While rising temperatures can be a welcome reprieve after a chilly winter, they also mean the start of allergy season. For many people, the increase of pollen in the air can cause breathing problems, which may exacerbate snoring.
Allergies, also called allergic rhinitis, can occur seasonally or year-round. Seasonal allergies are typically the result of airborne particles from trees, ragweed, grass, or outdoor mold. Year-round allergies are the result of indoor substances like dust, dust mites, pet dander, and indoor mold.
When a person who is allergic to any of these substances breathes them in, a chemical is released in the body which causes nasal congestion, sneezing, runny nose, and/or watery eyes. These symptoms combined with the irritation and inflammation of the nasal passage can make sleeping very difficult. But are they linked to snoring?
The answer is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no. While allergies themselves don’t cause snoring, their effect on the body certainly can. Congestion can make nasal breathing difficult and cause wheezing or whistling sounds. Sometimes, your nose can become so blocked that you’re forced to breathe through your mouth. This causes the incoming air to collide with your soft palate, creating the sound we’ve come to associate with snoring.
If your snoring starts to affect the sleep of you or your bed partner, allergy pills may help to relieve your symptoms and reduce blockage. Depending on your symptoms, either antihistamines or decongestants may help, but neither should be taken long term. If your symptoms seem worse indoors, deep cleaning your living space may also help with snoring. Regularly washing your bedding can help reduce allergens, as can a sterile mattress cover.
If your allergies or snoring are persistent, it’s best to visit an ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor) who can help you diagnose and treat the problem at its source. For more information on allergies and snoring or to schedule a consultation, call Marvel at 931-455-2005.