While many of us associate worse allergies with a certain time of year, others experience allergy symptoms more intensely during a particular time of day.
If you find yourself waking up most mornings with congestion and itchy eyes, there’s a good chance it could be allergy-related.
Symptoms of Morning Allergies
Symptoms of morning allergies are the same as allergy symptoms at other times of the day, just felt more intensely in the morning. They include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Puffy eyes
- Itchy ears
If you have a severe allergy, you might experience asthma-like symptoms such as difficulty breathing, wheezing or coughing.
What Causes Morning Allergies?
One of the biggest causes of morning allergies is dust mites. Dust mites are incredibly common and occur year-round. Dust mite allergies are often worse in the morning because dust mites tend to live in mattresses, pillows and bedding.
While it is impossible to rid your home of dust mites entirely, there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure.
- Get dust mite covers for your mattress and pillows. You can find them online or check your local mattress store.
- Consider hard flooring instead of carpet for your home.
- Make sure you have low humidity in your home, especially in damp prone areas like the bathroom or basement. Visit an appliance store like SR Appliance Depot to pick up a dehumidifier to help.
- Clean and vacuum regularly.
It wouldn’t be a list of allergens if we didn’t mention one of the most common allergens, pollen. Pollen allergens are the cause of seasonal allergies. Common pollen allergies include grasses, ragweed and trees.
Symptoms of pollen allergies can be worse in the morning for several reasons. Pollen sticks to your clothing, which means you can carry it through your house and get it on your furniture and bedding throughout the day. If you sleep with your windows open, you are exposing yourself to pollen all night long. This can worsen morning allergy symptoms.
You can reduce your exposure to pollen by:
- Keeping your windows closed
- Taking off your shoes and jacket before coming in from outside.
- Washing your clothes and bedding regularly.
- Checking pollen levels before going out.
This one is a heartbreaker for all animal lovers, but if you suffer from allergies, it could be your dog or cat. People with pet allergies react to proteins in the dander, saliva or urine of their pets. Symptoms are more likely to appear in the morning if your pet sleeps in your bedroom with you.
If you think your pet is contributing to your morning allergies you can:
- Keep your pet out of your bedroom.
- Make sure to change your clothes before getting into bed.
With each of these allergens, you may also find relief by using an over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamine.
When You Should See a Doctor for Your Allergies
Some people have success managing their allergies with lifestyle adjustments and OTC medications. However, if you find yourself still struggling with symptoms after making these changes, the best course of action is to see an allergist.
They can use allergy testing to correctly identify what allergen is triggering your symptoms. They can also offer treatments like immunotherapy or prescription allergy medication.
If you are experiencing any asthma symptoms or trouble breathing it’s important to seek medical attention right away.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with an expert allergist, call ENT of Georgia today.