Hay fever is a hypersensitive response among some individuals in the respiratory tract and eyes, resulting from an allergic reaction to pollen or various other allergens, including dust mites, fungal spore, and animal fur. Hay fever is a common and frequently-occurring condition that can severely impair human health.
The clinical manifestations of patients suffering from hay fever vary with the individual. The characteristic symptoms of hay fever are: rhinorrhea, lacrimation, sneezing fits, nasal itching, and severe itching in the eyes and external auditory canal, all of which are often mistaken for the symptoms of influenza. In severe cases, symptoms like tracheitis, bronchitis, asthma and pulmonary heart disease may be triggered. In normal cases, there are mainly three types of conditions, which are allergic rhinitis (primarily nasal congestion, rhinorrhea and sneezing), allergic conjunctivitis (primarily red and swollen eyes, itching or pain in the eyes and lacrimation) and allergic asthma (primarily coughing and asthma).
Although hay fever usually occurs in childhood, it may also attack at any age. According to some statistics, 1 in 5 of Australians are affected by hay fever, and the incidence is higher among those with a family history.
As drug treatment has a low recovery rate, may lead to drug resistance, and may cause side effects, many people favour acupuncture therapy or treatment using Chinese herbs as an alternative.
With regard to the pathogenic mechanism of hay fever, western doctors believe that when an allergen, such as pollen, enters a human body and combines with the immune globulin, mast cells are triggered to release bio-active substances such as histamine, which causes some pathological changes such as the contraction of the smooth muscle, increased permeability of the vessels, and increased secretion of serous fluid.. In the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), inharmonious qi from outside and weakness from inside are the main causes of the disease.
Treating hay fever with acupuncture and TCM therapy are different in accordance with various types of conditions, i.e. allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis and allergic asthma. Generally, symptoms can be controlled effectively in 1 to 3 sessions of acupuncture therapy. Ideally, patients with severe conditions should receive 1 to 2 treatments of acupuncture therapy per week until the end of the pollen season. Furthermore, in order to prevent the relapse of the condition the following year, treatment can be given one month beforehand, which may help prevent the onset of the disease or alleviate the symptoms. Acupuncture therapy does not cause any side effects. It receives immediate efficacy and can relieve allergic symptoms instantly and improve anti-disease ability.