Medical Disorders and Sleep

Allergies and Sleep

Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is a group of symptoms affecting the nose that causes irritation and inflammation of the nasal passages. Common allergens include pollen, mold, dust mites, or pet dander. For people with allergies, coming into contact with allergens triggers the release of a chemical in the body causing sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and nasal congestion. Allergies can cause poor sleep and result in significant daytime sleepiness and fatigue.

Sleep disturbances are common for people who suffer from allergies. Research has shown that sleep is significantly impaired by allergies depending on the severity of the symptoms. Sleep problems can cause daytime sleepiness, decreased productivity, impaired learning and memory, depression, and a reduced quality of life.

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Asthma and Sleep

Medically known as reactive airway disease, asthma is a chronic lung condition which affects about 20 million Americans, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Researchers use the term “nocturnal asthma” in relation to asthma symptoms worsening at night. Sleep problems are common for those with asthma, as sufferers may experience nighttime coughing, wheezing and breathlessness. Other symptoms include chest tightness, shortness of breath and daytime sleepiness.

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Sleep

Lung disorders such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic asthma are included in the term chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The symptoms include breathing difficulty, chronic cough, fatigue, and tightening of the chest. COPD can cause reduced blood oxygen saturation levels which lead to fatigue and adverse health conditions.

Sleep problems are common due to the symptoms and medications used to treat COPD. Breathing pattern changes that occur during normal sleep which may not affect healthy people can cause more severe consequences in COPD patients. These breathing patterns may worsen and complicate the condition as they naturally reduce blood oxygen levels.

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Fibromyalgia and Sleep

Fibromyalgia is a disorder which causes widespread pain and stiffness of the muscles and joints, as well as problems with fatigue, sleep, memory and mood. It can also cause tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), anxiety and depression.

The relationship between fibromyalgia and sleep disorders is cyclical in nature. As lack of sleep worsens the disorder, the pain, in turn, makes it even more difficult to sleep. Fortunately, treating the sleep disturbances usually leads to improvement of fibromyalgia symptoms. Those suffering from fibromyalgia should seek treatment from a specialist so they can improve their sleep, as well as their pain symptoms.

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Ringing Ear and Sleep

If you’ve ever experienced a ringing, buzzing or hissing sound in your ears, you’re not alone. Chronic “ringing ear,” medically known as tinnitus, affects about 1 in 5 people or 36 million Americans. It affects men more often than women, and is more common in people over 40 years old. Tinnitus isn’t a disorder in itself, but a symptom of a larger problem, such as age-related hearing loss, a circulatory system disorder, or injury to the ear. In some cases, medications are to blame for tinnitus, such as aspirin, antibiotics or diuretics.

A study including 117 patients with tinnitus found that the more severe their insomnia, the more they had complaints about their ringing ear symptoms. This, in turn, also heightened their emotional distress. Treatment of insomnia in tinnitus patients may reduce the symptoms of ringing ear.

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If you are interested in finding out more about medical disorders and their affect on sleep, call The Los Angeles Sleep Study Institute at 1-855-690-0563 and one of our representatives will be happy to answer any of your questions.