So, I left my office for a stroll in the summer sunshine, to breathe in some fresh air and stretch my legs and within five minutes my nose was stuffed, my mouth, tongue and lips were itchy and the insides of my ears were itchy too.
What was going on?
As of August 12th, here in New York, I was an itchy-mouth mess all due to an allergy to ragweed.
What is an allergy? Just to recap: allergies are an overreaction of a person's immune system to substances that normally cause no problems. These allergenic substances can cause allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, urticaria, dermatitis and even anaphylaxis.
What is ragweed? Dr. James Thompson on this site has written an excellent post all about ragweed allergy and managing it during the fall season .
For those of you wondering just what the deal is, according to Wikipedia: [Ragweed] is highly allergenic, generally considered the greatest allergen of all pollens, and the prime cause of hay fever in North Ame...
Back in 2005, I started weekly acupuncture treatments. Primarily, I went for stomach distress. However, during that first summer of treatment, I felt less anxious, better able to tolerate the brutal New York City summers and I felt less sensitive to environmental seasonal allergies, which I have every season.
How was this possible? Was it a result of acupuncture? I asked my practitioner about these unexpected results. She said, "Yes. Very often even though we work on other issues, decreased anxiety, decreased sensitivity to heat and decreased seasonal allergies are happy side effects of acupuncture." Apparently, most acupuncturists, according to her, know about this. But the public? Not so much.
At the time, though, she didn't have any western studies to back that up. But lo and behold, a new study in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (the Journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology ) found that the effects of acupuncture on allergies ar...
After Labor Day, many people begin to have an increase in their allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy red eyes and sometimes worsening of their asthma . The cause of this is usually that these people are allergic to ragweed. Allergy to ragweed is commonly referred to as "hay fever," and allergists tend to refer to it as " allergic rhinitis ." Allergic rhinitis can either follow a persistent pattern where it affects people several times per week, or it can be intermittent. Allergic rhinitis may also be affected by the pollens outside such as weeds -- in particular, ragweed. Ragweed usually starts pollinating around the middle of August each year and is found all over the United States. Its pollens can travel far distances, being carried in the wind. This means that even though you may live in a city and don't see ragweed growing, that you can still be exposed to it and have symptoms. Ragweed season typically lasts until the first frost or around mid-...
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