Spring is the beginning of new growth. It’s outdoor play dates, soccer practices, walks by the creek, tending gardens, and going to baseball games. Unfortunately, spring is also a time where many people experience allergies. Seasonal allergies can present in many different ways and can be due to a wide assortment of allergens.
Common seasonal allergy symptoms include:
Nasal, sinus, and ear congestion
Itchy, watery eyes
Itchy throat and ear canals
Redness and swelling of the eyes and nose
Why do some people suffer from seasonal allergies and some do not?
Your immune system is your body’s defense mechanism to attack and expel harmful substances. A healthy, fully functional immune system is equipped to identify and address foreign invaders before they cause damage in your body. An allergic reaction is when the immune system overreacts to a substance that to most people is harmless. The reaction that is elicited is not due to the substance you come in contact with, rather the body’s interpretation of the substance. The immune system overreacts, resulting in hypersensitivity, which leads to chronic misinterpretation of these often-harmless substances.
There is no definitive answer as to why some people are more sensitive than others. Theories surrounding hypersensitivity include the idea that your perception of your environment is mediated by your nervous system. Your nervous system is responsible for collecting and processing information to be able to run efficiently. When your nervous system is not functioning properly, the information it is gathering and delivering can be misinterpreted, resulting in an allergic response.
What happens in an allergic response?
We will use pollen as an example for what happens in your body when you have an allergic reaction, though any allergen can replace it.
When the pollen is detected in your nose, eyes, lungs, and on your skin, the immune system initiates a response. The first responders to the scene are mast cells, which are a type of specialized immune cell. Mast cells have receptors on their cell membrane that identify substances to be either harmful or helpful to the body. If a mast cell perceives the pollen to be harmful, the cells release histamine. Histamine is a chemical in the inflammatory response, best known for itching and swelling. The release of histamine triggers the body to work to destroy the pollen via local and possibly systemic inflammation which results in sneezing, coughing, swelling, and watering eyes.
How can Chiropractic help?
Chiropractic is based on the philosophy that the body is self-healing. An uninterrupted nervous system is able to send messages and react appropriately to stressors. Stressors can manifest from physical, emotional, and psychological causes. Regular chiropractic care helps the body perceive stressors and react appropriately. Chiropractic adjustments facilitate the body’s natural response to heal and adapt to its environment. Research states that chiropractic is safe and effective at relieving symptoms associated with allergies. At Restorative Chiropractic and Functional Wellness Center, we consistently see patients receive adjustments and have a subsequent reduction of their allergy symptoms.