It seems allergy season is starting early this year. Our patients who usually come for their preventive allergy treatments in March are already starting to feel symptoms, while others are seeking treatment for sinus infections. Perhaps it’s because we didn’t have a cold enough winter or spring is springing early despite Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction.
Seasonal allergies, also referred to as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, is symptomized by sneezing, congestion, a runny nose, itchy eyes, an itchy throat, headaches and other bothersome symptoms. Seasonal allergy symptoms tend to flare up when there’s a lot of pollen in the air but can also be caused by mold spores, which can be airborne for long periods of time during the spring, summer and fall.
Many people rely on over-the-counter medications like decongestants, antihistamines and nasal sprays to help mitigate allergy symptoms. According to Healthline, alternative treatments that may provide relief include:
- Quercetin, a flavonoid that gives fruits and vegetables color
- Lactobacillus acidophilus, the “friendly” bacteria found in yogurt
- Spirulina, a type of blue-green algae
- Vitamin C, which has some antihistamine properties
For those seeking additional non-medicine alternatives, acupuncture can provide tremendous relief and even help prevent or reduce typical allergy symptoms. At Restoration Health, we have found twice weekly treatments over a period of four weeks in advance of allergy season to be highly effective in helping prevent the intensity and frequency of symptoms for our patients who suffer with seasonal allergies. But if you’re too late to prevent symptoms, we can still help you manage and reduce symptoms. Several points on the face can be used to drain the paranasal sinuses and provide immediate relief from congestion and post-nasal drip.
How does acupuncture work to reduce allergy symptoms? Almost every immune response to an allergen includes the release of cytokines, small proteins that affect the activity of cells of the immune system. The efficacy of acupuncture in allergic rhinitis and other allergic diseases, such as asthma or allergic eczema, appears to be due to the down regulation of certain proinflammatory cytokines (Hauswald/McDonald). More simply put, acupuncture helps reduce the inflammatory response and supports your body’s lung function, which in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is key to circulation of blood and “defensive Qi” that support and activate your immune defense system.
We have also found adding ozone therapy with acupuncture to be highly effective at reducing or eliminating symptoms for our patients who tend to suffer recurrent sinus infections and for those dealing with lung-related, long-haul COVID symptoms, most namely shortness of breath, exhaustion, brain fog and reduced or lack of sense of smell. Ozone is activated oxygen, which means it has three molecules of oxygen instead of two, allowing for increased oxygen uptake by the body’s cells. In lay terms, we’re bringing more oxygen into your cells to help them function better.
If you tend to suffer with seasonal allergies, give us a call to get a jump on the season with preventive care. If you’re already starting to feel symptoms, make an appointment today and we’ll get you feeling better!