It’s no secret to allergy sufferers that symptoms like sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes and hives are unpleasant. But did you know that these symptoms can be made worse by stress? A study published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in 2014 uncovered this link.
About the Study
Until this study, no link between stress and allergy symptoms had been established, so researchers sought to determine whether participants’ allergy flares correlated with emotional stress, depression and mood changes.
A total of 179 university employees participated in the study. Researchers gathered data about perceived stress and depressive symptoms by administering a questionnaire before each of the two-week study periods. Participants were also tasked with keeping daily diary entries about allergy flares, stressful events, perceived stress and mood.
During the study, 39 participants reported allergy symptoms. This group had higher perceived stress scores than those without, correlating positively with allergy flares during both 14-day periods. In addition, there was a positive correlation between negative mood scores and allergy flares throughout the study.
The findings of the study suggest that people with persistent stress have more frequent allergy flares, and that those with more flares have a more negative mood.
Lowering Stress Levels
In order to prevent negative mood associated with allergy flares, it’s important to try and manage stress levels. We recommend:
- Practicing yoga at Maha Yoga
- Exercising regularly
- Taking breaks
- Talking about your problems
- Practicing meditation and mindfulness
- Managing a reasonable workload
- Asking for help
Preventing Allergy Symptoms
While managing your stress can help reduce the severity of your allergy episodes, it won’t eliminate them. To help prevent allergy symptoms, we recommend:
- Taking a daily antihistamine, which you can pick up at Philadelphia Pharmacy
- Checking local pollen counts and staying indoors with the windows closed when they’re high
- Running the air conditioning to filter out allergens
- Installing a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter
- Washing bedding regularly in hot water
- Bathing indoor/outdoor pets once a week
- Keeping carpets and drapes clean
- Talking to an allergist about immunotherapy, a treatment that works by increasing your body’s tolerance to allergens over time
For more information about managing allergies or to discuss immunotherapy with an expert, call Pinnacle ENT Associates today.