Sneezy and dopey? Seasonal allergy symptoms and your mind

Sneezy and dopey? Seasonal allergy symptoms and your mind

The nice and cozy climate pollen increase could set off mind fog, in addition to watering eyes and stuffy or drippy nostril.

Sneezy and dopey? Seasonal allergy symptoms and your mind

Ah, ’tis the season for warm-weather allergy symptoms brought on by timber, grass, and ragweed pollen. You recognize the indicators: sneezing, watery eyes, stuffiness, scratchy throat, wheezing, and coughing. However what about so-called mind fog? Which may be true for you, too.

Why do allergy symptoms make your mind really feel so foggy?

“Allergy signs can disrupt sleep and make folks really feel extra drained and groggy,” says Dr. Mariana Castells, an allergist and immunologist within the division of Allergy and Scientific Immunology at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Ladies’s Hospital. “Plus, your physique can grow to be weaker because it fights the irritation triggered by allergy symptoms, contributing to general fatigue and making it more durable to pay attention and focus.”

What occurs to your immune system if you inhale pollen?

While you inhale pollen, your immune system generates antibodies known as immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies set off the discharge of chemical compounds known as mediators, akin to histamine, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins. The chemical compounds have an effect on tissues within the eyes, nostril, and throat,  inflicting signs like sneezing and watering eyes.

4 methods to forestall or ease mind fog stemming from seasonal allergy symptoms

Managing your allergy signs once they first seem — or taking preventive measures if you’re susceptible to pollen allergy symptoms — is one of the best ways to regulate the allergic immune response that may trigger fatigue and mind fog. These 4 methods might help.

Decrease your publicity to pollen

  • Maintain your home windows closed each time potential, and infrequently run an air conditioner or use an air air purifier with a HEPA filter to assist take away pollen from indoor air.
  • Pollen is normally highest from about 4 a.m. to midday, so limit exterior time to the late afternoon or night.
  • You possibly can test every day pollen counts in your space and join excessive pollen alerts at
  • Sporting a masks exterior when pollen is excessive can block about 70% to 80% of pollen, says Dr. Castells.

Be ready with over-the-counter allergy medicines

Over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medicines deal with many signs, thus serving to to elevate mind fog. It is best to speak to your physician or pharmacist earlier than beginning any new medication, particularly when you’ve got any well being issues or take different medicines.

Choices embrace:

  • Non-drowsy antihistamine capsules and nasal sprays. Antihistamines block the results of extra histamine that causes itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, and a runny nostril. Sprays additionally assist with congestion and postnasal drip. “Bear in mind that even non-drowsy manufacturers have potential for some sedation that may have an effect on considering,” says Dr. Castells. “Folks tolerate antihistamines in another way, so you’ll have to strive a couple of model to evaluate effectiveness and potential unwanted side effects.” Loratadine (Claritin), cetirizine (Zyrtec), and fexofenadine (Allegra) are much less sedating than first-generation antihistamines akin to diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
  • Decongestant capsules, akin to phenylephrine (Sudafed PE) and pseudoephedrine (Sifedrine, Sudafed). Decongestants shrink tiny blood vessels, which decreases fluid secretion in nasal passages, serving to to unclog a stuffy nostril. Nonetheless, they will enhance coronary heart fee and blood strain. They don’t seem to be beneficial for extended use, so test along with your physician when you’ve got coronary heart or blood strain issues. Decongestant nasal sprays, akin to oxymetazoline (Afrin), could also be used for a number of days, however continued use can result in worsening nasal congestion.
  • Mixed antihistamine and decongestant medicines have “D” added at finish of brand name names, akin to Zyrtec-D, Allegra-D, and Claritin-D, which mix totally different antihistamine medicines with the decongestant pseudoephedrine.
  • Nasal steroid sprays, akin to triamcinolone (Nasacort), budesonide (Rhinocort), and fluticasone (Flonase), scale back irritation that causes congestion, runny or itchy nostril, and sneezing. “It is typically finest to take them earlier than pollen season begins, particularly if you’re inclined to allergy symptoms,” says Dr. Castells. Unintended effects could embrace nasal dryness and, not often, nostril bleeds. Folks with glaucoma ought to take these cautiously, as they will elevate the strain inside the attention, resulting in potential imaginative and prescient loss.

Contemplate prescription allergy photographs or tablets

If allergy symptoms are extreme or OTC cures aren’t adequate, an allergist could advocate allergy photographs, or presumably tablets designed to deal with sure allergy symptoms.

  • Allergy photographs are common injections of small quantities of your allergen, with the dose step by step growing over time. “Allergy photographs don’t utterly eradicate your allergy however change your immune response to raised tolerate it,” says Dr. Castells. Throughout a buildup part, the allergen dose will increase step by step in a couple of times weekly photographs for 3 to 6 months. Throughout the upkeep part, you get month-to-month injections for 3 to 5 years. “While you’re completed, the protecting impact can final a number of years,” says Dr. Castells.
  • Tablets to deal with grass and weed allergy symptoms supply related safety as injections. These tablets are dissolved beneath the tongue. Dr. Castells says they need to be used every day earlier than and throughout the pollen seasons for no less than 5 seasons.

Strive a nasal rinse

Want to skip drugs? Strive clearing your nasal cavity twice every day utilizing saline resolution in a small bulb syringe or neti pot, which resembles a small teapot with an extended spout. Each are offered at drugstores and on-line. Carried out as soon as within the morning and within the night, this easy method rinses away pollen.