Embracing the Summer Allergy Season
As we approach the summer allergy season, it’s important to acknowledge that allergies have become a significant health concern in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), allergies rank as the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the country, with an annual cost exceeding $18 billion. Surprisingly, more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. The CDC’s 2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) estimated that 8.4% of children under 18 in the U.S. experienced hay fever.
Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to substances that typically don’t affect others. Seasonal allergic rhinitis symptoms typically manifest in spring, summer, or early fall and are usually triggered by an allergic sensitivity to pollen from trees, grasses, or weeds, as well as airborne mold spores. While allergy medications can provide relief, they often come with side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, or nausea, which can exacerbate the problem rather than solve it.
Choosing acupuncture as an alternative to medication offers a great way to avoid these negative side effects. Acupuncture treatments can effectively reduce sinus inflammation, alleviate congestion, postnasal drip, earaches, and soothe itchy, watery eyes.
In conjunction with acupuncture, Chinese herbal formulas can be utilized to relieve allergy symptoms. Unlike over-the-counter medications that aim to address multiple symptoms simultaneously, these traditional herbal remedies target specific symptoms unique to each individual allergy sufferer. Chinese herbs are safe and easy to take, typically in the form of small capsules, which are ingested two to three times a day. It’s important to note that Chinese herbs can only be prescribed by a licensed acupuncturist with proper training in Chinese herbal formulas.
Often underestimated, dietary adjustments can significantly reduce or even eliminate seasonal allergy symptoms. Eliminating dairy, sugar, and white flour from your diet can help decrease inflammation and congestion in the body. While it may be challenging for some to remove inflammatory foods, the rewards are substantial for those who can make these changes. In addition to relieving allergy symptoms, avoiding these foods can also alleviate joint pain.
Lastly, it’s crucial to prioritize your overall well-being during allergy season and beyond. Ensure you drink ample amounts of water each day, engage in regular exercise, maintain a healthy diet, and get a good night’s sleep. By nurturing your immune system and keeping it in peak condition, you can navigate through allergy season with greater ease and enjoy a healthier life overall.
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