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A Midsummer’s Nightmare for Allergy Sufferers

January 2008

A Midsummer’s Nightmare for Allergy Sufferers

The arrival of summer allergies can signal the onset of sleepless nights for the bed partners of allergy sufferers, with snoring often made worse by the condition.

General Practitioner of Sleep Well Clinic, Dr Alex Bartle, said an estimated 60 percent of New Zealand adults experience snoring problems each year which can be exacerbated by summer allergies such as hay fever.

“During the summer months, people who suffer from a chronic allergy condition may snore more heavily, as the nasal passages become increasingly congested,” Dr Bartle said.

“Heavy snoring disrupts the sleeping pattern of the non-snoring partner which can cause insomnia, morning headache, daytime sleepiness and fatigue, poor short-term memory and difficulty in concentrating on tasks.

“This can often lead to tempers flaring which can impact adversely on relationships. It could also be dangerous as a fatigued person who gets out in a car and drives can potentially cause a road accident.”

Aside from an obstruction in the nasal passage, snoring is most frequently caused by excessive relaxation of muscles in the tongue and throat.

For snoring caused by overly relaxed throat tissue or congestion in the nasal passage, some of the ‘over the counter’ products available in pharmacies can be helpful in lubricating the affected areas to reduce snoring vibrations.

New Zealand distributors of Snorenz – eNZpharma – said they had been distributing their range of products in New Zealand since 2001 which comprise a throat spray and oral strips.

“During the summer months when allergies are on the increase we have noticed a spike in sales as people seek out effective treatment solutions.”

However, Dr Bartle said snorers should seek medical advice as the problem could have an adverse impact on their health.

“Snorers are more likely to have serious health problems,” he said.

“Furthermore, research shows that snoring can be associated with the adverse effects of sleep apnoea, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. It’s for those reasons as well as the health and wellbeing of the snorer’s partner that we encourage habitual snorers to speak to a specialist.”


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