Managing incontinence symptoms during allergy season

Managing incontinence symptoms during allergy season
9 May 2024

Managing incontinence symptoms during allergy season

A lesser-known issue that affects many during allergy season is the impact of seasonal allergies on urinary incontinence. If you’re already managing urine leaks, this can add discomfort and challenges to your day, impacting your overall quality of life. 

So, in this Incontinence Shop blog, we’ll examine how the symptoms of seasonal allergies can worsen stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and lead to increased incidents of urine leakage.

What is the link between stress urinary incontinence and allergies?

Stress urinary incontinence is a common condition where a loss of bladder control occurs during physical exertion or when sudden pressure is exerted on the bladder and pelvic floor muscles. This can include:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Laughing
  • Physical activity

How do sneezing and coughing impact urinary incontinence?

Sneezing and coughing are common allergy symptoms that dramatically increase the pressure on the abdomen, even momentarily. If you have weakened pelvic muscles—often due to childbirth, surgery, or the natural ageing process—this sudden pressure can push urine through your sphincter muscles, leading to urine leaks.

What are common triggers related to allergy incontinence?

Seasonal allergies can trigger more frequent episodes of stress urinary incontinence. Allergy symptoms such as severe sneezing and coughing are direct triggers, but there are also indirect effects to consider to maintain a better quality of life. For instance, some allergy medications may relax the bladder's sphincter muscles, potentially worsening the symptoms of an overactive bladder and causing incontinence from lack of bladder control.

How to manage urinary incontinence during allergy season

Managing urinary incontinence effectively during allergy season involves actively changing your lifestyle, including using incontinence products and medications if necessary. This will help maintain an active life despite the challenges of urinary leakage and allergic reactions.

Bladder training

Bladder training is a well-known technique for managing bladder weakness and reducing accidental urine leakage. It involves deliberately timing bathroom visits to gradually extend the intervals between them, teaching your bladder to hold larger amounts of urine for longer periods. By keeping a bladder diary, you can also track the times and amounts of urine released, which helps set a realistic starting schedule for timed urination.

To practise bladder training, begin by delaying urination when you feel the urge, initially by just a few minutes, gradually increasing over time. Techniques such as deep breathing, distraction, or pelvic floor exercises can help control the urge during these delay periods.

Bladder training increases your bladder's capacity while improving control over urination. It's a non-invasive approach that, with patience and consistency, can improve daily comfort and confidence if you’re experiencing urinary incontinence.

Kegel exercises 

Kegel exercises, or pelvic floor muscle exercises, are a great way to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder. By improving the tone and function of the pelvic floor and sphincter muscles, these exercises help manage and often reduce leakage incidents.

To perform Kegel exercises correctly, focus on tightening the pelvic floor muscles for five seconds and relaxing them for five seconds. Aim for three sets of 10 repetitions daily. It's important to isolate these muscles, avoiding contraction of the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks, and to breathe freely throughout the exercises.

Consistent practice of pelvic floor muscle exercises can lead to noticeable improvements in bladder control and reduction of urinary leakage, typically within a few weeks to months.

The "Knack" Method

The “Knack” Method is a straightforward technique that involves tightening the pelvic floor muscles just before activities that increase abdominal pressure, such as sneezing, coughing, or lifting. This helps support the urethra and reduces the likelihood of involuntary urine leakage. Regularly practising the Knack Method minimises the amount of urine leakage whilst also strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, improving overall support and reducing incidents of leakage over time.

Allergy medication

In cases where bladder training and exercises don't do enough to manage the symptoms of overactive bladder or stress urinary incontinence, medication may be necessary.

Certain medications, such as antihistamines, can help manage overactive bladder symptoms and are particularly useful for those whose bladder control issues make their allergic reactions more challenging to handle.

Improve your quality of life during allergy season

At Incontinence Shop, we understand that allergy season can be challenging when dealing with incontinence problems. We’re here to help you manage your symptoms effectively.

Our wide range of incontinence products is designed to provide protection, comfort, and confidence, allowing you to get through allergy season with less fuss. Whether you're dealing with the occasional leak or more frequent episodes of urinary leakage, we have a solution tailored to your needs.

Explore our selection of incontinence pads, pants, protective underwear, and accessories, each designed to offer the best protection for different types of incontinence. With the right products, you can reduce the impact of urinary incontinence on your life, even during heightened allergy symptoms.

And for prices lower than supermarket costs—even for the most premium brands like TENA and Drylife—Incontinence Shop is the best choice for those looking for incontinence products in bulk, such as nursing home caregivers. 

What's more, if you subscribe to your incontinence product of choice, you can enjoy 10% off every order and convenient doorstep delivery.