In 2015 Acupuncture was recommended for the treatment of allergic rhinitis by the Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery Foundation’s clinical practice guideline (7). Allergic rhinitis has similar symptoms commonly associated with hay fever and is a worldwide health concern due to an immediate inflammatory response in the nasal mucosa. Worldwide estimates suspect hay allergic rhinitis affects 18% of 15-34 year olds and 10% of 35-54 year olds (3). Causes are usually triggered by an inhaled allergen or can also occur from non-allergic triggers. Allergic Rhinitis can be classified as intermittent or persistent based on the frequency and severity of your symptoms.
Presenting symptoms include:
Causes of Hay Fever or Allergic Rhinitis:
Seasonal factors (1):
Perennial factors (1):
Non allergic triggers from cold air, dry atmosphere, perfumes and chemicals can still trigger a response in up to 87% of allergic rhinitis patients (3). Some people with allergic rhinitis or hay fever may also have asthma. Results suggest that better control of allergic rhinitis has been shown to result in better asthma control (5). Emerging evidence is also recognising that untreated allergic rhinitis may also increase a higher risk of developing asthma (5).
How can Acupuncture Help your Hay Fever or Allergic Rhinitis?
McDonald et al. (4) conducted a study between patients who received acupuncture, sham acupuncture or no treatment. The results revealed a significant reduction in IgE in patients who received Acupuncture opposed to sham or no acupuncture. IgE is an antibody produced by the body’s immune system in response to a perceived threat i.e. a allergic reaction (6).
Patients who received Acupuncture, resulted marked improvements in (4):
These marked improvements continued over the course of 12 weeks of treatment and patient symptoms continued to improve once the course of treatment ended (4).
Acupuncture is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a safe and effective natural option to help assist with the frequency and severity of symptoms for hay fever and/or allergic rhinitis without any associated side effects like drowsiness.
Whether you suffer from hay fever once a year or if you are a chronic sufferer for a couple months of the year, Acupuncture can be an excellent way to help manage the severity of your symptoms.
As Acupuncture takes your whole body into consideration if you have any other health concerns such as digestive discomfort, sleep disruptions, stress or menstrual irregularities please let your practitioner know. A treatment can be designed to help other conditions in conjunction with your hay fever treatment. This holistic approach can help guide your body back to balance to enhance your general wellbeing.