Is there anything worse than having itchy eyes, congestion, runny nose and sneezing when trying to unwind by taking a walk on Cascades Park trails? It can only be made worse if compounded by a time of stress.
Research shows there’s actually a link between emotional stress and allergy flares.
About the Study
During the study, published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunotherapy in 2014, researchers sought to uncover whether allergy flares correlated with perceived emotional stress, depression and mood.
Researchers used data from 179 university employees participating in another study that evaluated the influence of lifestyle interventions on health symptoms, including inflammation. The participants completed questionnaires on perceived stress and depressive symptoms before each of the two-week study periods. Additionally, they kept online diary entries to document same-day allergy flares, stressful events, perceived stress and mood.
Over both study periods, 39 participants experienced allergy symptoms. These participants had higher perceived stress scores than the participants who did not report allergy symptoms. There was also a correlation between negative mood scores and allergy flares.
These results show that people with persistent emotional stress have more frequent allergy flares, and that those with more flares experience more negative mood.
The study is the first to establish a relation between stress and rhinitis symptoms.
Stress Management Techniques
Managing stress may help you experience fewer or less severe allergy flares and have a better mood. We recommend:
- Exercising regularly.
- Relaxing your muscles.
- Doing deep breathing exercises.
- Eating a healthy diet.
- Taking breaks.
- Making time for hobbies.
- Talking about your problems.
How to Manage Allergy Symptoms
Of course, even if you manage your stress levels, it doesn’t mean you won’t have allergy symptoms anymore. To manage your allergies, the experts at ENT Associates of Worcester suggest:
- Practicing avoidance of allergens by staying indoors when pollen counts are high, delegating yardwork to people without allergies, keeping your home clean, running the air conditioner and bathing pets weekly.
- Taking over-the-counter allergy medications such as antihistamines, decongestants or corticosteroid nasal sprays.
- Talking to an allergist about immunotherapy, a long-term solution for managing allergy symptoms that works by helping your body build up a tolerance to allergens.
For more information about managing allergies or to schedule an appointment with an allergy expert, call ENT Associates of Worcester today.