Like the old saying goes, March has come in like a lion – at least when it comes to allergies. Many people feel allergies are worse this year due to the mild winter. But for many sufferers, it’s not the mild winter that’s the culprit – it’s theirs stressful life.
Recent studies have shown that stress and anxiety – even at slight or moderate levels – can worsen allergy symptoms. Scientists suspect that it has something to do with the way stress affects the immune system, causing elevated levels of cortisol, which can heighten the allergic response. An increase in cortisol is unaffected by standard treatments for allergies, like antihistamines.
Ohio State University completed a study on this very issue. On two different days the scientists subjected hay fever sufferers to a series of skin prick tests to measure their responses to allergens, including the size of the wheals they developed. On one day the subjects gave speeches to a panel and then had to solve math questions in their heads. On the other day they had less stressful tasks, like reading magazines. “Wheal diameters increased after the stressor,” the scientists wrote, “compared to a slight decrease following the control tasks.” Even a day after the stressor, the most anxious subjects continued to show severe symptoms, suggesting a lingering response from the anxiety.
We offer an innovative treatment using low level light therapy that helps dis-stress your system. Give us a call to find out more about this approach to helping your stress level and allergies.