are almost always non-cancerous, polyps can obstruct your nasal passages and affect breathing.

Do Apnea Devices Help With Allergies

Obstructive sleep apnea is often treated with CPAP masks or devices. These ensure that your airways receive a steady stream of air and stop them from collapsing. As a result, you experience fewer sleep interruptions and have a more restful sleep.

Allergies cannot only affect the symptoms of sleep apnea, but can also interfere with some forms of CPAP treatment. For example, if you struggle with nose congestion because of seasonal allergies, using a CPAP nasal mask may be uncomfortable.

But thats not to say that you have to put up with restless sleep. Because theres a connection between allergies and apnea and their symptoms are similar, treating one condition can help the other.

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Can Allergy Medicine Help With Sleep Apnea

It can depend on the medication. Over-the-counter antihistamines used to alleviate allergies can be sedating for some people, however people with untreated sleep apnea may find the medication worsens the problem. On a similar note, general sleep aid medication isnt recommended for people with sleep apnea.

However, using allergy medication to decrease nasal congestion can also relieve sleep apnea symptoms. So instead of relying on allergic medication that has a soporific effect in patients, we recommend allergy medication that can handle potential blockages such as mucus and swollen tissues.

If youre trying to ease symptoms of both allergies and sleep apnea, its important to speak with your doctor about balancing treatments for maximum effectiveness.


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