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Hay Fever Symptoms at Night: Why Are They so Much Worse?

22nd January 2020

Slumber Centre

Itchy eyes, itchy throat, sneezing and headaches; allergies like hay fever can make day to day life and sleeping at night that little bit harder, but hay fever may not be the one to blame. If you suffer from symptoms similar to these mostly at night, it could be something else.

If it’s not hay fever, then what is it?

Allergic rhinitis is a common condition where the inside of the nose becomes swollen and irritated as a result of an allergic reaction.

There are two main types of allergic rhinitis; seasonal allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, and perennial allergic rhinitis, usually referred to simply as ‘allergic rhinitis’.

You may be thinking ‘this is great to know, but how do I make it stop?’.

The first thing to do is identify which type of allergic rhinitis you’re suffering from, and then you’ll be able to manage the symptom more effectively from there on.

What’s the difference between hay fever and allergic rhinitis?

It’s easy to confuse the two as they have very similar symptoms, but hay fever is triggered by pollen from grass, trees, plants and weeds, and tends to become most noticeable in early spring and the summer months.

  • Itchy eyes
  • Dry, itchy throat
  • Sneezing
  • Blocked nose or sinuses
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath

On the other hand, allergic rhinitis is an inflammation of the inside of the nose caused by indoor allergens.

While allergic rhinitis can occur at any time of day, symptoms may appear to be worse at night as it is mainly triggered by dust mites and mould spores contained within curtains, carpets, bedding and mattresses.

If you’re sneezing a lot at night, this could be a sign that you have a dust mite allergy, caused by mite allergens in your bedding and soft furnishing.

Allergic rhinitis symptoms:

  • Sneezing
  • Itchiness of the nose
  • Blocked or runny nose
  • Wheezing or tightened chest at night

Managing the symptoms of allergic rhinitis

Herdysleep Rhinitis

Now that you hopefully understand the differences between hay fever and allergic rhinitis, and you can identify which you may be suffering from, it is important that you know how to manage and treat these symptoms.

The following tips may help you ease the night time flare ups!

1. Cut down on cushions

Or, at the very least, replace synthetic inners with all-natural, wool-filled alternatives.

This means that dust mites and mould spores have one less place to hide.

2. Control allergens by keeping pets out of the bedroom

Create an allergy-free zone where you can spend time before bed away from allergy triggers.

It may be fun to have your pooch curled up next to you, but you’ll sleep better if you create a separate sleeping space for your pets.

3. Swap synthetic carpets for natural alternatives

Dust mites need a humid environment to thrive, so replacing synthetic carpets with 100% wool carpets or wooden floors eliminates the chances of dust mites settling in.

4. Choose naturally hypoallergenic bedding

This will allow you to sleep in comfort, as wool-filled duvets, wool pillows and wool mattresses all create a cool, dry environment where dust mites cannot survive.