The relationship between sleep apnea and allergy

sleep apnea allergy

Commonly associated with obesity, sleep apnea is a chronic condition characterized by airway obstruction and breathing interruption during sleep. Sleep apnea occurs during sleeping when the muscles in the throat relax, causing the jaw to fall back and obstruct the airways. Breathing stops momentarily, pulse increases, and the sleeper is jerked awake and begins to breathe again. The whole cycle begins again when the sleeper falls back to sleep and can occur many times during the night. Because of this, sleep apnea affects your daily activities. Sleep apnea is a serious condition and can have a serious impact on the quality of life.    

Sleep apnea is not just caused by being overweight. There is a link between sleep apnea and allergy in rhinitis, which is an inflammation of the upper airways and nasal cavity due to an allergy. Particles in the air, when inhaled, lead to inflammation and congestion. Congestion in the upper airways causes them to contract and become more narrow. This leads to snoring and ultimately sleep apnea, causing disrupted sleep. Sleep disturbances can interfere with daily life by causing fatigue, weight gain, irritability, headaches, and more.    

Fortunately for those afflicted, there are a variety of methods that can be used to lessen the negative effects of allergies. The first is to avoid the cause of the allergies. If the allergen is most prevalent indoors, affected individuals can clean more often or use an air purifie. This will lessen the concentration of allergens in the air and thus prevent allergies and related conditions like sleep apnea.    

sleep apnea allergy

Allergens cannot always be avoided. In this case, the regular use of allergy medication can help ease symptoms. If medication is not entirely effective in stopping apnea, the use of CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) devices can help. CPAP devices are worn on the face during sleep and use air pressure to stop airway obstruction. These devices can completely mitigate the negative effects of sleep apnea by preventing apnea from occurring in the first place.

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