Your nose is stuffy. Your eyes are watery. You can’t stop sneezing. And you’re exhausted.
It’s not just your imagination – allergies can make you tired for a variety of reasons. The arrival of spring means the arrival of allergy season. FastMed is here to help allergy sufferers successfully manage their symptoms and put an end to springtime sleepiness.
Allergens are all around us
Allergens exist both indoors and outdoors, so limiting your exposure to them can be challenging. You may be allergic to something and not even know it. The most common allergy triggers include tree pollen, grass pollen, mold, dust mites and pet dander – all of which can cause allergy-related fatigue.
Other typical allergy symptoms include:
- Sneezing or sniffling
- Stuffy nose
- Itchy eyes, nose, or throat
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
- Hives or rashes
Combine all this with feeling tired and it’s easy to understand why people search for relief from their allergies, not just in spring but all year round.
Why do allergies make you tired? It’s about inflammation
Allergic reactions cause inflammation in your body, and when your immune system is inflamed, it takes extra energy to respond. Say you are allergic to pollen or dust mites your immune system views these allergens as invaders and springs into action whenever you are exposed to them.
How does your immune system fight allergens? By releasing chemicals called histamines, which not only make you feel tired but can cause symptoms like swelling, itching and trouble breathing.
Other reasons why allergies can make you tired
Let’s explore some other reasons why allergies can make you tired.
You aren’t getting enough sleep
Many people have trouble sleeping because of their allergy symptoms. After all, it’s difficult to sleep when you’re sneezing, sniffling or coughing, and even harder when you can hardly breathe at all. Over time, this lack of quality sleep catches up to allergy sufferers and they begin to feel fatigued – especially during peak allergy season.
If you have allergies, here are some things you can do to get a better night of sleep:
- Take a shower before bed to wash allergens off your skin and out of your hair
- Wash your sheets in hot water once a week to keep them clean and allergen-free
- Sleep with your head elevated to relieve nasal congestion
- Use an air purifier in your bedroom to improve air quality
- Keep your pet out of your bedroom if you are allergic to pet dander
You’re taking allergy medications
May cause drowsiness. If you’re an allergy sufferer, you’re probably very familiar with this warning on your allergy medication.
Certain allergy medications, including antihistamines like diphenhydramine (Benadryl), can make you feel sleepy. Antihistamines block the receptors for histamines in the body, including the receptor for histamine in your brain that keeps you alert. So, when certain antihistamines reach your brain, you can begin to feel drowsy as a result. Even decongestants that are stimulants, such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), can wreak havoc on your sleep patterns.
You’re not breathing well
When you have an allergic reaction – especially one that causes nasal congestion – you’re not getting oxygen as easily as you usually do. Therefore, your body has to work harder to operate normally, wearing you out in the process.
You’re living with brain fog
Brain fog is another way that allergies can make you tired. Lately, we’ve heard a lot about brain fog as a symptom of COVID-19, but the fatigue caused by allergies is known as brain fog as well.
Brain fog lowers your energy level and affects your ability to think. You may feel confused, disorganized or have a hard time putting your thoughts into words. Some allergy sufferers find it difficult to perform everyday tasks when symptoms are at their peak.
Is It allergies or something else?
Some allergy symptoms overlap with many other conditions, from COVID-19 and flu to the common cold. If you’re confused about what you might have, visit a FastMed clinic near you for testing or review the information below:
If allergies make you tired, FastMed can help
Managing your allergy symptoms starts by finding the source of your allergies. FastMed offers allergy testing at all locations. Be sure to let us know about any over-the-counter medications you are already taking to relieve your symptoms.
Keeping an allergy log is another tool that can help identify what is causing your symptoms. When you feel especially fatigued, jot down what you were exposed to that day.
Your FastMed provider may recommend combination treatments, including prescription medication, nasal sprays and eye drops. We’ll also discuss over-the-counter medications that are less likely to make you feel drowsy but can still alleviate your symptoms.
For more severe allergies, ask your FastMed professional if you are a good candidate for allergy shots. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America confirms that allergy shots are a highly effective treatment, reducing symptoms in about 85% of people with allergies.
FastMed Is your allergy resource
Of course, there are many things you can do yourself to reduce your allergies, from staying inside on high pollen count days to wearing a face mask (something we’re certainly familiar with by now!). Once you know what is triggering your allergic reactions, stay away from those substances as much as possible.
If you’re struggling with allergy-related fatigue and want to feel like your energetic self again, FastMed is here to help. If you’re struggling with allergy-related fatigue and want to feel like your energetic self again, schedule a visit at FastMed — we’re here to help.
You can also view these FastMed allergy blogs for more information:
How to Prevent Allergies and Asthma Attacks at Home
5 Fast Facts about Spring Allergies
Most Common Skin Allergies
Allergies, Asthma and Anaphylaxis: Which One Is an Emergency?
Allergies: Irritating but Treatable
Pet Allergies and You
FastMed is one of the nation’s largest urgent care providers, proudly serving communities across North Carolina. FastMed provides a broad range of acute/episodic, preventive, and occupational healthcare – in its clinics and via telemedicine – as well as family medicine at select locations. FastMed is one of the few urgent care providers in the nation that has earned The Joint Commission’s coveted Gold Seal of Approval® for quality, safety and infection control in ambulatory healthcare. For more information, visit www.fastmed.com.