Are Allergies Hurting Your Sex
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Love is in
the air. Unfortunately so is pollen, animal dander, dust mites and other common
environmental allergies. Do you let allergies get in the way of a satisfying
love life? If you answered “Yes”, you are not alone.
Researchers in the United States polled about 700 people to ask about sexual
function, sleep, and fatigue. The study participants were in their 30’s and
40’s. About half of the respondents said they had allergic rhinitis. Those with
allergic rhinitis were not taking treatments for their condition.
Researchers were surprised to find that 83%
of the people with allergies said that their allergies affected their sex lives.
Even more surprising, 18% of the allergy
sufferers said their condition nearly always got in the way of their having a
satisfying sex life. “I was kind of surprised that it made that much of a
difference,” said study author Dr. Michael Benninger, chairman of the Head and
Neck Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.
If your allergies interfere with your sleep or cause you to have fatigue you
might just be too tired to engage in sexual activity. If you cough all night or
are unable to breathe freely, you will not sleep well and awake refreshed. While
many people associated itchy, watery eyes and runny noses and coughing with
allergies, few realize that fatigue is also a common symptom. Whether the
fatigue comes from interrupted sleep or is a result of the constant inflammation
that occurs because of allergies; the fatigue can be very real. If just getting
through your necessary daily activities is a struggle you might not have the
energy for a fulfilling sex life…or any sex life for that matter.
Your allergies might make you feel less than desirable to your partner as well.
Allergic shiners, those dark circles under the eyes, can make you feel like you
look like the walking dead. Increased blood flow to the sinus area causes the
darkening of the skin under the eyes. In addition, allergies can affect your
sense of smell. If your sense of smell has been dulled by allergies, you will
not be able to pick up the pheromones emitted by your partner. These pheromones
may be subtle but they are involved in your desire for sex. On the other hand,
it might be that you feel self-conscious about coughing or wheezing that is
caused by physical activity. I think everyone would agree that having your nose
drip on your partner would be embarrassing and a mood killer.
Having allergies does not have to kill your sex life. Getting your allergies
under control will get your life back under control. Just take a few proactive
Avoid Exposure – If you are allergic to pets, remove them from the bedroom and
close the door to keep them out of the room. Bathe furred pets monthly with pet
shampoo especially formulated to remove pet allergen (such as Pet+). If this is
not possible, apply a coat conditioner (such as Allerpet) weekly to achieve the
same result. If you are allergic to dust and dust mites, encase your mattress,
box spring, and pillows with special zippered dust mite proof covers and wash
sheets weekly in 140°F water. If you have seasonal allergies, invest in a nasal
irrigator or neti pot. These use a sterile saline solution to rinse pollen and
debris gently from the nasal and sinus passages reducing the amount of inhaled
allergen that makes it into your body.
Assess Your Medication – Discuss your medications with your doctor. If you
usually take antihistamine but it makes you drowsy, ask for a non-drowsy
formula. If you find that Zyrtex does not work for you try Claritin or a nasal
steroid like Nasonex.
Care for Your Immune System – Make sure to drink plenty of water to stay
hydrated. This is especially important if you take antihistamines as they can
dry skin and membranes, making sexual encounters uncomfortable. Get adequate
nutrition and supplement with vitamins if necessary. Exercise regularly and get
plenty of sleep.
Do not be part of the 83%. Your loved one will thank you for it.