Today, more and more people seem to be suffering from seasonal allergies. Allergies, or allergic rhinitis, are due to an over-reactivity of the immune system to certain environmental allergens. During Spring and Summer, allergies are generally induced by wind-born allergens and can cause such symptoms as: sneezing; nasal congestion; runny nose; watery, itchy, or red eyes; headaches; fatigue; and sometimes coughing and wheezing. When allergens and antibodies react in individuals with allergic rhinitis, their nasal mucosa becomes swollen and may obstruct drainage from the sinuses causing sinusitis in many people. Thus, chronic sinus infections are a frequent complication and consequence of allergic rhinitis.
While Spring and Summer are the seasons of the year that bring us outdoors, many people are unable to enjoy these warmer months due to uncomfortable symptoms. Adults and children are increasingly suffering with spring allergies from trees, pollen, flowers, weeds, grass, etc. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help bring relief of symptoms, correct imbalances of the immune system, resolve the allergic response to allergens, and allow healing of tissues of the sinuses, eyes, and mucous membranes.
From a Chinese point of view, allergic rhinitis is most often due to an immune system weakness and/or hyperactivity. We call this a weakness of the Lung and Kidney’s Defensive-Qi systems, combined with retention of chronic inflammation or “Wind Heat” in the upper respiratory system.
Dryness of the mucous membranes may result in increased sensitivity to environmental allergens. This dryness can come from a long winter of dry-heat.