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Can Allergy Shots Cause Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Posted Nov 16 2010 10:05pm

During a routine visit, a patient of mine commented that he noticed an interesting phenomenon whenever he checks his wife’s CPAP compliance data. Normally, her RDI hovers around 3-4, and she’s fine, but whenever it goes up to 7-8 or above, she’s more cranky, tired and irritable. In particular, these spikes correlate with the days immediately after she undergoes allergy shots.

Immunotherapy, or allergy shots, is meant to cause a reaction by your immune system, and in the process, produces inflammation. If this inflammation and swelling occurs in her nose, then it’s conceivable that additionally nasal resistance can increased your CPAP pressure needs.

Inflammation or swelling caused by colds, allergies or infections of the nose can aggravate OSA by increasing vacuum pressures downstream, allowing the tongue to fall back more easily. This is one simple reason why you don’t sleep well when you have allergies or a cold.

Do you have similar experiences? Do you not sleep well after undergoing allergy shots?

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