Can Allergies Make You Tired?

Drowsiness is something we all fight, but for many different reasons. Pinpointing those reasons is the first step to avoiding it and getting on with your life.”

Many of us are all too familiar with allergies. We live in a very rich environment here in East Tennessee, so pollen (or hay fever) is quite common. 

As ENT specialists, it’s our duty to provide the best care and prevention information we can to everyone in our community. We get a lot of questions regarding allergies, and determining what the symptoms are is usually the first one. 

Now that we have the internet at our disposal, it’s easy to try and self-diagnose, but the results will be difficult to quantify. Many conditions can cause the same symptoms as allergies, and fatigue is one of the most common among all illnesses. 

While tiredness can be a symptom, it’s not the only one. Let’s look at other aspects of allergies that can arise if you leave your condition unattended.   

Common Symptoms of Allergies

  • Fatigue or Weakness — Yes, allergies can make you tired. This is a result of your body fighting off the foreign invader. Whether it’s from pollen, animals, or food, your body is preoccupied with trying to eliminate it, which may drain your energy.
  • Runny Nose — One of the most common complaints we see is a runny nose. We know of several things that can cause your nose to run or for your nose to feel stopped up. Although sometimes it can be caused by infection.
  • Sneezing — One of the main ways we can differentiate between infection causes and allergic causes is when people have sneezing and itching. Sneezing and itching are very specific to allergies.
  • Headaches — We certainly see people that suffer from nasal allergies and irritation in their nose and can have headaches as a primary symptom of their allergies.
If You or a Loved One Suspect Allergies, Please Schedule An Assessment Right Now

How to Help a Loved One with Allergies

The first step for just about everyone is to start with a nasal steroid or with at least a nasal saline rinse. Those are both really safe interventions. They don’t have many side effects because they’re just topical treatments within the nose, and they don’t require you to be on an oral medication.

We almost always start with nasal saline rinse just to rinse the allergens out of the nose and then a nasal steroid such as fluticasone that will help the nose to be less over-reactive. 

We’ll also encourage patients to try an antihistamine. A lot of the non-drowsy antihistamines are available as a generic and can be found over the counter and are relatively cheap.

Treatment Options For Allergies

I always tell people that you probably don’t need to see a doctor if you can manage your allergies well and you’re not seeing symptoms once they’re treated with the easy and safe stuff. 

If somebody tells me that they take Cetirizine at home that they got from the grocery store, and they don’t have a lot of allergy symptoms while on it, they probably don’t need to see an ENT or an allergist for a workup. 

Many folks who take those medicines only get a partial response. They don’t really feel like their symptoms are all that much better. 

In the cases that you’ve tried and failed some of the common and easy stuff, that’s when it’s probably a good idea to see a specialist so that we can get you in and evaluate you and see if there’s anything else we can do to help. 

What is the First Step to Receiving Treatment

If you’ve tried everything from over the counter and are still not getting the desired result, please come see us for an evaluation. 

Assessing your specific situation is the only option at that point, and we’d be happy to step in and help you find relief. If you have any questions beforehand, you can always contact us, and we can discuss your options over the phone. 

We always want to ensure everyone in East Tennessee gets the care they need to continue enjoying their lives as comfortably as possible. 

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Nicholas J. Panella, M.D.

Growing up in Knoxville, Nicholas went to Webb High School. While no day is the same, as he is constantly managing different projects as a general ENT, his practice specializes in head and neck cancer. The job can be difficult; however, he loves to work alongside a wonderful group of doctors and providers who all want to work together to help ensure patients have the best possible outcome. Everyone is so supportive of each other and loves to bring new techniques and surgical options to the East TN area. Outside of work, he dedicates his time to his wife and two young kids. They enjoy spending time on the lake, fishing, mountain biking, and snowboarding. He is also involved with his local church and the Emerald Youth Foundation

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