Infant with reddish nose  lying on a crib

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The woman who divorced her noisy husband told her friends that she was allergic to his snoring.   However, what she didn’t realize is that his snoring was due to allergies.

The trumpeting noise associated with snoring is generated by airflow trying to push its way through an blocked airway. While snoring is not an illness,  it can be symptomatic of other health problems,  even an allergic reaction.

Allergic rhinitis is a health condition in which the membrane lining the nose and throat become inflamed. Usually, the inflamed membrane lining creates an obstruction in the airway, which in turn causes snoring.  This condition is normally triggered by an allergic reaction to an inhaled substance.  In addition, seasonal allergic rhinitis is also known as hay fever.

Seasonal allergic rhinitis is usually due to grass,  trees, and other plant pollens, and occurs mainly in spring and summer when pollen counts are generally high. Perennial allergic rhinitis lasts yearlong , and is usually caused by an allergy to mold spores, animal fur,   dust mites, feathers,  or house dust.

The symptoms of allergic rhinitis are quite obvious:

* Blocked or runny nose

* Sneezing

* Red, itchy, watery eyes

* Irritated or itchy nose

* Snoring

* Nosebleeds (although not common)

* Headache

If you believe that you are suffering from an allergic reaction, but you’re unsure of the cause, your doctor can conduct a skin prick allergy test.  Such tests, however, are not fully conclusive, as some allergens will avoid identification.

In the event that you’ve pinpointed the cause of your reaction and taken measures to avoid it, your symptoms should subside very rapidly without further treatment. Some allergens, like pollen, are actually impossible to avoid.  In this case, it may be necessary to take an anti-allergy medication to find relief.

Anti-allergy medicines, in the form of nasal spray, often contain sodium cromoglicate, a substance that blocks the allergy. Nasal sprays can be used as decongestants, but long-term use is not advisable. Corticosteroid drugs are often recommended for hay fever, although their effectiveness is not instantaneous. Oral antihistamines may be used along with a decongestant to relieve itching and inflammation.

If allergic rhinitis is a persistent concern, your doctor might suggest immunotherapy, a procedure that desensitizes the immune system. Immunotherapy patients are injected with a series of gradually increasing doses of the allergen, to encourage the body to allow the substance without reacting. While immunotherapy can be an effective cure for some allergy sufferers, it can take as many as four years for the treatment to be completed, and it is not always successful.

If you feel your snoring problem is caused by allergic rhinitis, there are quite a few treatments available to help alleviate the problem.  Try to stay away from obvious allergens like furry animals.  Use quilts and pillows  with synthetic stuffing rather than feathers or down.  In addition, cover your mattress with a mite proof membrane.  Eliminate soft furnishings and clean regularly to prevent dust collecting.  Avoid visiting areas with newly cut or long grass.  Buy a pollen filter for your car and a HEPA filter for your home.

By avoiding the causes, you allergic reactions should lessen, and your allergy-induced snoring can disappear altogether.

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