Seasonal Allergies May Increase Erectile Dysfunction

Man blowing his nose into a tissue.

A runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes are not the only symptoms of seasonal allergies.

As if seasonal allergies weren’t bothersome enough, it now turns out that they can lead to erectile dysfunction. Medical researchers have not yet pinned down the precise cause of seasonal allergy-related ED, but they believe the increased inflammation characteristic of allergic reactions somehow impedes blood flow and interferes with normal erectile function.

Making matters even worse is the finding that many of the antihistamines routinely taken to minimize the runny nose and watery eyes caused by seasonal allergies sometimes exacerbate the problem. These drugs, most of which are sold over the counter, can make you sleepy — not exactly conducive to romance — and interfere with the workings of your central nervous system.

Study Explores the Link

A study led by Michael S. Benninger, M.D., chairman of the Cleveland Clinic’s Head and Neck Institute, explored the effects of allergic rhinitis (AR) on sexual activity, sleep, and energy levels. Study participants included a number of patients diagnosed with AR, as well as a like number of normal or non-AR patients.

The study’s findings were published in the July-August 2009 issue of “Allergy and Asthma Proceedings.” Researchers concluded that “AR has a significant negative impact on sexual function and can result in sleep disturbances and fatigue. . . .” An even larger study, conducted in Taiwan, found that men with AR had a far higher rate of ED than those who did not suffer from AR.

What to do? Your best bet is to avoid the allergens that trigger your allergic reactions. These substances include pollen, mold spores, dust, and animal dander. Yeah, it’s easier said than done, but following these tips from might help:

  • Stay inside your home on dry, windy days.
  • Delegate outdoor chores to family members who don’t suffer from AR.
  • If you must go outside, remove and wash the clothes you wore outside and shower to wash the pollen from hair and skin.
  • Don’t hang your laundry out to dry. It can pick up pollen and other irritants.

If you should find that seasonal allergies are causing erection problems, taking Viagra or another ED drug could give you the extra boost you need. To learn more about ED, its causes, and the medications available to treat it, visit’s Erectile Dysfunction page.

Don Amerman has spent more than three decades in the business of writing and editing. During the last 15 years, his focus has been on freelance writing. For almost all of his writing, He has done all of his own research, both online and off, including telephone and face-to-face interviews where possible. Don Amerman on Google+