By Heather Legg
It’s the height of spring allergies. Everywhere I go, I hear people discussing allergies and their symptoms. It’s hitting adults, it’s hitting kids; I think allergies have even hit my dog. What I have realized this season is there are a lot of symptoms that we might get that aren’t the typical allergy symptoms of sneezing, itchy eyes or scratchy throat. The one that I think has got me the most is fatigue.
I’m not as much of an allergy sufferer as the rest of my family is. We deal with food allergies, skin allergies, seasonal allergies, and I mostly just take care of everyone. Every now and then I’ll have a reaction to cat hair or mold, but other than that, I like to call myself pretty free from allergies. But this season, it’s a little different. I am tired!!
I know most moms are tired most of the time; we just don’t get enough sleep. But the past couple of weeks, when our area’s pollen count has sky-rocketed, I have been exhausted! It’s been the kind of tiredness where I just have to lie down, or even if I only plan on “resting” for a minute, I am out. It struck me the other day, this must be allergy related.
So after a little research, I discovered a whole new list of allergy symptoms, besides the sneezing and runny nose. Not only is exhaustion a symptom, but so is depression, loss of focus and attention, and general weariness. These can exist with or without the nasal/eye type symptoms.
Just as with any symptom, we need to find what works for us to relieve it. Of course, try to avoid the pollen just as you would with others symptoms (avoid outdoor activity, shower at night…) I found a lot of specific recommendations for exhaustion and most of them suggested taking an OTC antihistamine even if those types of symptoms are non-existent. Claritin got good reports for dealing with allergy related fatigue. You definitely want to take an allergy med that is non-drowsy. There are a lot to choose from so it may take a little trial and error.
Another recommendation is get more sleep. I know that seems pretty obvious, but do we really do it? And it wasn’t so much to sleep when that’s all you think you can do, but get more hours at night. Even an extra 30 to 60 minutes was found to be beneficial. That extra time at night should give you more energy during the day.
This goes to show that allergies can continually surprise us. Our symptoms can develop, disappear or change as we get older. So though I like to say the pollen doesn’t bother me, yawn, I think I need to, yawn, admit that it does. So after my nap today, I think I may try some Claritin…