Snoring can be caused or made worse by certain allergies. Pet dander, dust mites, insects and pollen are the biggest culprits. This article looks at the connection between allergies and snoring and some simple solutions.
What Will I Learn?
Can Allergies Cause Snoring
You may have heard that allergies can cause snoring. Now you are wondering if it’s true.
Allergy symptoms are always unpleasant and can cause a lot of misery during the day.
Nasal issues, painful eyes, itching skin—these are just a few of the problems allergy sufferers have to deal with.
However, allergy symptoms don’t disappear at bedtime.
In fact, depending on the type of allergy, they may even become worse and it’s not just the person with the allergy that can be faced with a sleepless night.
Their partner may be kept awake too because allergies can and do cause snoring so, if someone has already told you that, the words they were speaking were true.
Snoring occurs when the soft tissues at the back of the throat vibrate and produce a noise.
Breathing through the mouth during sleep is one of the things that can cause snoring or make it worse.
Allergies can cause nasal congestion that makes it impossible to breathe through the nose, making you more likely to snore.
However, there can be more going on inside the nose than most people think.
Tip: Try using some natural snoring remedies to counter the effect of allergies.
Nasal Congestion and Allergies: What You Need to Know
Allergens can cause a number of problems inside the nose. One of the most common problems is allergic rhinitis so let’s take a look at that first.
Also known as hay fever, allergic rhinitis is a very common condition that causes a number of symptoms that are similar to the ones you would normally experience due to a cold.
Symptoms begin soon after exposure to pollen or other allergens and may include sneezing, itchiness, and/or a running nose.
Allergic rhinitis is due to an immune system response. When the allergen enters the body, the immune system perceives it as a hostile compound and begins releasing chemicals that increase mucous production and inflame the mucous membrane inside the nose.
All that mucous makes nose breathing impossible, causing snoring or, in the case of someone who already snores, turning up the volume and making it worse.
Allergic rhinitis may cause a number of other issues inside the nose. Especially if the condition is allowed to continue for long periods of time. These problems have the potential to influence snoring and make it worse.
Here are 6 of the problems allergic rhinitis may cause include:
- Nasal Polyps: When allergy symptoms persist for a long time it can cause the growth of “polyps” inside the nose. Although the polyps are not harmful, their presence in the nasal cavity can restrict airflow, causing further issues with snoring. The worst thing about this is the polyps will still be there after the allergy symptoms that caused them are gone.
- Turbinate Swelling: Turbinates are the nasal structures responsible for filtering and warming incoming air. Allergic rhinitis causes them to become inflamed, further restricting airflow through the nose.
- Septal Swelling: The septum is a piece of cartilage that acts as a divider between the right and left nasal airways. Allergic rhinitis can cause the septum to become inflamed in a similar way to the turbinates. When this happens it can prevent normal nose breathing as well.
- Sinusitis: This is an extremely unpleasant infection that can cause a lot of misery and pain. Sinusitis causes nasal inflammation that prevents mucous from draining away from the sinuses.
- Middle Ear Infections: Allergies can also cause middle ear infections that inflame the part of the ear that lies behind the eardrum.
- Although this will not influence snoring, infections of this type can be extremely painful and may make it difficult to sleep.
Allergy medications can also cause or worsen snoring.
This is due to the way that they work. Most allergy medications are decongestants and antihistamines.
Medications like these cause the nose to dry out inside and may up the volume of snoring by increasing vibration of the soft palate.
What Type of Allergies Cause Snoring?
Many different types of allergy can cause snoring. Some people may even be unfortunate enough to suffer from two or more allergies at once.
However, the types of allergies that cause snoring tend to be the ones that happen in response to airborne particles from plants, dust, or mold, etc.
These particles may be active outside of the house or mainly present within the home.
Here are a few of the most likely suspects if you have suddenly developed an allergy that’s making you snore:
1. Pollen (Allergic Rhinitis)
Pollen allergies are as common as they are unpleasant. Fortunately, allergies of this nature are unlikely to be a problem all through the year.
In cold climates, the winter months can bring an especially welcome reprieve.
2. Pet Allergies
Pet allergies are an allergic response to the proteins present in animal skin cells, saliva, or urine. The allergy is generally triggered when allergic individuals come into contact with their pet’s dander (flakes of dead skin).
Pets shed dander regularly so this type of allergy can be a problem all through the year.
Pet allergies are generally associated with dogs and cats but any animal that has fur can trigger an allergic response.
The symptoms of pet allergies are often similar to those of hay fever. However, some people may also develop breathing difficulties similar to those experienced by people with asthma.
Although it may be possible to manage some of the symptoms with medication, if you have a pet allergy it’s far better to avoid the animals that are the source of the problem.
3. Dust Mites
Dust mite allergy is an allergic response to the tiny bugs that are present in house dust. It causes cold-like symptoms and may also interfere with breathing.
Dust mites are minuscule. It’s impossible to see them without the help of a microscope. Close relatives to ticks and spiders, dust mites often set up home in carpets and upholstered furniture.
Dust mites also live in pillows and bedding. This gives them a close proximity to humans that serves them well because it allows them to feed on the skin cells people shed during the night.
Some people use special mattress and pillow protectors that help reduce dust mites and, in so doing, may also stop them from causing snoring.
4. Spores from Mold Within the Home
Although it’s never desirable to have mold in your home, it does happen. Mold thrives in humid environments and often makes its presence known in kitchens and bathrooms.
The easiest way to tackle this is to keep these areas well ventilated and target areas of growth with a good mold and mildew remover.
Mold can also begin to grow in the rooms where people sleep. Especially if the windows remain closed most of the day.
When you sleep with the window closed, as many people do, normal respiration can increase humidity in the bedroom.
Apart from growing on the walls, windows, and ceiling of the room, mold may also begin growing on clothes and other fabrics present in the room.
Mold spread by releasing spores. It’s the spores that trigger the allergic response that causes the nasal congestion that can lead to snoring.
Breathing in the spores can induce major health problems so it’s important to be particularly diligent about making your home an environment that is hostile to mold.
5. Cockroach Allergies
Cockroach allergies are surprisingly common and the fact that they can cause symptoms that lead to snoring is just one of many reasons you don’t want these insects in your home.
These kind of allergies can be particularly dangerous to people with asthma. They cause severe reactions in more than 50 percent of people who have this allergy.
The allergic reaction is often a response to the insect’s feces, saliva, or shed body parts.
Do Allergies Cause Snoring – To Sum Up
Allergies are just one of several things that can cause or worsen snoring. Choice of sleeping position and room temperature are two more.
Certain medical conditions can cause snoring as well, but obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the condition most commonly associated with the problem.
Sometimes multiple factors may come into play all at once.
If you have a problem with snoring the best thing to do is take all the steps that are necessary to ensure you and your partner (if you have one) do not have a sleepless night.
Avoid sleeping on your back if you can. Try and lose weight if you need to, avoid drinking too much alcohol before sleep, and make sure your sleeping space is allergen-free.
Tackle the problem by removing all the causes, even if you have to do so one by one.