You have probably noticed that people around you are experiencing symptoms of hay fever and reaching for an antihistamine. I appreciate the desire to alleviate your misery with a quick fix, but I also encourage my friends and family to address the root cause of their problem because many people find that untreated hay fever and allergies turns into chronic sinusitis or other complications in later years.
What is the Difference Between Hayfever and Allergies?
Hay fever is usually provoked by seasonal allergens like grasses and seeds, whereas allergies are often ongoing and may be caused by everyday allergens like dust, fur, and chemicals. The symptoms are very similar: itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, a dry cough, scratchy throat and the dreaded post-nasal drip. All these lead to a swelling of the soft tissue in the area as your body rushes in fluids to flush out the offending particles. Antihistamines and other over-the-counter medications reduce the symptoms and help you to feel better, but they do not address the root cause of your susceptibility.
Why are Some People More Susceptible than Others?
It’s easy enough to understand why children and the elderly might be susceptible to allergens, but why do otherwise healthy people suffer as well? The reality is, that if every organ in your body was functioning perfectly, nothing would affect you. Allergies, hay fever, asthma… are all signs that something in your body is compromised. You can choose to ignore the warning signs and do nothing because, after all, your symptoms aren’t that bad and lots of your friends are also suffering… or you can act on the information your body is giving you.
What do Allergies and Asthma Indicate About Your Overall Health?
Allergies and asthma are an indication that your spleen and lungs are experiencing some level of stress and loss of function. These two systems mutually assist each other. Your spleen turns the food you eat into energy which promotes health lung function. When your food digestion is impaired because your spleen is not working as well as possible, then your lungs tend to be more susceptible to asthma and other symptoms. You may notice that you feel tired, breathless, have a weak voice, your head feels fuzzy, or you may develop eczema or dermatitis. These symptoms may be seasonal, but they are a sign of your vulnerability to other diseases and symptoms that may last longer.
You probably know people with asthma and allergies who tend to catch cold more often and experience longer lasting and more severe symptoms than ‘healthy’ people. This is because their immune system is being overworked on a long-term basis. These people are most likely to develop more severe symptoms as they age as the ongoing stress on their organs builds up to the point where their body can no longer cope.
The good news is that strengthening these systems through acupuncture, dietary changes, herbs, and exercise can alleviate your seasonal symptoms and improve your overall health by working on the root cause rather than just the symptoms.