Nasal Allergies May Dim Sex Life
Chronic Sneezing, Runny or Stuffy Nose May Leave Patients Feeling Tired and Less Than Sexy, Researchers Suggest
Sept. 11, 2009 -- Having nasal allergies may dim
people's sex lives, researchers report.
symptoms such as sneezing and having a runny or stuffy nose may be to
blame, note father-and-son research team Michael Benninger, MD, of the
Cleveland Clinic and Ryan Benninger of Miami University in Oxford,
"Even the simple act of kissing may be altered by these symptoms. Many
people may not feel 'sexy' or may actually be embarrassed by their symptoms so
that they would avoid intimate contact," the Benningers wrote in a recent
edition of Allergy and Asthma Proceedings.
The Benningers analyzed quality-of-life surveys completed by 320 nasal
allergy patients, 337 patients with nasal problems other than allergies, and 44
people without nasal problems.
Those surveys included a question about fatigue
and another question about the extent to which the person's nasal problems
affected their sexual activity.
Few people reported that nasal problems were taking a heavy toll on their
sex lives. But those reports were most likely to come from nasal allergy
About 17% of people with nasal allergies reported that their problem "almost
always" or "always" affects their sexual activity, compared to 5% of people
with other nasal problems and none of the healthy people.
Tiredness might also be a factor; 42% of the nasal allergy patients said
they didn't sleep well because
of their nasal problem, compared to 31% of people with other nasal problems and
none of the healthy people.
The survey only had one question about sexual activity, and the answers to
those questions don't identify the cause of those sexual problems.
"Although it is a single question and it does not give enough detail to
identify the specific effect on sexual activity, this study does suggest that
this may be a more significant problem for allergic rhinitis
[nasal allergy] patients than has been identified before," the researchers
In the journal, Michael Benninger, MD, discloses financial ties to various
drug companies; Ryan Benninger says that he has no financial relationships to
disclose. The study itself was funded by the Cleveland Clinic's Head and Neck