Have you recently started snoring, but can't quite figure out why? Maybe you have always been a snorer, but your significant other is telling you that it has reached an unbearable level lately. If you have suddenly developed seasonal allergies, or if there is so much cottonwood floating through the air it looks like it is snowing, then allergies very well could be to blame for your loud snoring.
Understanding Allergic Rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis is simply a medical term for hay fever. This occurs when your immune system overreacts to specific airborne particles. Your immune system is basically attacking these allergens to protect you. Pollen, dust, animal dander, and mold are some of the more common allergens. Depending on what you are allergic to, you may deal with allergies briefly or all year-round. You may be thinking that you have never had allergies in the past, so this can't possibly be the cause of your snoring. Well, you may be surprised to learn you can develop allergies at any time, even if you are 90 years old.
In addition to common symptoms, like sneezing, itchy eyes, scratchy throat, headache, nasal congestion, fatigue, and irritability, allergies can also make you more susceptible to sinusitis and ear infections.
How Do Allergies Cause Snoring?
Snoring is a common side effect of hay fever. When your allergies are bothering you, the delicate membrane lining in your throat and nose becomes irritated and inflamed. This reduces the size of the airway, thereby making it harder to breathe. The swelling causes soft tissues to fall closer together so when air fights to get through it makes these tissues vibrate. This results in a snoring sound.
Plus, if your nose is stuffy, you are forced to breathe through your mouth. Well, that membrane lining in your throat is also irritated. Swelling causes your soft palate, uvula, and esophagus tissues to vibrate as you breathe.
Does Medicine Help?
Your natural instinct is likely to reach for a decongestant or antihistamine. These products can be very helpful at relieving allergy symptoms, but they can worsen snoring. Since they work by relaxing muscles, there is an increased risk of your tongue and soft palate falling back farther and creating an obstruction that causes snoring. A possible solution to mouth breathers that snore are stop snoring devices like SnoreRx, Zyppah or ZQuiet.
If you only deal with allergies occasionally the snoring may not bother you. If you deal with them long-term, you may want to research other anti snoring devices. This will keep your airway open, so you can enjoy quality sleep and wake up feeling rested.