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Can Allergies Cause High Blood Pressure?

April 12th, 2017 | 1 min. read

By Michelle Headley, M.D.


Allergies do not directly cause high blood pressure, but can be an indirect factor due to inflammation. 

High blood pressure can lead to a number of serious health concerns, like heart disease, which is why it is important to understand how allergies can lead to high blood pressure.

Allergies, Inflammation and Blood Pressure

When your body is exposed to an allergen, like pollen or dust, your immune system tries to protect the body by producing antibodies to fight the allergen. This process, called inflammation, is what causes the allergic reaction(s) you experience.  

An inflammatory response to allergens increases blood flow to the affected area. Inflammation can also constrict blood vessels and arteries that lead to major organs like the heart and kidneys. This stiffening of the arteries can lead to elevated blood pressure, and is harmful if left untreated. 

How Can Allergies Lead to High Blood Pressure?

Allergies can have a cyclical effect that causes high blood pressure. For example, if you have seasonal allergies, you may have a constantly stuffy nose.


While a stuffy nose can be annoying, you may not see it as cause for concern. However, nasal congestion caused by allergies can lead to sleep apnea, a much more serious health concern.

Sleep apnea occurs when your breathing is interrupted during sleep. Sleep apnea is often caused when airways become constricted, as they do when you experience nasal congestion due to allergies.

This inflammation of airways during sleep can lead to high blood pressure, which can in turn worsen your sleep apnea and your nasal congestion.

Over time, high blood pressure due to untreated sleep apnea can lead to heart disease or even stroke. Learn when your allergies become a medical concern.  

Allergy Treatment Options

Managing allergies can decrease your risk of high blood pressure. Based on your medical history, your PartnerMD physician will recommend preventive treatment options before prescribing medication.

These steps may include local treatments like saline washes to clear nasal passages. If your allergies persist despite preventive measures, your doctor may then recommend prescription nasal sprays to combat allergy symptoms.

If you have coexisting health issues, your doctor may recommend against certain medications, such as pseudoephedrine, which can actually increase blood pressure.

Concierge medicine ensures that your doctor takes the time to really understand the cause of your allergy symptoms. While allergies are not a direct cause of high blood pressure, untreated allergy symptoms can lead to health issues that cause high blood pressure.

Keep your blood pressure in check, and contact PartnerMD today to learn more about an allergy management plan that works for you.

Michelle Headley, M.D.