Stress and Allergy Flare-Ups

Child With Hayfever Allergy Blowing Nose

Do you experience allergy symptoms? Want to find relief before spring? 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 causes allergy sufferers to experiences more allergy flare ups.

Dr. Patterson is a member of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. As the lead author of the study, she states that this study found a correlation among those with allergy flares and people’s moods. It turns out that people who experience more frequent allergy flare ups also tend to have a greater negative mood. This factor could be the reason for frequent flare-ups in those suffering from allergies.

The study was carried out by researchers from The Ohio State University. In the timeframe 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 flare ups over two 14-day stretches. 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, though it just might serve a role in reducing episodes of intense symptoms.

To alleviate stress, try:
●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)
●Deep breathing and meditation
●Not being afraid to ask for help once in a while from family members, friends, colleagues, or social workers
●Having time reserved for fun activities and relaxation
●Implementing a healthier lifestyle by making changes including eating right, getting more sleep, and taking care of any existing health-related conditions
●Seeing a board-certified allergist who can design an action plan with methods of avoiding allergy triggers, as well as developing treatments to best suit any individual needs

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