If you wake up congested, you might assume you have a cold. However, if you find yourself regularly waking up with congestion, itchy eyes and a runny nose you might be suffering from morning allergies.
Morning allergies have the same symptoms as seasonal allergies, just with stronger symptoms in the morning. These symptoms include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Puffy eyes
- Itchy ears
- Sinus headache
More severe allergies might trigger asthma symptoms like wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing. Seek immediate medical attention for any of these symptoms.
Let’s look at two of the biggest morning allergy triggers, as well as what you can do to reduce your exposure to them.
Biggest Morning Allergy Triggers
Pollen Getting Inside
A pollen allergy is one of the most common allergies. Also known as hay fever, pollen allergies affect 7.7% of adults and 7.2% of children in the United States. Plants release pollen in the spring, summer and fall, with some peaking more during springtime, and others later in the year. This is why pollen allergies are considered seasonal. Common pollen allergies include grasses, ragweed and trees.
Pollen can be a source of morning allergies for several reasons. If you sleep with your window open, you’re potentially exposing yourself to pollen all night long. Pollen also tends to stick to clothing, so if you or your family members are outside all day and then come in you can carry pollen with you inside the house.
Tips to Reduce Morning Allergies Caused by Pollen
- Check your local pollen levels and make sure to keep your windows closed when they are high.
- Shower before bed to remove pollen from your skin and hair.
- Don’t get in bed with clothes you wore outside.
- Try over-the-counter allergy medicine to prevent or alleviate symptoms.
Dust Mites Hiding in Your Home
Dust mites are microscopic pests. They are closely related to ticks and spiders, and thrive in warm, humid environments. Dust mite allergies occur year-round because they live in your home. While they can live anywhere in the house, they tend to prefer bedding, carpets, curtains and upholstered furniture.
If you are allergic to dust mites, you might notice worse symptoms in the morning (and at night) because they live in your bedding.
Tips to Reducing Morning Allergies Caused by Dust Mites
While you can’t completely eliminate dust mites from your home, you can take steps to reduce your exposure by:
- Getting a dehumidifier to lower the humidity in your home
- Washing your bedding weekly
- Getting dust mite covers for your mattress and pillows
- Dusting hard surfaces and vacuuming carpets, especially in the bedroom
- Contact a flooring company like Eagle Flooring West and see about replacing carpet with hard flooring. If you can’t replace all carpets, prioritize the one in your bedroom.
If prevention methods and over-the-counter antihistamines aren’t enough to control your morning allergies, consider making an appointment with an allergist. They can run blood and skin tests to identify your triggers and create a treatment plan that works to manage your symptoms.
For more information about allergy solutions or to schedule an appointment, call Arizona Desert ENT Specialists today.