Is Your Snoring Caused by a Dust Allergy?

If you struggle to breathe through your nose at night, you may not be surprised to learn that a blocked nose is one of the main causes of snoring.

A blocked nose can often be brought on by an allergy, a likely cause of which is dust.

Dust gathers in household environments due to flaking skin. The allergy is not due to this dust, but to the dust mites it attracts.

Invisible to the naked eye, these microscopic arachnids feed on skin flakes. The waste they produce contains proteins which are a major cause of allergic symptoms in humans.

How does a blocked nose make you snore?

If you are susceptible to these dust mite allergens, then breathing through your nose may become difficult. A blocked nose can cause you to snore in several ways:

  • Nasal breathing becomes noisy with whistling, popping or rumbling sounds.
  • Nasal breathing through a partially blocked nose can create suction forces which narrow the upper airway to produce the typical soft-palate snore.
  • It can become impossible to breathe through a blocked nose, so you are forced to instead breathe through your mouth. This changes your face shape which narrows your airway.

How do I know if I have allergies?

If you suspect that allergies are causing your snoring, ask yourself the following:

  • Do you have carpets and other soft-furnishings in your home? Carpets can easily trap dust and dust mites.
  • Do you snore less away from home? Record your snoring with SnoreLab and make a note of where you have slept. See and hear the difference that your environment makes.
  • Do your symptoms arrive suddenly? Allergic symptoms are faster acting than the symptoms of a common cold.
  • Do you have itchy eyes and throat as well as a blocked nose?

10 tips to manage allergy-related snoring

To stop allergies ruining you and your partner’s sleep, the key is to clean and clean thoroughly:

1. Vacuum like you’ve never vacuumed before

Get the vacuum cleaner out more often and vacuum those forgotten places in your bedroom that have trapped years-worth of dust. You’d be amazed at where dust can get.

2. Check your vacuum cleaner

Vacuum cleaning a room is all very well and good if the dust isn’t fired straight back out again. Make sure your vacuum cleaner has an in-built HEPA filter to trap the dust you suck up.

3. Move things around

Dust can accumulate when furniture stays in the same place for a while. Engage in some anti-snoring feng shui to reveal those places where dust can hide and make your snoring worse. Whilst this may agitate the dust in the short-term, wait a bit and then simply deploy the vacuum cleaner again.

4. Wash bedding

As well as frequently washing bed covers, it is also a good idea to wash the pillows and duvet too as they can also trap dust.

5. Use allergy-proof bedding covers

Once you are sure your bedding is clean, invest in some allergy-proof bedding covers to prevent the dust from returning.

6. Flip your mattress

Just as dust can hide on furniture, it can hide also hide on your mattress. Flip it and clean it every once in a while, and consider a mattress protector.

7. Consider getting rid of carpets

If your dust allergies are really affecting you and making your snoring intolerable, it might be time to get rid of the carpets in your home. The drastic measure could make drastic differences to your snoring.

8. Fit roller blinds instead of drapes/curtains

Drapes/curtains are another place that dust and dust mites love. Roller blinds with simple designs and hard surfaces will trap dust less and are much easier to clean

9. Regularly wipe hard surfaces

After time, even hard surfaces will start to accumulate dust and dust mites. Giving them a wipe down with a damp cloth every now and then is a great way to keep them dust-free.

10. Use a neti pot

Cleaning allergies out of your life isn’t just about cleaning your environment, it’s also about cleaning your body, specifically your nose. If your nose is stuffy, rid yourself of allergens trapped in nasal mucus with a neti pot. This snoring remedy uses salt water with the assistance of gravity to flush out your nose and ease congestion.

Conclusion

Allergies can make the nights an unpleasant experience for you and your partner if a blocked nose makes your snoring worse. If you are a hay fever sufferer, the outdoors is a trial; with dust allergies, the indoors is no better. Hopefully, by following these tips, you can banish dust and snoring from your bedroom for good.

References

  1. Cui Y. Structural biology of mite allergens. Molecular Biology Reports 2013; 40(1): 681-686. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11033-012-2108-8

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