Allergies And Sleep Apnea
Wrestling with allergies every night is no fun. It only causes a restless night, and you wake up all exhausted and weary instead of fresh and rested to begin a new day. Sleeping fitfully not only makes it a challenge to wake up in the morning but also makes your allergy seems more pronounced. You end up looking exhausted and worn out, and your stuffy nose, eye itchiness, and coughing make it easy to assume you were unable to rest properly.
In addition to allergic reactions, sleep apnea is another condition that can prevent you from having a restful sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is a form of sleep apnea closely linked to allergies. The upper airway is obstructed with this sleep apnea, either partially or all the way. As the airway cannot open, lungs do not get sufficient air, which strains the chest muscles and diaphragm.
The nasal symptoms of your allergies make you snore, and due to this, you may end up waking up again and again throughout the night. It is not only irritating but also affects your quality of sleep. Many people do not even know that they suffer from obstructive sleep apnea because they are barely aware of what keeps on waking them up all night.
Other symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:
Check Your Air Ventilation System
We recommend that you schedule an HVAC inspection before allergy season gets underway. Ensure there aren’t any hidden dangers lurking in your ductwork that could cause problems over the next few months! Install an air purifier that includes a HEPA filter to help eliminate pollen and pet dander. You can also buy a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in the air, especially in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. Check it regularly and change the filter as directed by the manufacturer.
When Should I Start Taking Allergy Meds
Theres no point in waiting until youre miserable to take allergy meds, especially if you want to keep up your outdoor workouts. In fact, allergists recommend you start taking meds a couple weeks before allergy season arrives, or, at the latest, take them the moment you begin having symptoms, says Dr. Parikh. Taking them early can stop an immune system freak-out before it happens, lessening the severity of symptoms, he adds. Check out the National Allergy Map to figure out when to start taking meds depending on where you live.
As for which allergy meds to take, if youre seriously stuffed, start with steroid nasal sprays such as Flonase or Rhinocort, which reduce inflammation-induced stuffiness, says Dr. Keet. And if you’ve got itching, sneezing, and a runny nose, too, look for non-sedating antihistamines such as Zyrtec, Xyzal, or Allegra, she adds. Just remember: While OTC allergy meds suppress symptoms, they dont cure the problem, so they may be less effective if your allergies are worsening, notes Dr. Parikh.
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When Do I Need To See A Doctor For Allergies
If your allergy symptoms are persisting and getting in the way of your life, its time to see your doctor. She may recommend some of the over the counter options above or additional prescription allergy treatments. In some cases, an allergy evaluation may be helpful to discover your triggers. Also, be sure to check in with your doctor if your symptoms are different than your usual allergies it could be something different this time.
How Does Rain Make Allergies Worse
Initially, a spring shower can seem like a good thing: The pollen thats in the air may cling to rain drops and literally get washed from the air, says Stanley Schwartz, M.D., Ph.D., division chief of Allergy-Immunology-Rheumatology at the University at Buffalo in New York.
But rain can also break up pieces of pollen on the ground, spreading them further. The pollen grains can rupture, and you get these fragments that remain in the air for quite some time, explains Catherine Monteleone, M.D., an allergist-immunologist and professor at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Those can get deep into your nose and lungs and cause allergy symptoms.
Rain can also indirectly make pollen counts worse by nourishing the plants that release pollen into the air, Dr. Schwartz says. Rain and warm weather all stimulate flowering plants, leading to more luxuriant plant growth, he says. If you have a good warm and wet season, the pollen counts can end up being very high.
Grass and weed pollen can be especially triggering for allergy sufferers, says Purvi Parikh, M.D., an allergist and immunologist with the Allergy & Asthma Network. For some people, it can be dangerous and trigger serious breathing issues and asthma attacks, she notes.
In rare situations, thunderstorms can trigger asthma attacks due to a phenomenon known as thunderstorm asthma, which is when a combination of air flow, humidity, and electricity stir up pollen in the air, triggering symptoms in some people.
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Other Causes Of Morning Allergy Symptoms Include:
â Dust that circulates at night due to heating or air conditioning operating
â Going to bed after being exposed to allergens without washing or showering first
â Strong odors and irritants lingering in the air, such as perfumes, cleaning agents, or fireplace smoke, that can cause symptoms you notice when you wake up
Are There Natural Remedies For Allergies
Nasal irrigation uses a combination of warm water, about a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and a quarter-teaspoon of baking soda to clear out mucus and open sinus passages. You can use a squeeze bottle or a neti pot, which looks like a small teapot. Use distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water to make up the solution. Itâs also important to rinse the irrigation device after each use and leave it open to air dry.
Some others have mixed research on how much they help:
Butterbur. This herb, which comes from a European shrub, shows potential for relieving seasonal allergy symptoms. Some studies show butterbur — specifically an extract called Ze 339 — to work as well at easing allergy symptoms as some antihistamines.
