Your body sees allergens as foreign invaders, and your body works hard to fight them off. This ongoing battle can drain your body’s resources, leaving you feeling fatigued or with a commonly experienced “brain fog.” Additionally, allergy-related fatigue may be due to sinus congestion, keeping you from breathing easily and sleeping well. When you encounter an allergen, your body’s immune system is triggered to release cytokines which cause inflammation and often sinus congestion.
So how can you navigate allergy-related fatigue? Here are a few tips.
1. Know what you’re fighting. Get comprehensive allergy testing through either a skin or blood test. With a skin test, tiny amounts of common allergens are introduced along the back of your arms. By seeing how your body reacts, your doctor can see how sensitive you are to each allergen. A blood test may be used instead of a skin test if you are on specific medications or have significant allergic reactions.
2. Avoid your allergens. This pretty much goes without saying. Make reasonable accommodations to avoid as much exposure as possible. For example, if you are allergic to pollens, keep your household windows closed and change your clothes when you come in from spending time outside.
3. Get allergy treatment. Short-term allergy treatments include antihistamine pills, nasal steroid sprays, and combination steroid and antihistamine sprays. Treatments that can help reduce allergic reactions in the long-term include allergy drops and shots. Allergy drops, also known as sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), are a form of allergy treatment that involves administering small doses of allergen extracts under the tongue. Allergy shots work essentially the same way but are injected under the skin.
4. Keep airborne allergies out. If you suffer from airborne allergies (dust mites, pollens, fungal spores, pet dander), do your best to keep your living space clean and allergy-free. Vacuum and wash your bedding regularly, and consider using an air purifier.
I hope that you can find relief from your allergy-related fatigue. If you are in the greater Atlanta area, we would look forward to working with you one-on-one to develop a customized testing and treatment plan.