Symptoms of itchy, tearing eyes and nasal congestion due to seasonal allergies interfere with individuals’ ability to enjoy sex, results of a study conducted in Turkey suggest. However, successful treatment with an antihistamine can help.
Seasonal allergies are known to interfere with work, school and social life. But up until now, the investigators say, there have been no studies examining sexual function in these patients.
Dr. Cengiz Kirmaz and colleagues at the Celal Bayar University Hospital in Manisa surveyed 27 women and 16 men with seasonal allergies and 40 healthy adults (20 women and 20 men).
They observed that women with untreated seasonal allergies had reduced sexual desire, arousal, ability to reach orgasm and intercourse satisfaction compared with the healthy control subjects. Allergies affected men’s erectile function, intercourse satisfaction, sexual desire and overall satisfaction with sex.
Patients with allergies were treated for 30 days with the oral antihistamine desloratadine for 30 days, after which they repeated the sexual function questionnaires. Results showed that after their symptoms were controlled, their sexual function was not significantly different from that of the healthy controls.
“The impact of allergic symptoms on the sexual functioning of our patients has been under appreciated,” Kirmaz’s team concludes in a report in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
SOURCE: Annals of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology December 2005.
Revision date: June 11, 2011
Last revised: by Andrew G. Epstein, M.D.