If you have allergies or allergic rhinitis, you already know that during an allergy flare you have trouble sleeping. When you can’t breathe freely, it’s harder to fall asleep, harder to stay asleep, and harder to get quality sleep. Then, when you wake up, you feel exhausted, which can make it harder to focus, drive, or function. And of course, many antihistamines, the medicines generally used to control allergies, carry a side effect of drowsiness. 

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What you may not know about your allergies is that consistent swelling in your nose can make you more likely to snore, and more vulnerable to obstructive sleep apnea. Unfortunately, that same swelling can also make it more difficult to fully treat your sleep apnea once it’s diagnosed. 

Children with allergies and a history of ear tubes have more than twice the risk of obstructive sleep apnea. Similarly, children with asthma are at high risk of obstructive sleep apnea. If your child has frequent allergies, a history of ear tubes, or asthma, look for symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. You might notice: 

•    That your child stops breathing periodically during the night
•    Regular snoring, not just during an allergy flare
•    Behavior difficulties during the day (such as hyperactivity, difficulty focusing, moodiness or inability to follow direction)

If you note these symptoms in your child, it’s very important that you contact us for a full evaluation of your child’s sleep health. 


If your child has sleep apnea, it’s possible that treating it will improve their allergic rhinitis. Sometimes, the symptoms of allergies (stuffiness, difficulty breathing, narrowed nasal and sinus passages) are related to swollen adenoid tissue, and by removing that tissue, both sleep apnea and allergic symptoms can be improved.

Many children with allergies are prescribed repeated courses of antibiotics. The latest research has linked the use of antibiotics to weight gain, which can worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea, sleepiness, lack of focus and worsen control of asthma.


Don’t let your child continue to suffer because of the poor quality of their sleep. An evaluation by a qualified pediatric sleep specialist can set them up for a lifetime of better sleep and health. Call us today to start getting a better night’s sleep for your child.