April 15, 2021
Allergies and Blood Pressure: Everything You Need to Know
Allergies and high blood pressure are two common health concerns that affect many people worldwide. While they may seem unrelated, recent studies have found a potential connection between the two.
Allergies occur when the body's immune system overreacts to harmless substances such as pollen, dust mites, or certain foods. This can trigger a range of symptoms, including sneezing, itching, hives, and swelling.
On the other hand, high blood pressure, or hypertension, happens when the force of blood against the walls of the arteries is consistently too high, putting extra strain on the heart and blood vessels.
Let’s look more into how allergies can cause high blood pressure, what antihistamines are safe for high blood pressure and the best allergy treatments for those with high blood pressure.
Can allergies cause high blood pressure?
Yes, allergies can cause high blood pressure. While allergies and high blood pressure might not seem to have much in common, recent research suggests that they may be linked. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, individuals with allergic rhinitis (a type of allergy that affects the nose and sinuses) were more likely to have high blood pressure than those without this condition.
It's important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between allergies and high blood pressure. However, if you have allergies and high blood pressure and are concerned about your blood pressure, it's a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider. They can recommend lifestyle changes or medications to help manage your allergies and prevent any potential complications related to high blood pressure.
What is the link between allergies and high blood pressure?
So, what is the possible explanation for this link between allergies and blood pressure? One theory is that the inflammation that occurs in response to allergies may also affect the blood vessels, causing them to become stiffer and less flexible, which can increase blood pressure. Another possibility is that the stress of dealing with allergies can trigger a release of hormones, such as cortisol, which can also raise blood pressure levels.
When one is facing an allergic reaction or anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, it can cause a lot of stress and anxiety on the body, resulting in raised blood pressure. Typically, blood pressure will return to normal after the reaction, but if reactions are happening frequently, it can become an issue.
Some allergy medications can interfere with your preexisting conditions, such as hypertension, and increase your blood pressure. Even if you don’t have a history of hypertension or high blood pressure, taking a decongestant everyday can raise blood pressure due to the constriction of blood vessels.
Do allergy medications cause high blood pressure?
Yes, some allergy medications can raise blood pressure. Certain types of allergy medications, such as decongestants like Sudafed, can raise blood pressure in some people. Decongestants work by narrowing blood vessels, which can increase blood pressure. This effect is usually mild and temporary, but people with high blood pressure should talk to their doctor before taking these medications.
There can be ways to avoid this, specifically in your allergy medication. Look for allergy medications without the ingredients pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine, these are what can raise blood pressure. When choosing an over-the-counter allergy medication, beware of combination allergy medications that also contain decongestants. These products typically have the words sinus, cold, congestion, or decongestant on the label. They also might be labeled with the letters D, PD, or PE after the name.
Do antihistamines raise blood pressure?
Antihistamines, another common type of allergy medication, are generally not known to cause high blood pressure.
It's important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the potential relationship between allergies and high blood pressure. If you are concerned about the effects of your allergy medication on your blood pressure, talk to your healthcare provider. They can recommend alternative treatments or adjust your medication regimen to minimize any potential side effects.
Can I take allergy medicine with high blood pressure?
If you have high blood pressure, you should talk to your healthcare provider before taking any allergy medication. Some allergy medications, particularly decongestants, can raise blood pressure and may not be safe for people with hypertension. The best allergy medicine for high blood pressure is the one your healthcare provider recommends.
If you do need to take allergy medication and have high blood pressure, it's important to monitor your blood pressure regularly and report any changes to your healthcare provider.
What antihistamines are safe for high blood pressure?
In general, newer, non-sedating antihistamines are preferred for people with high blood pressure. These medications are less likely to cause drowsiness and other side effects, and are less likely to interact with other medications that you may be taking for high blood pressure.
Examples of non-sedating antihistamines that are generally considered safe for people with high blood pressure include:
- Loratadine (Claritin)
- Fexofenadine (Allegra)
- Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- Levocetirizine (Xyzal)
- Older, sedating antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), may cause drowsiness and other side effects that can be more pronounced in people with high blood pressure. However, they may still be appropriate in certain situations, such as for short-term relief of severe allergy symptoms.
Again, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new medication, including antihistamines, if you have high blood pressure. They can help determine the best treatment approach for you based on your individual needs and medical history.
Best allergy treatments for those with high blood pressure
The best allergy medicine for adults with high blood pressure depends on several factors, including the type and severity of your allergy symptoms, your medical history, and any other medications you are taking. It's important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new medication, including allergy medication, if you have high blood pressure.
That being said, here are some options that are generally considered safe for people with high blood pressure:
- Non-sedating antihistamines: These medications, such as loratadine (Claritin), fexofenadine (Allegra), cetirizine (Zyrtec), and levocetirizine (Xyzal), are less likely to cause drowsiness and other side effects than older, sedating antihistamines. They are generally safe for people who have allergies and high blood pressure.
- Nasal corticosteroids: These medications, such as fluticasone (Flonase) and mometasone (Nasonex), are sprayed into the nose to reduce inflammation and relieve allergy symptoms. Because these work to decongest in just your nose, rather than throughout your body, these are a better choice than oral decongestants.
- Allergy shots: Allergy shots, or subcutaneous immunotherapy, are a long-term treatment that involves receiving regular injections of small amounts of allergens to build up immunity. They are safe for people with high blood pressure, but may take several months to become effective.
How Aspire Allergy & Sinus can help
By treating your allergies at the root cause, you can decrease your risk of high blood pressure. With our long-term allergy treatments we can help treat your allergies for good! This way you don’t have to take an allergy medication or decongestant everyday, decreasing your risk of high blood pressure. Here are some of our long-term treatment options:
- Allergy drops, also known as sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), are a type of treatment for allergies that involves placing small amounts of allergens under the tongue to build up immunity over time. The drops contain a customized mixture of allergens based on the specific substances to which the individual is allergic. The goal of allergy drops is to gradually desensitize the immune system to the allergens, reducing the severity of allergy symptoms over time. Allergy drops are considered a safe and effective treatment for allergies, with fewer side effects than some other treatments like allergy shots. They can be particularly useful for people who are unable to tolerate or do not want to receive allergy shots, such as young children or people with needle phobias.
- Allergy shots, also known as subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT), are a type of treatment for allergies that involves receiving regular injections of small amounts of allergens to build up immunity over time. The goal of allergy shots is to reduce the severity of allergy symptoms over time, and in some cases, to eliminate them completely. Allergy shots have been shown to be effective for treating a variety of allergies, including seasonal allergies, pet allergies, and allergies to dust mites, molds, and certain foods.
- ExACT Immunopolasty is a type of treatment for allergies that involves injecting small amounts of allergens directly into the lymph nodes. This approach is designed to improve the effectiveness of allergen immunotherapy and reduce the amount of time required for treatment. ExACT is designed to boost the immune system's response to allergens, leading to a reduction in allergy symptoms over time. By reducing allergy symptoms, you can decrease your intake of allergy medications and reactions that lead to high blood pressure.
Are you tired of relying on temporary solutions for your allergies and sinus issues? Don't let these symptoms hold you back from living your life to the fullest. At Aspire Allergy & Sinus, we understand the impact that these conditions can have on your quality of life. That's why we offer personalized treatment plans designed to address the root cause of your symptoms and provide long-term relief. Our team of allergy specialists uses the latest diagnostic tools and treatment options to help you find relief from your allergies and sinus issues. Don't wait any longer to take control of your health. Schedule your appointment today and start living your best life, allergy-free!