So How Do Allergies Make You Tired
When battling with allergies, many chalk up their fatigue and low energy to stress and other factors. But the truth is, allergies contribute to fatigue in more ways than one.
1. Your Long-Term Immune Response is Exhausting You.
When your bodys in healing mode, it prioritizes its resources to bring you back to health.
With short-term illnesses like colds or the flu, well typically feel tired for a few days and begin regaining energy as we start feeling better.
But with allergies, our immune system stays active for longer than its meant to, requiring more resources and energy to keep up the disease-fighting histamine and immunoglobulin E activity.
As time stretches on, the inflammation meant to heal us can become chronic and lead to long-term fatigue resulting from diversion and depletion of your bodys energy.
2. Youre Breathing in Less Oxygen.
Stuffed noses and congestion make it harder to breathe and reduce your oxygen intake. With less oxygen comes less energy for our cells to refuel our bodies, making the impact of a long-term immune response even more exhausting on our systems.
3. Youre Not Sleeping Well.
Nasal congestion can make it uncomfortable, if not impossible to get a good nights sleep. In addition to our decreased oxygen intake, finding a comfortable position to fall asleep can feel like an infuriating pipedream.
Sleep is a restorative process that keeps us healthy our health declines when were deprived of sleep, leaving us more and more fatigued.
What Are The Dangers Of Sleep Deprivation
If your allergy-related fatigue is unresolved, the potential for negative outcomes rise, Dr. Kansagra warns. Being tired affects all parts of your well-being, including your attention, mood, safety while driving, and many others, he adds. Over a long period of time, brain function begins to diminish, along with immune function, cardiovascular health, and glucose tolerance.
If you are sniffling, sneezing, coughing, itching, and draining all day from allergies, that in itself is fatiguing, Dr. Haden says.
The fatigue carries into the daylight hours when you often need to be focused and productive. This is called brain fog which is the inability to concentrate experienced by many allergy sufferers. Routine tasks take more energy to complete because of the mental effort required to overcome fatigue.
If allergies have gotten severe enough to have a prominent impact on your quality of life, it is time to speak with your doctor, advises Dr. Kansagra.
Could My Allergy Medication Be Part Of The Problem
Prescription medications can cause fatigue, but when used properly and managed well, they can help allergy sufferers battle through.
The best treatment outcomes are always when the patient and physician work together to tailor a treatment plan to a particular patients allergies, lifestyle, and needs, explains Dr. Haden.
Mississippi-based pharmacist Lori Elliott says to use caution when combining allergy medications with other prescription products that can cause drowsiness, including those for pain, anxiety, depression, and blood pressure. People should take these medications at night, says Elliott, who currently works as a pharmacist in Oxford and has worked as a pharmacist in Georgia and Mississippi for more than 30 years. If drowsiness continues to affect quality of life, I recommend contacting your prescriber for a reduction in dose or a change in therapy.
Don’t Miss: Where To Get Allergy Shots
How To Treat Allergy Fatigue
The brain fog and exhaustion of allergy fatigue can be frustrating, but they are not without solutions!
Before anything else, its advisable to talk to a physician or allergist to determine exactly what youre allergic to.
Theyll likely perform an allergy test usually a blood or skin test to figure out exactly what triggers an allergic reaction in your system, so you can do your best to avoid that allergen.
Aside from avoiding your allergy, there are a number of other ways you can reduce allergy symptoms, and with them allergy fatigue.
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.
You May Like: What Is A True Food Allergy
Talk To Your Allergist Right Away If You Are Suffering From Body Aches And / Or Cfs
You do not have to live with chronic pain and you do not have to live with fatigue. At Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Medical Group we have helped many patients with allergies, joint pain, and much more. We highly suggest you call us right away at 805-658-9500 for an appointment. We can do through testing to get the most accurate diagnosis which will lead us to the right treatment plan.
You May Like: Fatigue Sore Muscles And Joints
Fastmed Is Your Allergy Resource
Of course, there are many things you can do yourself to reduce your allergies, from staying inside on high pollen count days to wearing a face mask . Once you know what is triggering your allergic reactions, stay away from those substances as much as possible.
If youre struggling with allergy-related fatigue and want to feel like your energetic self again, FastMed is here to help. If youre struggling with allergy-related fatigue and want to feel like your energetic self again, schedule a visit at FastMed were here to help.
You can also view these FastMed allergy blogs for more information:
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.
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.
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 Fatigue Factor: Do Allergies Make You Tired
Allergies can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms – from congestion to itchy, watery eyes. But can allergies make you tired? Fact is, yes they can. Struggling with allergies can disturb your sleep and lead to daytime fatiguewhich is not something to be taken lightly. Tiredness can lead to irritability, decreased productivity, depression, and memory problems.
The good thing is, there are steps you can take to prevent allergy related fatigue. So, instead of asking do allergies make you tired?, ask what can I do to get a better nights sleep?. Read on for tips to sleep more soundly.
Read Also: Can You Develop Food Allergies Later In Life
Take Medication At Night
There are several over-the-counter medications that can help manage your allergy symptoms, including fatigue.
Antihistamines, the most common OTC allergy medication, work by blocking the effects of histamines, which stops the inflammation in your body and your allergy symptoms.
Common antihistamines include:
While diphenhydramine is the medication most commonly linked with sleepiness, its possible for other allergy medications to cause fatigue, too.
If you think your antihistamine is making you tired, try taking your medication at night.
