Diana Kelly Levey

How Your Spring Allergies Can Impact Sleep Apnea

A woman with allergies sneezing

May 31, 2021 | Categories: ,

When you’re feeling congested and stuffy from seasonal allergies and lie down to sleep at night, it can feel like it’s hard to breathe. Even if you don’t normally have sleep issues, allergic rhinitis (aka seasonal allergies) can cause congestion and breathing issues that interfere with even the best sleep hygiene routine.

You might be surprised to discover that allergic rhinitis can make you more likely to experience sleep-disordered breathing, in particular obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. Here we’ll explore why that is and how a sleep apnea mask can help.

The Link Between Spring Allergies and Sleep Apena

What do allergies have to do with OSA?

Researchers have discovered associations with allergic rhinitis (also known as hay fever) and sleep apnea over the years—in one study, seasonal allergies were prevalent in 35 percent of adults with obstructive sleep apnea. For someone who has OSA, allergies can further impact the quality of your sleep, according to a study. They can cause swelling of the nasal passages and lead to more secretions in the upper respiratory tract. (Related: Allergy Mistakes That Are Triggering Attacks)

If you have OSA, you might need to modify your sleep apnea mask during allergy season to accommodate nasal congestion or nasal blockage. You might find that you can treat your sleep apnea condition better by using a full face mask to improve nighttime breathing that’s being disrupted by nasal congestion. A full face mask has a cushion opening that fits directly under the nostrils and creates a seal around the mouth.

Read the full article on Philips.

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