If you are living in a country that follows seasonal changes, spring would probably be the season of fear of allergies especially if you are suffering from sleep apnea as well so what is the connection between sleep apnea and allergies and how can one approach to manage it?

Allergic reactions affect the quality of sleep as it creates nasal congestion that can dry out the mouth, swell the tonsils or adenoids causing them to grow larger, or block the breathing airways which can lead to apneas such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) which causes a cessation in breathing during sleep. Therefore, allergies and sleep apnea can be connected if one has an ongoing allergic reaction affecting one’s sleep on a regular basis as shown in a study published in the American Review of Respiratory Disease stating that patients with allergic rhinitis have a longer and more frequent OSA as compared to patients without those allergic conditions. Taking steps to reduce allergic reactions can help increase the quality of sleep with nasal steroids to decrease nasal congestion and improve sleep, daytime fatigue, and the quality of life of these patients. On the other hand, although nasal steroids can improve the quality of sleep, it is not adequate for most OSA patients as shown in a 2011 study published in the European Archives of Otorhinolaryngology.

There is another factor that needs to be considered for allergies and sleep apnea which is allergic reactions that can disrupt patients who are on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy that is used to treat sleep apnea. Hence it is critical to choose a CPAP mask and sleep apnea therapy device that helps with potential problems that patients who have both sleep apnea and allergies. For example, if the allergies make it difficult to breathe through the nose, the patients would benefit more from an effective treatment from a full-face mask than from a nasal pillow mask as the full-face mask covers the mouth and nose ensuring that one receives the air delivered whether or not the nose is congested. Another option is to choose automatic positive airway pressure (APAP) which can help patients with allergies and sleep apnea as APAP is designed to deliver different amounts of air as needed to keep up with the fluctuations in breathing caused by allergies.

If you suspect that you might be at risk or have sleep apnea and or allergies, it is important to consult a doctor to confirm the diagnosis early and the underlying issue of the cause of sleep apnea. Depending on your financial situation and sleep apnea condition, the doctor will work through with you the type of sleep apnea test in the comfort of your home or an in-lab sleep test to determine the precise nature of your condition to avoid any long-term issues. Besides most insurance companies now pay for sleep testing and CPAP treatment, early intervention with a sleep apnea device can stop snoring or one can a sleep apnea CPAP trial from the equipment supplier or distributor that distributes a range of sleep apnea devices for a better quality of sleep and healthier overall well-being.

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