Untitled Document

Allergies And The Nerve System

Allergies go beyond occasional bouts of the sniffles. Studies show that allergies significantly affect quality of life and interfere with daily activities, including work and school. And a new survey reveals that allergies also dramatically affect sufferers' moods and self-perceptions.

According to "Attitudes About Allergies" (a Harris Interactive phone survey conducted among 1,000 allergy sufferers, 1,000 consumers (both allergy sufferers and non-sufferers) and 300 physicians), 62 percent of allergy sufferers say their allergies influence their mood. Fifty-one percent feel annoyed, 48 percent feel irritable and 42 percent feel frustrated. Additionally, 22 percent say their allergies make them feel less attractive, and 19 percent feel self-conscious.

What Is Allergic Rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis is an allergic reaction to airborne particles. This reaction primarily affects the nose and eyes. There are two types of allergic rhinitis: seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and perennial allergic rhinitis, which occurs year-round.

Hay fever is triggered by outdoor allergens, and perennial allergic rhinitis by indoor allergens. Symptoms of allergic rhinitis resemble those of a cold.

What Causes Allergies?

In allergic rhinitis, the immune system over responds to harmless substances - like pollen, mold and pet dander - and launches an assault. This attack is called an allergic reaction. Risk factors for allergic rhinitis include a family history of allergy, having other allergies, such as food allergies or eczema, exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke, a poor diet, lack of exercise, fatigue and stress.

Researchers also speculate that an aggressive childhood vaccination schedule may prompt an autoimmune response, which might be associated with the rise in cases of allergic rhinitis.

Keep Your Immune System in Top Form With Chiropractic

Preliminary research indicates that chiropractic strengthens immunity by influencing the nervous system. Researchers speculate that, because the spinal column houses the spinal cord (the main component of the nervous system), dysfunction of the spinal column may influence the nervous system. This, in turn, impairs immune function (Circulation 1992;86:203).

Since allergies are tied to a dysfunction in the immune system, the chiropractic office is a great place to start in the battle against allergies. Doctors of Chiropractic theorize that a common condition known as vertebral subluxation may disturb the natural flow of nerve impulses. Vertebral subluxations occur when spinal movement is restricted or spinal bones (vertebrae) become misaligned. Chiropractors correct this condition with safe and gentle maneuvers called chiropractic adjustments.

See the Vertebral Subluxation Chart to see which spinals levels are associated with specific nerve interference patterns.