Hayfever and Allergic Rhinitis

Directing your immune system to work with you, not against you!
Looking after the immune system out of season and dealing with the symptoms

Allergic rhinitis? Hay fever ?

Have you ever wondered why you are struggling with watery eyes and runny nose each spring, but a friend or family member seems ‘immune’ to the allergens?

It’s because your immune system has become over-sensitive and dysregulated. When it detects foreign particles such as pollen, dust mites or other ‘allergens’ the body determines if its life threatening and acts accordingly. In hay fever and rhinitis the body has an excessive inflammatory response. Our body releases histamines and as these cascade through our body causes the mucus linings to swell in the throat and nose leading to symptoms you are probably familiar with such as :

  • nasal discharge
  • sneezing
  • itchy and watery eyes
  • a runny or blocked nose
  • itchy ears, nose, and/or throat and headaches

What is the best medicine for hay fever?

Typically, Western medicine prescribes antihistamines or decongestants… yet, these medications are often associated with side effects.

These effects include drowsiness and resistance suppression.

Below are the typical Western medicine options and over-the-counter hay fever medication:

Oral antihistamine tablets

Most commonly used to stop the histamines. Used for symptom relief such as itchy eyes and throat, watery eyes, sneezing, and runny nose.

Yet – they do not generally relieve congestion.

Corticosteroid nasal spray

The most effective hay fever medication to relieve congestion. It narrows blood vessels, which reduces inflammation and swelling.

Anticholinergic nasal spray

Helps reduce secretion of mucous thus hopefully stop a runny nose.

However, many people find that they need to use more and more of these medications to try and keep the symptoms under control or find the medicines stop working all together. Why? Because these medications do not remove the allergen they just force your body to back down. However the allergen is still irritating your mucus linings and therefore the body mounts an even stronger response – thereby requiring more medications to stop it. Both sides – western medications AND your body working harder. No wonder you feel drowsy!

The end result is a fatigued immune system, a heightened sensitivity to allergens and still a dysregulated immune response.

What is the best solution for hay fever and allergic rhinitis?

A Chinese Medicine solution

If your body is over-reacting to pollen. Pollen is not the problem it is your immune system. Therefore you need to strengthen and regulate your immune system

This is why we suggest Chinese herbs and acupuncture.

The immune system can be influenced through the nerves and through your digestive system. It is often said that immune system health starts with the gut and that is where we will start.

If you in the midst of hay fever and rhinitis symptoms we can use acupuncture to work on the nerves connecting to the immune response and we can use Chinese herbs to strengthen the effect.

But why wait till you have the symptoms? Wouldn’t you rather not have any symptoms to start with? Traditionally we treat several months before the season to boost the immune system with just acupuncture and possible changes and advice to lifestyle.  This boosts the immune system and also leaves a person generally being stronger and healthier !

Lastly a word on diet.

Dairy causes excess mucus for many of us. Many people have some form of gluten intolerance which causes internal inflammation. For this reason we recommend removing these from your diet if you regularly suffer from hay fever and rhinitis.

If you would like to know more please contact us or make a booking with us for a full health assessment and treatment.

Any Questions?

Call one of our Health Directors, Sally or Heidi

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