Treating Allergies at Night

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If allergies are keeping you awake at night, you’re not alone.

In one study, only 17% of patients with symptoms of allergies such as nasal congestion, even sinuses, use distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water to make up the irrigation solution. It’s also important to rinse the irrigation device (such as a pollen levels are high in Arizona, to reduce inflammation and congestion in his nose, he also uses a prescription nasal corticosteroid spray about 1/2 hour after the sinus rinse.

“It’s important to point nose sprays towards the center of your head, not towards your eyebrows. The sinuses and inner ears drain deep inside your nose, and that’s where you want the nose spray to be concentrated for maximum benefit.”

Enright also recommends drinking more water, which works to thin mucus. Thin mucus does not stick to the back of the throat and cause postnasal drip. You’ll know that you’re well-hydrated if you’re hitting the bathroom frequently.

How do you find out what’s causing your allergies?

Enright suggests that you become an allergen “sleuth” to find out which allergens are causing your symptoms. If your allergies only happen at nighttime, perhaps you are allergic to something in your bedroom.

The most common allergens in bedrooms are microscopic house which live in bedding.

If the humidity in your bedroom is above 40%, molds may be growing in the carpet, bedding, and upholstered furniture.

If there is a smoker in your home, your nose and sinuses are probably becoming congested due to your inhaling secondhand smoke at night. A HEPA room air purifier running in your bedroom will remove the smoke.

If you are unsure about the cause of your allergy symptoms, get a test or a blood test to identify the allergens that cause your problems.

What’s the link between allergies and sleep apnea?

If you feel sleep deprived, it may be that your nasal allergies cause you to snore at night. In addition to snoring interrupting your sleep, sometimes snoring is a warning sign of the more serious problem of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

With obstructive sleep apnea, you may snore and also have periods of suspension of breathing, called apneas. The apneas are due to an obstruction of the upper airway at the base of the .

If your doctor suspects you’re at risk for obstructive sleep apnea, they may refer you for a (polysomnography), which is done at an accredited sleep center.

The sleep test will give your doctor information about oxygen drops associated with obstructive sleep apnea or other breathing problems.

If you are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor will talk to you about weight loss and nightly use of CPAP, continuous airway pressure. With CPAP, you wear a custom-fitted nasal mask during sleep that’s connected to the continuous airway pressure machine. The continuous airway pressure helps prevent further narrowing or collapse of your airway, so you can get the sleep you need to feel rested.

Sleepy Time Tips to Decrease Allergies and Sleep Deprivation

During the deepest level of sleep, your body is revitalized and tissue damage is repaired. Sleep helps restore the body and strengthens the immune system. Yet difficulty sleeping may accentuate your allergy symptoms, making a congested nose feel even worse.

To get sounder sleep, it takes a combination of steps, including nasal saline irrigation, allergy medicine, and lifestyle measures, says Murray Grossan, MD, a Los Angeles-based ENT and author of The Sinus Cure. Grossan offers these tips:

Watch your diet and avoid drinking and alcohol for at least six hours before bedtime.

Remember, if you have allergies, your body thermostat is off, says Grossan. “If there’s any chilling whatsoever, your body will respond with sneezing, nasal congestion, and hacking.” Keep your bedroom comfortably warm and sip warm decaffeinated drinks before bedtime to stay warm.”