October 19, 2020
Why Are My Allergies Worse In The Morning And At Night?
Do you wake up with morning headaches, feeling congested, or sniffling? Do you struggle to go to sleep at night because of sneezing and wheezing?
If you have seasonal or environmental allergies, your symptoms may come and go at different times of the day. You may experience worse nighttime allergies, morning allergies, or even both.
Here’s why your allergies may be worse at night or in the morning, and what you can do about it.
What causes morning allergies?
If you wake up with congestion or a sore throat, it’s easy to assume you caught a cold. However, these symptoms could also be caused by morning allergies.
Symptoms of morning allergies include:
● Runny, itchy, or stuffy nose or sneezing
● Itchy, red, or watery eyes
● Coughing or wheezing
● Morning headache, caused by nasal congestion and inflammation
● Sore throat, either from allergens irritating your throat or from mucus collecting in the back of your nose and throat
Several different allergens may be causing your morning allergy symptoms.
Dust mites are one common trigger for morning allergies. Many people are allergic to these microscopic bugs, which can be found in house dust, eating the skin cells that people shed. They are often found in warm environments, including bedding and upholstered furniture, so your bedroom is an ideal environment for them to live and breed. Although dust mites don’t bite or spread disease, their shed body parts or droppings can trigger morning allergy symptoms.
Pet dander may cause morning allergies, especially if it has collected in your bedding and carpet. This can become an issue if your cat or dog sleeps in the bedroom with you. It may also be triggered by caged pets that are kept in the bedroom, such as a gerbil or guinea pig.
Pollen is one of the biggest outdoor causes of morning allergies, since pollen counts tend to be higher in the morning. If you are an early riser and go outside first thing in the morning to walk your dog or exercise, you could be getting a big dose of allergen exposure at the start of your day. This may also happen if you sleep with the bedroom windows open.
Indoor mold is another potential trigger for morning allergies. Since mold thrives in damp areas, it can become a problem if your bedroom is near a bathroom, or another location with mold growth.
Other causes of morning allergy symptoms include:
● Dust that circulates at night due to heating or air conditioning operating
● Going to bed after being exposed to allergens without washing or showering first
● Strong odors and irritants lingering in the air, such as perfumes, cleaning agents, or fireplace smoke, that can cause symptoms you notice when you wake up
What causes nighttime allergies?
You may spend the day with few or no allergy symptoms, only to experience sniffles and itchy eyes when you go to bed. Many triggers of morning allergies can cause bedtime allergies, as well.
For example, if your bedroom has more dust mites than elsewhere in your home, they may trigger symptoms as soon as you get into bed. If you don’t spend as much time with your pet during the day, your furry friend may not cause your allergies to act up until they have settled into bed with you at night.
Unfortunately, cockroaches may be another possible cause of nighttime allergies, especially in urban homes. Like dust mites, they can shed saliva, feces, and even body parts that trigger allergy symptoms. They can even cause sinus or ear infections. According to ACAAI, the National Pest Management Association says that 63 percent of all U.S. homes contain cockroach allergens, but this number may be 78 percent to 98 percent in urban areas. Cockroaches may enter the home through windows and cracks in the walls or doors.
While pollen counts tend to be higher in the morning, it can also cause nighttime allergies. Warm temperatures push pollen into the air, but cooler evening air means that pollen falls back down to cover outdoor surfaces at night. If you collect pollen (or other allergens) in your hair or clothes over the course of the day, it can cause bedtime allergy symptoms once you’re in for the night.
How can I manage morning allergies and nighttime allergies?
Whether you experience morning allergies or bedtime allergies, many of the same steps can help reduce your exposure and symptoms.
These steps are:
● Take a shower before bed.
● Change your clothes once you are in for the night, and do not keep those clothes in the bedroom. Do not bring outdoor clothing, such as shoes and jackets, into the bedroom.
● Use hypoallergenic covers for mattresses and pillows, and wash curtains and sheets regularly.
● Vacuum under the bed regularly to reduce dust and pet dander.
● Limit your pet’s access to the bedroom. Move pet cages to another room in the home.
● Keep windows closed at night.
● Use heating and air conditioning with a premium air filter to reduce nighttime allergies or morning allergy symptoms.
● Clean damp areas regularly, and address any mold growth in the home. Fix any leaks or openings, and use a dehumidifier to keep your home’s humidity under 50 percent.
● If you suspect cockroaches, contact an exterminator to address the issue.
Different medications and treatments can help control your morning or evening allergy symptoms. Over-the-counter options include:
● Antihistamines counteract the chemical histamine that triggers many bedtime and morning allergy symptoms.
● Oral or nasal decongestants can help address nasal congestion, stuffiness, and sinus pressure.
● Intranasal corticosteroids can also reduce nasal allergy symptoms.
● Different allergy eye drops can help with dry, red, or itchy eyes.
There are also more long-term solutions that can help resolve your bedtime allergies and morning headaches. These include:
● ExACT Immunoplasty ℠, which involves three injections given over an eight-week period, may provide the same amount of relief as 3-5 years of other types of allergy immunotherapy.
● Allergy drops require just a once-yearly trip to an allergist clinic.
● Allergy shots require more frequent trips to the clinic, but they are an affordable, time-tested option for long-term allergy relief.
Are you tired of waking up with morning allergies? Want to stop suffering from bedtime allergy symptoms? The allergy experts at AspireAllergy & Sinus will work with you and your family to determine the best solution for your allergies. Come see us and request an appointment today!