Can Allergies Cause Snoring?
Allergies are often a common source of irritation and distress for many. As the seasons and weather change throughout the year, so does the amount of airborne and household allergens and irritants floating about. No one ever looks forward to the sneezing attacks, red eyes, coughing fits, or stuffy nose that tend to flare more frequently during the spring and rainy times of the year. For many, allergies are more than a mild inconvenience, they are downright insufferable and challenging to live with.
One common cause of snoring that often gets overlooked is allergies. It should come as no small surprise that swollen or blocked nasal passages can make it hard to breathe through the nose while sleeping. As a result, many people who find their nasal passages blocked breathe through their mouths. Mouth breathing during sleep isn’t necessarily better. In many cases, it’s noisy and unsettling to other household members. Many people who snore are unaware of the problem.
Blocked nasal airways are a common side effect of allergies, sinus infections, and colds. Allergies are a sign of sensitivities to certain substances or irritants that trigger inflammation and swelling in the airways. Common types of irritants that trigger allergic reactions include household dust, pet dander, dead skin cells, and dust mites. If you or your loved one snores and you’re not sure what to do about it, it’s a good idea to see a C/V ENT Surgical Group doctor or snoring specialist for diagnosis and treatment.
What Is Snoring?
Snoring is the sound of the soft palate vibrating from the force of air trying to move past obstructions. Proper airflow requires access to the mouth, sinuses, and lungs. When that access is limited or restricted due to an allergic reaction or infection, the result is loud and disturbing. Snoring doesn’t just cause disturbing and unpleasant sounds. Untreated, snoring can lead to sleep apnea and other potentially life-threatening conditions.
To counteract the difficulty they experience breathing, many people wake up periodically throughout the night to turn their heads or alter their sleeping positions. The problem is some sleeping positions do not open the airways or improve conditions enough to alleviate the nasal blockages and stop snoring. Some positions can make the airways smaller, making breathing even more challenging and snoring more persistent.
Snoring Can Be a Sign of Something Dangerous
Though snoring can be caused by allergies, it is not considered a disease. In most cases, snoring is preventable and treatable. The first step in treating snoring is a proper diagnosis. Even individuals who snore due to other health reasons may benefit from allergy treatment.
Nasal congestion and other allergic reactions that cause the airways to swell can make breathing through the nose extremely difficult. This difficulty often becomes worse as the day progresses. During sleep, airway obstructions and snoring can develop into obstructive sleep apnea. This condition is a common cause of sleep disturbances and daytime fatigue.
Normal breathing provides the brain with a steady supply of air. When there’s a blockage that keeps air from reaching the brain, breathing is interrupted. Nasal congestion and swollen tonsils and adenoids can become so inflamed during allergic reactions that they cause the airways to swell and become smaller. This is not a normal response. To correct this response, the blockage must be removed so proper airflow can resume uninterrupted.
Allergies don’t directly cause sleep apnea, but they can cause snoring which can turn into sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea robs the sufferer of their ability to achieve restorative and restful sleep because of their snoring and breathing challenges.
How to Prevent Snoring Due to Allergies
Allergies are a common source of sleep interruption and challenges for many. In order to stop snoring during sleep, it’s necessary to treat the cause – allergies. There are a few things you can do to mitigate your body’s response to allergens, even when pollen counts and airborne irritants levels are high.
- Sweep and vacuum more often. Schedule regular professional carpets, rugs, and furniture cleanings. Many people are sensitive to dust, skin, and pet dander in their homes or sleeping environments.
- Use humidifiers and purifiers to moisten and cleanse the air. Humidifiers are useful in keeping the air moist enough to prevent your nostrils, mouth, and throat from drying out. They also help keep the airways open so breathing and sleeping are easier, more pleasant, and less noisy.
- See an allergy doctor or ENT specialist for allergy treatment. Depending on the type of sensitivities you have, prescriptions and decongestants can help keep your airways clear and reduce the frequency and severity of allergy symptoms.
- If you have pets, bathe and groom them frequently and clean their paws before allowing them back indoors.
- Wash all bedding, curtains, and upholstery regularly to keep dust from accumulating.
- Shower or bathe before going to bed to clean residual dust, pollen, and allergens off the skin to reduce the chances of inhalation and allergic reactions.
Choose C/V ENT for Allergy and Snoring Treatment
Snoring is an unpleasant side effect of allergies, but it is not permanent. If you struggle with sleeping due to snoring or allergy symptoms or even sleep apnea, it’s time for you to consider professional solutions.
C/V ENT Surgical Group offers minimally invasive and comprehensive in-office treatments for allergies, snoring, and sleep apnea. Take the first step in getting relief from allergies and putting an end to snoring and other issues that impact your airways and quality of sleep and life and give us a call at for a personal consultation