As we enter the warmer months hayfever and sinusitis season is upon us. But is there anything that can be done to help you treat and prevent suffering from these problems? A lot of people live through the hayfever season by taking antihistamines or nasal sprays. But this is doing nothing to help treat the problem rather it just acts to mask the symptoms. So is there a natural cure for hay fever and sinusitis? The short answer is YES and it’s nothing to be sneezed at!
Hayfever, or allergic rhinitis, is something that affects many people all over the world. So what exactly is hay fever? Rhinitis means ‘inflammation of the nose’ while allergic means the ‘normal but exaggerated response to an allergen’. Allergic rhinitis is something that can occur throughout the year or it can be seasonal where the symptoms are usually exacerbated in Spring and Summer when the levels of pollens and grasses are at their peak. Episodes can be caused by exposure to allergens such as dust, animal fur, fungal spores and irritants like smoke, perfume and cold air.
Symptoms of allergic rhinitis can include: sneezing; itchy and runny nose; watery, red, itchy and puffy eyes; blocked nose and ears; sore throat, tickly cough and husky voice.
According to Chinese medicine we consider hayfever to be caused by an invasion of pathogenic factors (i.e. airborne allergens such as pollen) into a person with a lowered immune system. The nose is the entry point into the lungs so if the nasal passage is inflamed, such as the case with allergic rhinitis, then it means that the lung function is going to be impaired so the lung isn’t able to descend and disperse the Qi (energy) properly, resulting in congestion and the energy not moving in the normal direction.
Sinusitis tends to have similar symptoms to that of allergic rhinitis though there also tends to be more pressure and pain in the sinuses above and below the eyes and in general less sneezing and itching. In Chinese medicine sinusitis can be caused by pathogens or it can be caused by deficiency in the body. If the Lung is weak then it can’t function properly and results in a similar situation that occurs with allergic rhinitis (hayfever). Also, another possible cause of sinusitis in Chinese medicine can be related to the Spleen. If the Spleen is weak then this tends to result in the accumulation of dampness in the body and causes large amounts of nasal discharge as well as this dampness accumulating in the sinuses, hence resulting in sinusitis.
Through the use of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine we are able to expel pathogens from the body as well as strengthen the Lungs which in effect boosts the immune system. We are also able to strengthen the Spleen and clear dampness. The number of treatments required to treat hayfever or sinusitis, like with all conditions, varies depending on the severity and duration you have suffered the problem. Acupuncture treatment is generally given once or twice a week and herbal medicine taken daily.
So if hayfever or sinusitis is something that you suffer from why not try a natural cure which may just have you throwing away those anti-histamines and nasal sprays for good.