Are Allergies and Sleep Apnea Connected?

Sleep apnea is a prevalent sleep disorder that impacts more than just your sleep. The condition can disrupt your sleep and reduce the quality and quantity of it. In addition to the impact it can have on your sleep, it can also reduce your quality of life during the day. Sleep apnea can cause daytime fatigue, moodiness, and impair cognitive function, in addition to a number of other unwanted symptoms. Sleep apnea can often be exacerbated by other health issues. You may wonder, are allergies and sleep apnea connected?

Are Allergies and Sleep Apnea Connected?

Sleep apnea and allergies are two separate medical conditions. However, they can be connected indirectly due to the impact they have on your breathing. They also have similar risk factors, so patients can experience both conditions. Allergies cause nasal congestion and inflammation. This can increase your risk of sleep apnea as congestion can make breathing difficult during sleep and cause disruptions. Additionally, individuals with allergies are prone to mouth breathing. Mouth breathing can cause breathing issues as well during sleep. Untreated allergies can exacerbate sleep apnea and cause a number of unwanted symptoms.

Sleep Apnea Risk Factors

Sleep apnea is a common condition that can impact anyone. However, there are several factors that can increase your risk of the condition.

  • Obesity: Excess weight can increase your risk of sleep apnea as the fat deposits around your airway can lead to difficulties breathing during sleep
  • Age: Sleep apnea is more common in older adults as the risk of the condition increases with age
  • Smoking: Smoking increases inflammation and fluid retention in your airways that puts those who smoke at a higher risk for the condition
  • Gender: Men are at a higher risk for the condition even though both men and women can be impacted by sleep apnea
  • Alcohol Use: Substances such as alcohol and sedatives can relax your neck muscles and contribute to airway obstruction
  • Family History: Those who have a family history of sleep apnea are at a higher risk for the condition

Risks Associated With Untreated Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can cause a number of unwanted symptoms that can impact your short and long-term health. Untreated sleep apnea can cause serious issues, so it’s important to get treatment right away.

Cognitive Function:

Untreated sleep apnea can cause daytime fatigue. This can impact your cognitive function and lead to memory issues and decreased cognitive function. In addition, it can also cause issues with concentration and memory. This can impact your academic and professional life.

Cardiovascular Issues:

Sleep apnea increases your risk of high blood pressure and other harmful cardiovascular issues. Sleep disruptions place a lot of pressure on your cardiovascular system. This can lead to long-term complications and chronic health issues.

Mental Health Consequences:

Those with untreated sleep apnea may notice issues with their mood. Common mood disorders associated with the condition include anxiety and depression. This can seriously impact your quality of life, relationships, and career if left untreated.

Romantic Relationship Issues:

Sleep apnea can keep your partner up at night and cause serious issues. Loud snoring and sleep pattern disruptions can strain your relationship and impact intimacy. Many partners of those with untreated sleep apnea sleep in separate bedrooms.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

If you are concerned that you may have sleep apnea, contact a sleep doctor right away. Common symptoms include loud snoring, gasping for air when you sleep, waking up with a dry mouth, and daytime sleepiness are common symptoms of the condition. Sleep apnea treatment can eliminate those issues and reduce your risk for long-term health issues. Schedule a consultation with a skilled sleep professional if you experience any of the symptoms associated with the condition.

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