Allergic rhinitis, or what’s more commonly referred to as hay fever, is an all-too-common condition in which the immune system overreacts to what it believes to be a foreign invader. The immune system does a pretty good job at warding off diseases and infectious illnesses, but there are times when it incorrectly identifies non-threatening substances as being harmful; thus, triggering an allergy attack. The distinguishing characteristic between allergic rhinitis and other forms of allergies, however, lies in its symptoms.
What is Allergic Rhinitis?
Allergic rhinitis lives up to its namesake by featuring symptoms involving the nose and nasal passages. This may include runny nose, congestion, sneezing, itchy nose, etc. Symptoms can be mild, lasting for just a few minutes, or they can be more severe, lasting for days on end.
Seasonal vs Perennial Allergens
There are two primary types of allergens associated with allergic rhinitis: seasonal and perennial. Seasonal allergens consist of tree and flower pollen, whereas perennial allergens consist of pet hair, dander, mold spores, etc. People who suffer from allergic rhinitis are generally susceptible to seasonal allergens, which usually occurs during the spring and summer months.
How to Manage Allergic Rhinitis:
- Identify the elements to which you are allergic and avoid/limit exposure when possible.
- Consider taking an antihistamine to lower your immune system’s response.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen may also help to relieve the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
- If you suffer from seasonal allergens, wear a dust mask when mowing the lawn or performing other outdoor work.
- Drink plenty of water to mitigate the symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis.
Can Chiropractic Treatment Help?
While there’s no guarantee that a chiropractor can alleviate your allergic rhinitis, thousands of men and women have reported a positive improvement in both the frequency and severity of attacks after receiving chiropractic treatment. So, how exactly can a chiropractor help to combat allergic rhinitis?
The effectiveness of our immune system relies heavily on the communication between the spinal cord and brain. If there’s a pinch nerved or herniated intervertebral disc that’s cutting off a key nerve, the brain won’t be able to effectively communicate with the spinal cord. As a result, this can throw off the immune system, making it less effective at warding off infectious illness and subsequently increasing the risk for allergy attacks.
Professional chiropractors, however, are fully trained in identifying and treating misalignment of the spine and supporting structure. As noted by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), “some doctors of chiropractic specialize in the treatment of allergies…” So if you’re tired of battling the constant itching and sneezing associated with allergic rhinitis, consider scheduling an appointment with your local chiropractor.