Hay fever is an awful illness to deal with. Sometimes referred to as “allergic rhinitis”, hay fever is a name given to an annoying collection of symptoms. These symptoms are the result of the body’s overreaction to a substance it reads as poisonous. The symptoms associated with hay fever are nasal stuffiness, congestion, sneezing, runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, scratchy throat, irritating cough, and postnasal drip. Often, hay fever strikes people at different seasons of the year, but the result is the same. For the estimated one in ten who suffer from it, hay fever is torture.

Though genetics may play a part in allergies, there are other factors involved. Studies done on identical twins, which have the exact same genes, reveal that one twin may be allergic and the other not. If genetics were the only issue, all twins would react the same.

Different substances in the air are the usual triggers for hay fever. Normally innocent things that really aren’t poisonous register in an allergic person’s body as poisonous. Airborne triggers include mold, grass and tree pollen, different kinds of smoke including wood and cigarette, mites, and animal dander.

The health body normally doesn’t react at all to any of these substances. With an allergic person, though, the body’s immune system goes into overdrive and produces antibodies to defend against these supposed “poisonous” intruders. This unnecessary production of antibodies can affect the ability to breathe, the skin may itch, and the eyes and nose may over secrete.

Normally, we count on the immune system to protect us from microbes that inhabit our environment. In the case of hay fever, however, the immune system is “shooting the sweater around your neck because it things the sweater is trying to strangle you”. Obviously, there is a breakdown in the immune system of hay fever sufferers.

Controlling everything in the environment may be an obvious protection, but not an easy one. The conferment necessary to protect from allergies is to torture as much as hay fever is torture. Medications are available but they have their own set of drawbacks and, really, are only for temporary relief.

One important factor in helping sufferers is realized by looking at the health of the immune system, again. We in chiropractic know that building up the immune system, using the body’s own healing ability, is the best idea. People under regular chiropractic care appear to have a higher immune system ability that people judged as basically healthy.

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