Allergies are so common that many people never think to do much about them. People often figure that taking an allergy pill or avoiding time outdoors at the height of allergy season is the best they can do to keep the sniffling and sneezing under control.
But there’s more to allergies than just nasal discomfort. They can have a big impact on a person’s overall quality of life. Depending on the severity of the allergies, they can make it difficult to enjoy everyday activities or to feel your best. If you’re a seasonal allergy sufferer, here are a few ways your allergies are probably getting in the way of your life.
Allergies Can Disrupt Sleep
When you’re coughing and sneezing, it can be difficult to fall and stay asleep. The symptoms commonly associated with allergies can also make you more likely to snore at night, which can interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Plus, if you share a bedroom with a partner, snoring, coughing and sneezing through the night can disrupt their sleep as well as your own.
In long run, poor sleep can have several consequences. When you’re tired, you’re less likely to be alert. You might struggle to pay attention and focus when at work. You might also have difficulty following along with conversations or when you’re watching a movie or TV. Not getting enough sleep on a regular basis can also interfere with your memory, making it more difficult for you to remember events and responsibilities.
When you aren’t getting enough quality sleep, your appearance can even suffer. You might develop dark circles or bags under your eyes and your skin is likely to look dull. A lack of sleep can also speed up the breakdown of collagen, the protein that helps to give skin its youthful firmness and structure.
Treating your allergies can help you get a better night’s sleep and improve your overall quality of life.
Allergies Can Keep You From Certain Activities
Another way that having an allergy can prevent you from living life to the fullest is that it can keep you from participating in certain activities. For example, if you have seasonal allergies you might pay attention to the pollen count on certain days and decide to avoid outdoor activities during those times. Staying indoors throughout the spring, summer and fall can prevent you from enjoying numerous activities associated with the seasons, such as picnics, apple picking, and spending a day on the water.
Along with limiting the time you spend outdoors, allergies might also restrict your activities in other ways. For example, if you constantly feel awful because of congestion and sneezing, you’re not going to want to go out with friends, attend your kids’ recitals or otherwise participate in life.
Allergies Can Increase Your Risk for Other Health Problems
When you have an allergic reaction to something, your nasal passages can become inflamed. Ongoing inflammation in the nasal passages can put you at an increased risk for chronic sinus infections. Having allergies also typically increases a person’s risk for asthma and in some cases, exposure to an allergen can be what triggers an asthma attack.
Although allergies can have an adverse effect on your day-to-day life, the good news is that treatment is available. Some people get enough relief from symptoms by taking an over-the-counter or prescription allergy medication. For others, immunotherapy is an effective treatment. Immunotherapy gradually exposes a person to the allergen or allergens they are allergic to, helping to decrease the immune system’s response to those allergens. The result is both a reduction in allergy symptoms and an improvement in the person’s quality of life.
ABOUT DR. RUBINSTEIN
Dr. Rubinstein has nearly sixteen years of experience in helping patients with sinus problems and allergies in the Hudson Valley. A double board-certified facial plastic surgeon and otolaryngologist, he has extensive knowledge of laser procedures, facial plastic surgery, and nasal and sinus treatments, which allows him to improve aesthetics as well as the functionality of the nose and facial features. Dr. Rubinstein received his board certifications through the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. If you’re interested in learning more about allergy treatments, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rubinstein at the Hudson Valley Sinus Center by calling 845-562-6673.