Are you the kind of person who struggles with a stuffy or running nose when a new season comes? The next time you experience such signs, you may find it important to see a chiropractor and not just depend on over the counter prescriptions. You might be suffering from seasonal allergies.
So many people only associate chiropractic treatment with chronic pain management. However, the treatment does more. Provided that it’s something to do with the immune system, then a chiropractor will definitely help. But before we can go any further, let’s understand seasonal allergies first.
What Exactly Are Seasonal Allergies?
Seasonal allergies refer to the inability of your body’s defense to adapt to specific changes in the environment. In this case, the body becomes extra sensitive when you encounter the changes. The changes, what we call allergens, may be any of the following:
- Heat stress
- Insect sting
- Pet Dander
- Specific foods
The Symptoms – How Do You Identify Them?
We’ve already mentioned a stuffy or running nose in the introduction. Other symptoms that may an indicator of seasonal allergies are:
- Frequent sneezing
- Itchy eyes
- Body swelling, especially on the face
- Skin Rashes
When these symptoms become severe in such a way that your life is interrupted, it’s wise to seek a treatment solution.
Why Do You Suffer From Seasonal Allergies?
You may be asking “how can my body react differently when we all get exposed to allergens at the same time?” Normally, you experience seasonal allergies when your immune system accidentally identifies an allergen as something harmful. So, it launches a response against it. Unfortunately, the response is exaggerated. It’s marked by the over secretion of a natural chemical known as histamine. Ordinarily, histamine is supposed to neutralize the effects of the allergen. This is to happen naturally. However, over secretion causes your blood vessels to dilate and the blood pressure to drop. The end results are some of the symptoms discussed above.
The problem with seasonal allergies is that the symptoms are hastened by specific climatic factors. They include:
- Mold allergies happen more when temperature and humidity are high.
- Pollen allergies are experienced mostly in the mornings.
- Wind influences the distribution of airborne allergens.
- Tree, pollen, and grass thrive when the days are warm and the nights are cold.
With these factors in mind, it may be hard to say that there is a specific ecological zone that’s free from airborne allergens.
What Are Your Treatment Options?
At the moment, there are four typical ways to address seasonal allergies. They are:
- Antihistamines – When you visit a medical doctor because of seasonal allergies, you’ll be prescribed antihistamines. These prescriptions are meant to counter the effects of histamine oversecretion. The problem is that the medications only treat the symptoms, but do not address the root problem. So, you are likely to go back to the doctor each season you are attached with seasonal allergies.
- Natural remedies – If you don’t want to take medications, then you can consider natural solutions. They are healthy. You basically don’t have to worry about side effects that are popular with antihistamines. Moreover, home remedies are readily available. The options include essential oils, local honey, vinegar, zinc, and vitamin C supplements.
- Preventive approaches – While antihistamines and natural remedies may work in certain cases, they do not tackle the root problem. In addition, antihistamines may have serious side effects. So, sometimes it’s smart to invest in preventive approaches instead of the two treatment options. You just have to know what the source of the allergens is and find ways to get rid of it or avoid it. In this case, you may need to:
- Wash or replace old bedding which may be collecting the allergen.
- Wash mats and rugs to get rid of the collected allergens.
- Stay within regulated temperatures so as not to trigger an allergic response.
- Chiropractic Treatment – Whether you are looking for a preventive or curative solution for seasonal allergies, you have a perfect option in chiropractic treatment. Since the issue is directly related to the immune system, a chiropractor will help you fix it. However, one session is never enough and so you’ll need to see the specialist on several occasions.
What Role Does a Chiropractor Play?
A chiropractor plays several roles in as far as seasonal allergies are concerned. They include:
- Stress Relief
The main reason why your body reacts exaggeratedly to seasonal allergies is because of a defective immune system. Experts argue that your immune system may fail to fight an allergen (which is portrayed as a toxin) if it’s stressed by it. The effects are inflammatory responses like body itchiness and swelling. Research also shows that the adrenal gland which is responsible for secreting cortisol (the anti-inflammation hormone) becomes worn out by stress.
A chiropractor performs spinal adjustments (also known as spinal manipulation) on you to open the communication paths between the immune system and the brain. So, the adrenal gland is not affected in a negative way and cortisol secretion is regulated. Likewise, inflammatory responses by the immune system are controlled and so are seasonal allergies.
- Immune Boost
There’s a close relationship between the immune system (the defense system) and the nervous system (the coordination system). Remember, the brain and the spinal cord forms an important part of the nervous system that we call the central nervous system (CNS). When the immune system is stressed by an allergen, so is the CNS.
Actually, the effects are manifested on the spine in the form of subluxations (misalignments). A chiropractor helps to fix the subluxation through different spinal adjustment techniques. In the end, communication between the two systems (the CNS and the immune system) is restored and you are able to fight the allergen naturally.
- Dietary & Lifestyle Help
In addition to providing you technical support, a chiropractor will advise you on what changes you should make in relation to your diet and lifestyle. If the source of the allergen is food-related, you may be asked to avoid it. For example, you may be asked to skip celery or tomatoes if you are allergic to grass.
In terms of lifestyle changes, you may be advised to make the following adjustments:
- Maintain hygienic conditions at home, especially where you sleep.
- Adopt the right sleeping habits and patterns.
- Find ways to avoid the effects of heat stress and cold
- Do some exercises at home to keep your spine in good condition.
Seasonal allergies can be serious if not well addressed. By going for antihistamines and home remedies, you may be able to manage the symptoms. However, you may not succeed in getting rid of the problem. The root cause is best fixed by chiropractic treatment. You should consider it today.