Hay fever or allergic rhinitis affects 10-40% of the population.
The term 'hay fever' refers to symptoms of fever (allergic reaction) when exposed to hay. This gives a clue to why so many people suffer from this condition. A lot of people are allergic to grass pollen and tree pollen.
Having excessive amounts of one type of plant, for example grass, in one area is not natural. It's not something that is commonly seen in Nature. It's man-made and unnatural. When grass it cut, it throws up lots of particles which overload the immune system causing an exaggerated response and hay fever symptoms.
Hay fever is a common problem in the UK. One possible reason for this can be due to over-enthusiastic Victorian botanists who travelled the world looking for new and exotic plants and brought them back to a small island, the UK, where the population hasn't evolved to tolerate the pollen produced by the new foreign plants that bloom in various reasons. For this reason hay fever sufferers have seasonal allergies. p>
Symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis include sneezing, nasal itching, nasal blockage, watery nasal discharge, itchy eyes, tearing eyes, wheezing, etc.
Acupuncture for hay fever
The most common form of treatment for hay fever is anti-histamine drugs, nasal spray and eye drops, which are normally taken when pollen counts are high, during what's commonly called the hay fever season.
From a biomedicine point of view, acupuncture treatment can people suffering with hay fever (allergic rhinitis) by:
- Regulating levels of IgE and cytokines, mediators of the allergic reaction to extrinsic allergens
- Stimulating nerves , which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors, and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord
- Reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors
- Enhancing natural killer cell activities
- Increasing local microcirculation, which reduces swelling
I've helped people who've suffered from hay fever for long term, become symptom free after having a course of acupuncture. It's my believe that traditional acupuncture resets the immune system from its initial over exaggerated response.
I am a member of the British Acupuncture Council and am highly experienced and qualified.
Download my hay fever factsheet.