Allergic rhinitis develops when the immune system is sensitized and overreacts to something in the environment. Allergic rhinitis is commonly known as hay fever, but there is no direct connection between the ailment and hay. Rather, the condition used to manifest itself during hay harvesting season, inspiring the nickname.
Allergens that trigger allergic rhinitis include pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and molds. These particles incite the release of histamine in the body, which causes sneezing, nasal congestion, watery eyes, and a runny nose. A person suffering from these allergy symptoms will be unable to sleep well, resulting in daytime fatigue.
Allergic rhinitis is not only seasonal. It may occur throughout the year when allergens are present. Seasonal allergic rhinitis is often caused by airborne particles from outdoor mold, ragweed, grass, and trees. Year-round allergic rhinitis is usually triggered by indoor allergens such as dust mites in mattresses, bedding, and carpeting as well as pet dander and indoor mold.
A person with allergic rhinitis often has sleep problems. The degree of sleep impairment is directly related to the severity of the allergy symptoms. If you are unable to sleep well at night, you will be drowsy and fatigued the next day, which may hinder your concentration, stamina, and mood.
Allergic rhinitis is closely linked to obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which a person’s breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax and fail to keep the airways open while a person is sleeping. Allergic rhinitis is a risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea and for snoring, both of which result in sleepiness and fatigue during the daytime.
Lack of sleep resulting from allergic rhinitis is also linked to poor performance at work and in school and even to lower IQ levels. Parents are advised to pay attention to their children who are suffering from allergic rhinitis. See an allergy doctor who can properly address your child’s allergy needs and help diminish symptoms such as obstructed airways and difficulty sleeping.