It’s the time of the year again. With the change in season, allergic rhinitis is on the rise.
What is allergic rhinitis?
Commonly known as hay fever, allergic rhinitis occurs when the nose and eyes are coming into contact with allergens such as pollen, dust mite, moulds and animal dander. The body’s immune system recognises and then overreacts to these environmental allergens that typically don’t cause issues for most people.
- Runny, itchy, or congested nose
- Watery, itchy eyes
How is it treated in Western medicine?
The patient is often referred for further allergy testing to find the specific allergen. Medications prescribed include antihistamines, corticosteroids and decongestant sprays. These medications do not cure the allergy, but instead, help to treat the symptoms. Regular use of antihistamine can come with side effects, including excessive dryness of the mouth, nose, and eyes, fatigue, drowsiness, nausea, and decreased appetite.
How can acupuncture help?
According to statistics, approximately 18% of patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis use acupuncture as a way to help alleviate their symptoms (1).A recent clinical trial had the objective of analysing whether or not seasonal allergic rhinitis patients were able to reduce their use of antihistamines while having acupuncture treatments. As the data of 414 patients revealed, the group receiving acupuncture needed antihistamines significantly less often than the sham acupuncture group. After eight weeks, approximately 38% of the acupuncture group did not use any antihistamines compared to 16% in the non-acupuncture group. The authors concluded that acupuncture helped significantly to reduce the number of days antihistamines are needed. With the quality of life scores improved, acupuncture should be considered a valuable adjuvant treatment option (1).
Another systematic review from 2019 gathered data from eight research trials which researched the effectiveness of acupuncture at a specific acupoint, the sphenopalatine ganglion, for treatment of allergic rhinitis. The findings showed that applying acupuncture on that specific Ganglion point was more effective than control groups in alleviating nasal symptoms and improving quality of life for patients (2).
Acupuncture for Hay Fever Brisbane
For more information about how we can help you, please contact us on 3371 0100, or book online for a consultation.
1. Adam, D, Grabenhenrich, L et al. 2018, ‘Impact of acupuncture on antihistamine use in patients suffering seasonal allergic rhinitis: secondary analysis of results from a randomised controlled trial’, Acupuncture Medicine, vol. 36, pp. 139-145.
2. Fu, Q, Zhang, L, et al. 2019, ’Effectiveness of acupuncturing at the Sphenopalatine Ganglion acupoint alone for treatment of allergic rhinitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis’, Hindawi Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2019