Quercetin. This nutrient is found in onions, apples, and black tea. Itâs been shown in research to block the release of histamines.
Stinging nettle. Although some people use freeze-dried stinging nettle leaves to treat allergy symptoms, there isnât much research to show that it works.
Talk to your doctor before you start any herbal product. Some can cause side effects or can react with medications you take.
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Is It An Allergy Or Covid
When COVID-19 and seasonal allergies are circulating at the same time, every sniffle can lead you to worry that you might have the virus. From the perspective of a parent, one of the biggest issues is when kids in school have allergy symptoms that are poorly controlled, and then the school system sends them home or says they need a physicians note, Dr. Leeds says.
The CDC has a Venn diagram that shows symptoms the two conditions have in common. These include congestion, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, runny nose, sore throat, and shortness of breath. But comparing the most common symptoms reveals clear differences. Seasonal allergies usually cause itchy or watery eyes and sneezing, while COVID-19 is characterized by fever and chills, muscle and body aches, new loss of taste and smell, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea.
Because of COVID-19, people are afraid of you when youre sniffling, says Dr. Hsu. But it goes both waysa lot of people are sniffling and sneezing and coughing, and they are not getting tested for COVID-19, because they assume its allergies. And they are probably correct.
Often the distinction is clearpeople with allergies itch more, and they dont have the fatigue, malaise, and fever that comes with COVID-19. But anyone who is concerned should call their doctor, she says.
Spring Allergy Solutions To Try At Home
If pollen is an allergy trigger for you, the best thing that you can do is avoid it. Of course, thats a lot easier said than done whether you live in a rural town or a major city, youre going to come into contact with pollen every time you step outside.
While you cant escape outdoor allergens, you can take steps to keep them out of your home and reduce your exposure.
Start by keeping track of pollen counts. Check your local weather station or a trusted national source like AAAAI before you plan your day, then take the following precautions:
- Keep your doors and windows closed when pollen counts are high.
- Set car and home air conditioning systems to recirculate indoor air.
- During allergy season, wash your bedding and vacuum carpets more frequently to remove any lingering pollen.
- Change your clothing and/or shower after spending a lot of time outdoors.
- Dry clothes in a drying machine instead of hanging them up outdoors on a line or rack.
- Take your shoes off at the door to avoid tracking pollen into your home.
- Do most of your outdoor activities in the morning and evening, as pollen counts tend to peak around midday.
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You arent powerless in the face of high pollen countsOgden suggests a few simple steps:
- Check pollen counts before you leave the house. Check out the National Allergy Bureau for pollen counts in your area. Pollen counts are reported as low, moderate, high, or very high. Avoid being outside on days with high or very high pollen counts, especially on windy days, Ogden says.
Is It Allergies Or A Cold
When youre allergies flare up, you may be quick to assume its a cold, which is a logical assumption, since they present similar symptoms.
A lot of the symptoms are almost identical: very bad nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, watery noes and eyes, says Parikh. But generally colds shouldnt last you more than a week 3-5 days on average whereas allergy symptoms can last weeks to months at a time.
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What Are The Different Ways To Treat Allergies
- Avoid or reduce exposure to weeds, trees, grasses, molds, or other allergens. Monitor the pollen count especially if you’re planning to spend time outside.
- Use nasal spray. Over-the-counter options include Flonase, Rhinocort, and Nasacort. Prescription sprays are available through your allergist.
- Oral medications include over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications and antihistamines.
- Immunotherapy, usually done through allergy shots.
Why Do Allergies Get Worse During Spring
Spring is on the way, and you know what that means: seasonal allergies are going to be back in full force very soon. But what is it that causes a rise in allergies during springtime, and what can be done to ease the problem?
Below, our indoor air quality experts explain what causes spring allergies, and provide some tips for reducing seasonal allergens in your home so that you can enjoy the warmer weather without a runny nose and itchy eyes.
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Choosing The Right Allergy Medication
Allergy medications can greatly reduce your symptoms, but what medications should you be taking?
The answer depends on the severity of your symptoms and to what exactly youre allergic, says allergy and asthma specialist Dr. Reichmuth.
For mild seasonal allergies, over the counter medications usually do the trick. But if you feel like your allergies are getting worse year after year and your usual OTC medications are losing their effectiveness, it might be time to see an allergist.
An allergist can help you create an effective allergy management plan based on your symptoms and how long they last.
The Difference Between Spring & Fall Allergies
Which season is more problematic for allergy sufferers? That depends on what youre allergic to. Whether its tree pollen in the spring or ragweed in the fallwe want to know which allergy season affects you most. Vote for your worst allergy season and read on for a closer look at which seasonal allergens are to blame.
