Do you already experience allergy symptoms and want to find relief before this spring comes? Perhaps avoiding stress is the answer. Allergist Amber Patterson, MD says that stress may be the cause of several negative effects in the body, one of which is producing more allergy symptoms. Her study was published in the scientific journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and showed that persistent stress cause allergy sufferers to experiences more allergy flares.
The study was carried out by researchers from The Ohio State University. In the time frame of 12 weeks, 179 patients were analyzed by the researchers. Within the group, 39% had more than one allergy flare. This 39% out of the entire group also had a higher level of stress than the group without any allergy symptoms. Of this allergy prone group, 64% had five or more flares over two 14 day periods. No significant findings were reported between allergy flares and stress on that same day. However, a number of allergy sufferers reported their allergies to flare just within days of greater daily stress.
Dr. Patterson explains that symptoms of allergies including sneezing, a runny nose, and watery eyes can actually cause additional stress for allergy sufferers. These symptoms may even be the root of stress for some individuals. Unfortunately, alleviating stress will not completely cure allergies. Although, it just might serve a role in reducing episodes of intense symptoms.
Here are some ways to alleviate stress to try:
- Deep breathing and meditation
- Eliminating stress-inducing factors as well as learning how to better cope with things that are responsible for stress (i.e. choosing to not turn to smoking or caffeine when faced with stress as those coping mechanisms can do more harm than good)
- Not be afraid to ask for help once in a while from family members, friends, colleagues, or social workers
- Having time reserved for fun and relaxation
- Implementing a healthier lifestyle by making changes including eating right, getting more sleep, and taking care of any existing health conditions
James Sublett, another allergist of the ACAAI, suggests to allergy sufferers to see a board-certified allergist to help alleviate their stress and allergy symptoms. The allergist can then design an action plan with methods of avoiding allergy triggers as well as developing treatments to best suit your individual needs.
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