We often see patients who are experiencing fatigue, mental sluggishness, and drowsiness, along with some of the more well-known allergy symptoms. It’s common for these patients not to realize that their fatigue symptoms are related to their allergies, and treating those allergies could be the answer to bringing them out of the fog.
Fatigue Is a Common Allergy Symptom
Many people with environmental or seasonal allergies also complain of fatigue. However, rarely do they make the connection that their fatigue and allergies are related. Allergies can cause patients to feel fatigued in several ways:
An allergic reaction is the result of your body falsely identifying a harmless substance, like pollen, as dangerous. When it does, the immune system is kicked into high gear and begins spitting out antibodies and histamine as quickly as possible. The sudden production of these substances requires resources and energy, which can leave the individual feeling exhausted.
Reduction of Oxygen Intake
A common condition amongst allergy sufferers is allergic rhinitis or swelling of the sinus cavities due to an allergic response. People with environmental allergies may experience allergic rhinitis for months at a time. This chronic inflammation can make you feel fatigued. If you develop an infection of the sinuses, called sinusitis, you may feel even more tired as your immune system works to fight off the infection.
Increasing Risk of Sleep Apnea
There is a link between allergic rhinitis and sleep apnea. Researchers believe that several allergic rhinitis symptoms can exacerbate sleep apnea episodes, such as swelling of the tonsils and adenoids, nasal congestion, or drying out of the sinus cavities. Breathing through the mouth to get more oxygen, which is common in allergic rhinitis patients, can also stir up a sleep apnea attack. Pair these risk factors with the already disrupted sleep patterns of allergy sufferers who continue sneezing and sniffling through the night, and you’ve got a recipe for extreme fatigue.
Medication Side Effects
Many of the over-the-counter (OTC) medications for environmental allergies have fatigue as a common side effect. Even medications formulated for daytime use can cause unwanted drowsiness. OTC allergy medications sold as sleep aids can cause disturbing sleep-related symptoms, such as sleepwalking. They also often leave the user feeling exhausted upon waking, as they were never able to really get in a state of deep, rejuvenating sleep.
Allergy Treatment in Tampa Bay
If your allergies have you feeling worn out, even after a full night’s sleep, we can help. The expert allergists at Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates of Tampa Bay can identify your allergy triggers, develop a personalized allergy treatment plan, and help you manage your allergies long-term. Call us at (813) 971-9743 to schedule an appointment at one of our two Tampa Bay locations today.