The ABC’s of Allergy Prevention: Get to Know Your Allergy Alphabet

Spring is here and can mean not only beautiful weather but also a runny nose and itchy throat.

Allergies mean that your immune system is working overtime. They’re on the upswing since longer summers and warmer winters mean an extended growing season and more pollen in the air.

Read through the ABCs of allergy prevention and take the holistic approach to control them. Add to your list until you start to see a decrease in your symptoms….which should hopefully be soon!

Allergies  The first time you encounter an allergen, your plasma cells release IgE (immunoglobulin E), a “soldier” specific to that allergen. These IgE antibodies attach to your mast cells on your skin, the mucous membranes of your nose, and any tissues that interface with the external environment.  Future encounters with a particular allergen cause the mast cells to release chemicals such as histamine, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins.  These chemicals cause the miserable symptoms of allergies:  sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, hacking cough, itchy eyes, etc.

Pollen is an extremely common mast cell activator, but there are other triggers: mold spores, dust, dust mites, airborne contaminants, dust mites, pet dander, cockroaches, environmental chemicals, cleaning products, personal care products and foods can all cause allergic reactions. Every person’s reaction is different.

Acupuncture  Weekly acupuncture treatments have a significant effect on breathing, although only short term, so are especially helpful to those who have a seasonal allergies and would need the treatments over only a short time.  Our favorite local acupuncturist in the State college area is Jane Weaver, M.Ac. or Heather Ferlitch, D.C., M.S., L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.