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Allergies Dampen Sex Lives
Date:9/10/2009

Study finds 83 percent of people with allergic rhinitis say it kills the mood

THURSDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Having allergies can take a toll on your sex life, new research shows.

When polled, 83 percent of people with allergic rhinitis said it affected their sexual activity at least sometimes, with almost 18 percent of those affected saying their allergies nearly always got in the way of 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.

Commercials for allergy relief products tend to focus on helping people get back to enjoying an active lifestyle, such as taking their kids to the park, Benninger said. Rarely is there mention of sex lives, and that could be because it's an area that has been studied so little, he noted.

Allergic rhinitis, also called hay fever, affects 10 to 40 percent of the U.S. population, according to the researchers. Symptoms include a runny nose, congestion and sinus pressure. Those affected are reacting to indoor or airborne allergens such as pollens and dust mites.

Benninger's team also found that allergic rhinitis was linked with sleep problems, which other studies have found as well. The study was published recently in Allergy and Asthma Proceedings.

The researchers polled about 700 people, roughly half with allergic rhinitis, asking questions about sexual function, sleep and fatigue. The participants averaged in their late 30s to mid-40s, and those with allergic rhinitis were not being treated for their allergies.

Though about 17 percent of those with allergic rhinitis said they always or almost always noticed an adverse impact on their sex life, just 5 percent of those who did not have the condition said their sex life wasn't good.

Exactly why the allergies affect sexual
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