Seasonal allergies affect millions worldwide. Various environmental factors, such as pollen, mold, and dust, can trigger them. These allergens can cause a range of symptoms, from sneezing and congestion to watery eyes and skin rashes.
While the physical symptoms of seasonal allergies can be uncomfortable and irritating, they can also significantly impact your sleep quality. Studies have shown that people with allergies are more likely to experience sleep disturbances, including difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently at night, and feeling tired and groggy during the day.
How Do Seasonal Allergies Impact Sleep Apnea?
Seasonal allergies can also impact those who suffer from sleep apnea. When allergens are present in the air, they can inflame and swell the nasal passages and sinuses, reducing airflow to the lungs and limiting oxygen intake. This can lead to more episodes of apnea during sleep, making it harder for those with sleep apnea to get a whole night’s rest.
If you experience worse symptoms during allergy season, you may want to consider combination therapy. This treatment option combines using a CPAP machine and wearing an oral appliance during sleep. Talk with your healthcare provider about combination therapy.
How Can You Reduce the Impact of Seasonal Allergies on Sleep?
There are several steps you can take to reduce the impact of seasonal allergies on your sleep: Avoid allergens by keeping windows and doors closed during peak allergy season and using air conditioning or an air purifier to filter out any airborne allergens in your home.
Consider taking an antihistamine before bed to reduce the severity of allergy symptoms. Speak with your doctor to determine which medication is best for you.
Shower before bed, and use a saline nasal spray or neti pot to rinse away allergens that may have become stuck in your nasal passages. This can help reduce congestion and improve airflow while you sleep.
How to Manage Allergies in the Bedroom
The bedroom is one of the most important places to manage allergies. Allergy sufferers may want to invest in an allergen-proof mattress and pillow covers to reduce exposure while sleeping. Additionally, consider using a HEPA air filter and a vacuum that has a HEPA filter to reduce any allergens that may have accumulated in the bedroom.
Find Relief from Seasonal Allergies
Whether or not you have sleep apnea, seasonal allergies can wreak havoc on your sleep. By taking a few intentional steps, you can help reduce the impact of seasonal allergies on your rest and improve your overall health.
Marianna Kovitch, DMD, is a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (DABDSM). Dr. Kovitch received her Doctor of Dental Medicine from the Medical College of Georgia after earning her Bachelor of Science with honors in chemistry. She also received recognition in research publications for her work in biochemistry from Georgia State University. Dr. Kovitch has been an active board member of the Academy of General Dentistry since 2013 and has contributed to the development of dentistry excellence in Georgia.
Marianna Kovitch, D.M.D., DABDSM • Atlanta Smiles
404.262.7733 • www.goodnightsleepga.com