Seasonal allergies are a common cause of frustration wherever you may live. However, while coughing, sneezing, and utterly miserable levels of congestion are common symptoms of a relatively innocuous allergic reaction, there is one allergy symptom that tends to slip under our radar. Let’s take a look at how allergies and fatigue disrupt millions of American’s lives. For more information on allergy treatment in New York, reach out to Dr. Shukla today!
Allergies and fatigue are a trying combination. Commonly referred to as “brain fog,” allergy sufferers often experience fatigue in conjunction with their other symptoms. Fatigue is, in fact, the most severe symptom of everyday allergies. “Brain fog” can make it difficult to concentrate. It makes everyday tasks more difficult. Additionally, it compounds the effects of other symptoms as the body struggles to deal with its own immune response while simultaneously experiencing sleep deprivation.
What Causes “Brain Fog?”
Coincidentally, it isn’t just lack of sleep that causes that familiar fuzziness. It is true that your normal allergy symptoms, including congestion, make it more difficult for your body to sleep comfortably. Obstructed breathing interrupts your normal sleep cycle, which is why you often wake up feeling tired during your worst allergy seasons. However, another immune response is also responsible for the fatigue you’re feeling.
When you are exposed to allergens or any foreign body, your body launches an attack on the intruder. Your immune system’s primary method of defense is inflammation. Although largely irritating, inflammation is an important tool in your immune system’s arsenal. According to Medline Plus, inflammation allows your body to create a protective layer around the foreign body, preventing any further contact with any vulnerable tissues.
The Cleveland Clinic explains that your body releases a protein known as a cytokine during its immune response. These proteins trigger inflammation, typically targeting your sinuses. The swelling of the sinuses is partially responsible for the foggy-feeling you experience, as it often makes your head and face feel heavy.
Fighting Back Against Allergies and Fatigue
Given that fatigue is a part of your immune response, it can seem almost impossible to avoid. However, there are ways you can combat your allergies on a daily basis.
The first step is to identify the source. This can be achieved through a comprehensive allergy test. These tests can take three different forms: skin tests, blood tests, and physical examinations. Skin tests are most common and typically involve creating a grid on a patient’s back, where they are pricked with an infinitesimal sample of an allergen. These tests can help your allergy doctor rule out dozens of options as they try to find what allergens are making you miserable. This is how they build the best treatment plan for you. By contrast, physical examinations are typically reserved for patients with more severe reactions. These include symptoms that manifest on the skin or lead to lasting inflammation.
From there, your allergy doctor will be able to identify your best options for treatment. Dr. Mayank Shukla is a New York pulmonologist who specializes in comprehensive allergy treatment. He breaks allergy treatment options into three major categories:
- Allergy Drops: These can eventually provide total allergy relief, but it can take up to six months for patients to see results.
- Over-the-Counter Medications: Antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays are all easy to obtain, temporary solutions for allergy sufferers. However, they must be taken every time you experience symptoms.
- Inhibitors: Specifically, these include Leukotriene inhibitors and mast cell inhibitors. Although you must take them regularly, they can provide long term relief.
Allergy Treatment in New York City
Although Dr. Shukla is careful to present patients with cautious optimism, his fifteen years of experience in the field have made him one of the country’s top practitioners. Voted “Best Pulmonologist in New York” in 2018 and 2019, Dr. Shukla has also been the recipient of “Vitals Compassionate Doctor Award” for nine years running. This makes him one of the most qualified and compassionate sources for your allergy treatment in New York City. If you are ready to end your allergies and fatigue, contact Dr. Shukla’s offices at your earliest convenience.