Rising Pollen Counts Causing a Higher Number of Moderate to Severe cases of Seasonal Allergies. What Can I Do To Relieve My Allergies?
It's that time of the year again. The weather is changing, the rain is slowing down, the flowers are blooming, and so are the allergies. Depending on what you're allergic to, and "how" allergic you are, the April-May period is notorious for making allergy sufferers miserable in spite of all of the awesome weather.
What causes allergies?
The way the body responds to allergens is actually very similar to the way the immune system responds to bacteria/viruses (to an extent). Allergens enter the body through the nasal passage, the mouth, and eyes. The body designates these allergens (pollen from grass/trees, molds, dust, mites, etc.) as "threats" to the body, which elicits an immune response. As the body attacks the allergen with white blood cells, the WBC produce a substance called a histamine. Histamines work with the body to get rid of the allergen by any means possible. This includes watering eyes, sneezing, promoting draining, and itching (when allergen is on skin) to remove the allergen. Sound familiar?
What can be done to relieve allergies?
There are 3 very common treatments used to fight common seasonal allergies.
1) Antihistamines. These are medications such as Zyrtec, Benadryl, Claritin, Allegra D, etc. that counteract the production and function of histamines in the body. All of the itching, watery eyes, sneezing gets reduced, and in some cases eliminated. However, it's important to distinguish that antihistamines do not "cure" your allergies, they simply minimize the expression of your symptoms.
2) Nasal Sprays (Corticosteroids). Corticosteroids are synthesized (man made) drugs that are used to reduce inflammation. These sprays are administered in both nostrils as a means to reduce swelling of the nasal passages to allow for proper drainage cause by histamine reactions. Examples: Flonase, Nasacort.
3) Sinus Saline Rinses. Both of the options above manage symptoms, but neither of them directly "deal" with the presence of allergens. That's where the sinus rinses come in. With sinus rinses, you mix organic salts with sterilized water in a NetiPot. A NetiPot is a tea kettle shaped object with a long snout to access the nasal passages. Once you've mixed the saline solution and water together, you tilt the head to the side and pour the solution in one nostril, and it exits through the other. This rinse flushes allergens present in the nasal passage and sinus which ultimately relieves your symptoms.
How Chiropractic Adjustments Aid My Allergy/Sinus Relief?
Chiropractors are experts at the structure of joints and their performance. Furthermore, they're also experts on the flow of energy and the opening of communication channels throughout the body. If we look at allergies and sinus problems, a lot of the symptoms (outside of the presence of allergens) are caused by poor drainage of the nasal and ear passages, and the sinuses. There are certain maneuvers (pain free neck adjustments, Epley's maneuver, etc) that realign the neck and head, and ultimately promote drainage to relieve hard hitting allergy/sinus symptoms.
Be sure to try these out if you're suffering from allergies this season! Let us know if any of them helped! Be sure to check out the Modern Concepts blog regularly for more health and wellness tips! Be sure to consult a licensed physician if you're thinking of making any changes to your heath and wellness.