I am really enjoying the brighter nights and pleasing weather we are currently having. However, I am aware that for hay-fever sufferers this will often be a time when they have to start preparing for some potentially debilitating symptoms including itchy and runny eyes, runny nose, sore throat and blocked or itchy ears. Spring and summer can really be a miserable time for hay-fever sufferers – I have had patients who have locked themselves away as even the slightest exposure to pollen affects them. Pregnant women especially struggle as they are limited in medication available. Lots of people suffer since childhood and assume that they are stuck with the symptoms, especially if their parents were also sufferers. Antihistamines often don’t help and the side effects can bring their own issues.
Chinese Medicine including Acupuncture can be really effective in helping to reduce or even eliminate symptoms. Patients are always surprised by how relaxed they feel during an Acupuncture session and certainly it is a lot less uncomfortable than they had imagined – they often fall asleep during treatment. Most patients also experience an over-all improvement in well-being alongside the reduction in their hay-fever.
*A German study published in the journal, Allergy found that patients who received acupuncture and herbal treatment noticed an 85 percent improvement in symptoms compared to 40 percent in the control group. They also noticed a significant improvement in their quality of life.
*Ref: Brinkhaus B et al. Acupuncture in patients with allergic rhinitis: A pragmatic randomized trial. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology 2008; 101: 535-43.
Clare Venters Smith BSc, Lic Ac. MBAcC, DipTn