The drug should still control your symptoms during the day, but talk to your doctor if you still feel tired during waking hours. You may need a different medication.
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.
Read Also: How To Minimize Allergies In Your Home
What Is An Allergy Test
An allergist performs tests to pinpoint the cause of your allergic reactions.
There are two kinds of tests:
- Skin tests: The doctor pricks the surface of the skin, usually on the upper arm, and injects a tiny amount of suspected allergens. If an allergy exists, the skin will react by becoming inflamed, red and swollen, which may cause temporary discomfort. Skin tests give fast resultsusually within a half hour or 24 to 48 hours.
- Blood tests: Blood is drawn and sent to a lab. The disadvantage is that it may take several days for the results to come back. However, more allergens can be tested with blood tests than with skin tests, Blood tests are used to identify seasonal allergies as well as perennial allergies, plus allergies to food, medications, and insect bites or stings. If you have chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, blood tests are recommended instead of skin tests to prevent further irritation.
Its important to tell your allergist about any medications you are taking because some can compromise your allergy test results.
Recommended Reading: Army Fatigue Jacket Forever 21
Are There Ways To Reduce Your Allergy Exposure
Here are several ways to minimize your exposure to seasonal allergies:
- Pay attention to daily pollen and mold spore levels, so you can avoid outdoor activities as much as possible when counts are high. To check out the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunologys allergen tracker, .
- Begin taking medications before the start of the allergy seasonwhen pollen, grass, ragweed, or mold counts soar.
- Shut the windows and doors in your home, office, and car to seal out pollen.
- Wear a hat when outdoors or wash your hair before bed to keep pollen off your pillow and away from your face.
- Change your clothes after spending time outdoors to minimize your exposure to pollen. Studies show that half of the pollen that accumulates on clothing remains even if you try to shake or brush it off before you go indoors.
- Avoid mowing the grass or raking moldy leaves if those are your triggers, or wear a mask when doing so.
You May Like: How Do Allergists Test For Allergies
Do I Need To See A Doctor
In some cases, your allergic reactions or the ensuing sleepiness will prompt you to seek medical attention.
Allergic reactions can be dangerous, so it’s important to understand what you’re dealing with. A stuffy nose usually isn’t serious, but other symptoms might be an indication of anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal allergic reaction.
Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
It’s also important to note whether or not you’re able to relieve your symptoms with allergy treatment.
Fatigue could be a symptom of a serious medical condition if you take non-drowsy allergy medication that relieves all of your symptoms except for sleepiness.
How Does An Allergic Reaction Impact Sleep
Weve established two things: Allergic reactions can make you tired, and they do, in fact, get worse at night for several different reasons. But how exactly does an allergic response disrupt sleep?
Experiencing an allergic reaction can trigger several issues, such as insomnia, low sleep quality, restless sleep, and increased risk for sleep apnea and snoring. Typically, the severity of your allergy symptoms is connected to sleep. If your allergy symptoms get worse, the sleep problems you face might also be more profound. Because of either one or a combination of these issues, youre also likely to experience higher levels of fatigue during the day.
Research conducted on participants who suffered from allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma found that both groups had trouble falling asleep and reported feeling unsatisfied with the quality of their sleep. Those suffering from allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma also said that their daytime functioning was impacted due to fatigue, and they struggled to focus on work and other daily tasks.
Its also interesting to note that 67.1% of respondents said their allergy trigger was pollen, and 48.1% also said they experienced the worst allergy symptoms during springtime. This means its essential to take extra precautions during spring to ensure your sleep isnt adversely impacted so you can fight allergy fatigue.
Don’t Miss: What Causes A Runny Nose Due To Nasal Allergies
Can Seasonal Allergies Cause Itchy Skin
Sometimes its hard to know why we experience certain allergies at different times of the year. Some people are allergic only during warmer seasons, while others cant avoid ragweed despite living on an acreage with plenty green space nearby! But one thing is for sure: if you suspect that your seasonal allergy symptoms could be connected with something in or around where they typically manifest like a pollen-heavy area such as Colorado Springsthen speak up sooner rather than later so our team members have time needed before summertime blows through town without giving much thought
Tips For Sleeping Better With Allergies
The first step to sleeping better with allergies is to know what youre allergic to, this way you can minimize your exposure to those allergens. You can find out by consulting an allergist. Minimizing exposure to allergens might mean cleaning your bedroom a certain way or keeping an eye on your local allergy forecast.
Come nighttime, you might also consider supplementing your allergy medicine with nasal strips to help open your nasal passages while you sleep. Allergy symptoms can make you tired, but they dont have to. The key is to properly treat your allergy symptoms and reduce allergens in the bedroom. This will help you sleep better so you can do what you need to do during the day.
1. Household Allergens and Sleep Problems | Sleep.org by the National Sleep Foundation. . Retrieved May 1, 2015 from
2. Indoor Allergens | American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, . Retrieved May 1, 2015, from
Read Also: Can Allergies Affect Your Ears
How Do Allergic Reactions Work
When an allergen makes contact, B-cells immediately register the allergen as a threat and trigger the production of Immunoglobulin E from Type 2 Helper T Cells . Immunoglobulin E then binds with mast cells and basophils that regulate immune responses, triggering the release of inflammatory mediators like histamine.
As the histamine and other chemicals work to heal the injury and ward off the threat, they produce the allergy symptoms most of us know firsthand.
And with environmental allergies like pollen or dust, these symptoms can persist for weeks at a time.