If you suffer from Hay Fever, you’re no stranger to the runny nose and itchiness that can make your life miserable. Also called allergic rhinitis or seasonal allergies, Hay Fever occurs when your body reacts to what is normally a harmless substance. During an allergic reaction, your body releases a chemical called histamine as a defense mechanism. This overproduction of histamine is the underlying cause of Hay Fever symptoms. While the symptoms of seasonal allergies may be different for each person, they may include:
- A runny, stuffy, or itchy nose
- Watery or itchy eyes
- Itchy ears
- A sore or dry and scratchy throat
- Dark under-eye circles
Pollen from plants, grasses, and trees, is one of the most common triggers of seasonal allergies. Other common allergens include dust mites, animal dander, cat saliva, and mold. Allergies tend to flare up at specific times of the year, depending on your sensitivity. For example, if you’re are allergic to trees and flowers, you may experience symptoms in the spring. Fall allergies is more frequently associated with a sensitivity to grass and weeds.
Some symptoms may occur immediately after you come into contact with an allergen, such as nasal congestion and itching. Other symptoms, such as headache or fatigue, may only occur after prolonged exposure. In addition, while some people may experience severe symptoms, others may only have mild and infrequent symptoms. The severity of your allergy and the level of exposure to an allergen may account for this difference in symptoms. And while seasonal allergies imply that your allergies are seasonal, some people experience allergic rhinitis year-round. That’s because constant allergies are a response to indoor substances, such as mold, pet dander, or dust mites.
Standard Western treatments for allergic rhinitis include antihistamines, which block the circulation of histamine that causes your symptoms, and decongestants that help relieve nasal stuffiness and sinus pressure. Eye drops and nasal sprays may also be recommended for itching, and steroids may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and calm an overactive immune response. It’s important to know, however, that decongestants and some eye drops and nasal sprays produce a rebound effect, which means your symptoms may get worse when you stop using them. Immunotherapy, which is a long-term treatment, may be recommended for people with severe allergies. Immunotherapy involves a series of shots or oral drops under your tongue to desensitize you to an allergen and decrease your immune response.
Treating Allergic Rhinitis at BodaHealth
At BodaHealth, our goal is to not only treat your Hay Fever symptoms but also to treat the source of your allergies and to prevent flare-ups in the future. We do this in a number of ways:
While you may not think about using acupuncture to treat your seasonal allergies, research has found that it can be a safe and effective option. A review of several studies found that patients who were treated with acupuncture reported a significant reduction in their nasal symptoms, took less medication, and had reduced levels of IgE, which are antibodies that are produced during an allergic reaction. Acupuncture helps to boost immune function, decrease reactivity, and reduce inflammation.
While Chinese medicinals work well on their own, they are also commonly used to support and enhance your acupuncture treatment. Herbal therapy works on the same principles as acupuncture, and early research is finding that herbs may exert an anti-inflammatory effect and help reduce the effects of allergic rhinitis.
At BodaHealth, our naturopathic physicians are able to help Hay Fever patients through a variety of healing tools. They are able to help control allergic reactions, manage inflammation, and support your immune system through the use of dietary management, vitamin and herbal supplementation, and immunotherapy.
Our practitioners are well-trained and experienced in nutritional therapy. They can help identify and eliminate foods that may aggravate your allergies, suggest a diet that helps reduce inflammation, recommend foods to support your immune system, and help you determine which supplements may be the most effective in eliminating your allergic symptoms.
It’s also important to know that no two allergies are alike, and that means that at BodaHealth there are no cookie-cutter treatments. Our practitioners conduct a thorough assessment to completely understand the nature of your allergies and how best to help you. They then develop a treatment plan that is safe, natural, and most importantly, effective. The bottom line is that you don’t have to suffer from allergy symptoms year after year. If you’re sick of dealing with your seasonal allergies, give us a call to see how we can help you.