When you think about the symptoms of allergies, you probably think of itchy, watery eyes, congestion, runny nose, sneezing, scratchy throat and rash or hives. But have you ever considered that allergies can also cause fatigue? We review the symptoms, causes and treatment of allergy fatigue below.
Symptoms of Allergy Fatigue
If you’re experiencing an allergy attack, in addition to the symptoms listed above, you can also experience drowsiness, brain fog and a general sense of fatigue.
Causes of Allergy Fatigue
In order to understand the causes of allergy fatigue, you should know how allergies occur.
Your immune system works to protect your body from diseases, viruses and infections. But for people with allergies, their immune system mistakes harmless substances such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, certain foods, mold and insect stings as dangerous intruders. An allergic reaction occurs when your body is exposed to one of these harmless substances, known as an allergen, and your immune system overreacts.
In order to fight off the intruder, your immune system releases antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE), which tells your cells to release histamine. Histamine increases your mucus production and causes inflammation; this is what triggers your allergy symptoms.
There are several ways this process contributes to fatigue:
- Symptoms can disrupt nighttime sleep.
- The immune system is working hard during an allergy attack, and this constant running can make your body feel overworked, weak and just plain exhausted.
- If you experience breathing problems, it can impact the amount of oxygen taken in by the respiratory system, causing brain fog.
Treatment for Allergy Fatigue
You can treat allergy fatigue by:
- Learning your triggers. An allergy test at Willamette ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery can reveal what exactly is causing your symptoms.
- Practicing avoidance. Once you know your triggering allergens, you can do your best to avoid them.
- Taking an antihistamine. Antihistamines block the production of histamine, preventing or treating your symptoms.
- Avoiding medications that cause drowsiness. Some allergy medications can contribute to even more fatigue and drowsiness.
- Using a Neti pot from Avalina Pharmacy on Commercial Street. A saline rinse of your sinuses can relieve congestion and help you breathe easier.
- Talking about immunotherapy. This long-term solution to allergies should leave you symptom-free after three to five years of treatment.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with an allergy expert, call Willamette ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery today.
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