If it feels like your runny nose and itchy, red eyes are getting worse each year because of seasonal allergies, you’re not imagining things!
Ragweed—the primary allergen trigger of fall hay fever—grows faster, produces more pollen per plant, and has higher allergenic content under increased carbon dioxide levels. Longer growing seasons under a warmer climate allow for bigger ragweed plants that produce more pollen later into the fall.
Springtime allergies to tree pollens also could get worse. Warmer temperatures could allow significant expansion of the habitat suitable for oaks and hickories, which are two highly allergenic tree species. Changing climate conditions may even affect the amount of fungal allergens in the air.
Spring and summer are when trees and flowers are in their highest bloom. The pollen count rises, triggering sneezing and coughing in allergy sufferers. The higher the pollen swirling around in the air, the worse your allergies will be.
Western medicine relieves the uncomfortable symptoms of allergy sufferers with the use of medications. While this approach may provide temporary relief, it does not solve why your body is reacting in an allergic way. Chinese medicine states that the best way to control allergies is to address their root causes by treating the whole person and balancing the immune system.
Acupuncture and herbs are a safe, natural and effective option for treating allergies. They help to promote the healthy flow of qi traveling through our bodies. Allergic rhinitis is an imbalance in the distribution of qi. The blockages and imbalances in your body need to be identified and corrected in order to eliminate allergy symptoms.
Treatment using acupuncture and herbs can dramatically lessen allergic reactions. It can also help people reduce or eliminate their dependence on allergy medication. During the pollen season, the focus is to treat the acute symptoms so you are comfortable. After the pollen season, the focus is on treating the underlying problem by strengthening the wei qi (immune system.)
Most important is to treat you as a whole person, not just your symptoms. According to Chinese medicine, people with chronic allergies often show signs of spleen or kidney deficiency as well as lung problems. Treatments often include lifestyle and dietary recommendations. And there are many effective Chinese herbal formulas that alleviate allergy symptoms and strengthen immunity at the same time.
Chinese medicine provides an alternative that doesn’t require taking western-style medications, which can have unpleasant side effects. Some people may need to return once or twice a year for a seasonal booster. Others may need to come more often. Your treatment will always be individualized to meet your needs.