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Allergies And Aging: Will It Get Worse As We Age
Allergies and aging can be related, because we have less control over our organ symptoms as we age. The good news is as we celebrate more birthdays, our seasonal allergies become less severe. The bad news though, is that this isnt the case for everyone, and those who belong to the exceptions tends to get worse as we mature.
Allergies can change as we get older. Over time, our immune systems have more chances to develop adverse reactions to things like pollen, animal dander, food and even medications. Time changes our bodies in ways that can magnify the effects of allergies. Time changes our bodies in ways that can magnify the effects of allergies.
Treating allergies as we age since we are more experienced with it can reduce the risk of sinus and respiratory infection and give you better control to mitigate symptoms you are used to deal with. It should all elementary by now, and the steps below can make your life easier as you control your allergies with age:
- Keep your living and working space pristine
- Clean the air
- Be selective with natural and over the counter remedies
- Regular visits to the doctor is key
In addition, most healthy people while they were young develop allergies for the first time such as allergic rhinitis and asthma. The late-onset of allergies is more felt by people in their forties and fifties. Doctors differ to a varying degree that while some people have outgrown their allergies some unfortunately are growing into them.
Allergy Forecast: A Bad Year For Everyone
Like taxes, allergy season is one of those things you just cant avoid. In fact, due to climate change, it may be getting worse. Warmer temperatures lead to more pollen production, so 2021 may be the most intense allergy season yet. And due to COVID-19 quarantine, children may especially have a rough year.
When is allergy season?
It starts in the spring and continues until the fall, but different allergens, the substances that trigger allergies, appear at different times.
: As spring begins, tree pollen is the top allergen, followed by weeds and grasses. In some parts of Maryland, its not unusual to see cars covered by the itchy stuff.
May to July: In May, all the trees, grass and weeds gang up to pump out allergens, making it a bad time for allergy sufferers. This is the start of peak allergy season, which continues until July.
: Enter ragweed, a common flowering plant. Ragweed is the leading cause of seasonal allergies, with 75% of all sufferers allergic to it.
With temperatures falling and plants starting to go dormant, the air starts to clear, bringing an end to outdoor allergy season. Now its possible to breathe a sigh of relief without coughing.
See the Interactive Allergy Forecaster for allergy conditions where you live.
COVID-19 and childrens allergies
Surviving allergy season
If your or your childs allergy symptoms are severe or continue a long time, your health care provider may be able to help or refer you to an allergist.
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Breeze Through The Allergy Season
Allergy season is upon us, and effective treatment strategies begin with an accurate diagnosis by an allergy specialist.
AtAllergy Associates of the Palm Beaches, we can help you breeze through this season of sniffles and sneezes! After undergoing a thorough evaluation, we can recommend the best allergy management, which may include medication or immunotherapy .
Schedule a consultation with us! Give us a call at 23423432 orfind a clinicnear you!
Spending Time Outside On The Wrong Days
Heading outside when pollen counts are high is one way to trigger seasonal allergy symptoms. If you suffer from this misery, try to stay indoors on windy days and reserve your outside time until after it rains. Rain clears pollen, which helps to keep allergy symptoms at bay. If you have to do outdoor chores on a day with high pollen counts, always wear a NIOSH-rated 95 filter mask and take appropriate medication beforehand.
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Doctors Explain Why Your Allergies May Feel Worse As Those Crisp Autumn Days Set In
Ah, the cool comfort of fall. Crunchy red and gold leaves underfoot, plaid shirts on display, crisp wind in your hair, pumpkins everywhere. It’s my favorite time of year, except for one thing: annoying fall allergies are back. Why do the sniffles, sneezes, and itchy eyes make an appearance so many months after pollen picks up? POPSUGAR spoke to allergists to get to the bottom of why some allergy sufferers’ symptoms always seem to get worse this time of year.
When To Start Taking An Allergy Medication
Allergies can make you feel just as badly as if you had a nasty cold. Dont wait until you start experiencing symptoms to take medication, especially with allergy season coming earlier and earlier each year.
Certain nasal sprays such as nasal steroids may take days or even weeks to start working. Other medications, such as Afrin, shouldnt be used for more than a few days at a time read over the counter labels carefully and, as always, consult an allergist if youre ever unsure.
Unfortunately, as long as global temperatures are predicted to rise, spring allergy season is only going to get worse. But by taking a proactive approach to treatment, youll be able to keep your worst symptoms at bay.
Looking for an allergist in the Tampa Bay area? Dr. Daniel Reichmuth helps patients in Land O Lakes, Zephyrhills, Wiregrass, and the surrounding areas manage their seasonal allergies, as well as chronic year-round allergies, food allergies, and insect allergies. Request an appointment with Dr. Reichmuth at Florida Medical Clinic today to find a solution for your most stubborn symptoms.
Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to substitute professional medical advice. Always talk with your doctor before starting or stopping medications.
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