Sleep Apnea and Seasonal Allergies


The snow is finally melting and spring has arrived! While you may be excited about the buzz of spring, you may find yourself suffering from seasonal allergies and/or flu like symptoms, just like many people around you may experience during big changes in weather and air pressure.

For those with sleep apnea, this can affect your sleeping patterns in a big way, especially if you use a CPAP machine at night. Some may just have issues with the excessive dryness in the air that occurs at this time of year and experience some cold symptoms, including headaches or migraines, sinus congestion, and sore throat. Others have ongoing issues with allergies and may have a lot of nasal congestion, especially at night.

All of this can affect your sleep cycle, especially when you have sleep apnea. Several studies done over time have found a very strong link between obstructive sleep apnea and hay fever, which is a term for an allergy of pollen or dust in the air. This often causes a blockage in the airway which leads to; yes you guessed it, obstructive sleep apnea.

Many people also experience insomnia as a result of their seasonal allergies. As if you have to sleep with your nose completely stuffed up, try using a CPAP machine on top of that. Doesn’t sound like much fun, right? Unfortunately it is very common for people to have some bad nights of sleeping as a result of this and doing nothing will only make it worse.

As irritating as this can be, there are ways to resolve your seasonal allergies without having to forgo the use of your CPAP machine for a night (which is NOT recommended as this can interfere with your CPAP therapy). Many over the counter medicines can be quite helpful in relieving the effects of seasonal allergies, including nasal sprays to help clear your airway. Be sure to seek advice from your doctor if the problem persists.

As always, be sure to practice good sleep hygiene. Stick to the same bedtime every night, turn off the electronics at least an hour before you go to bed and practice good diet and exercise throughout the daytime.

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