What is hay fever?
Hay fever is a commonly seen condition in Melbourne. The scientific term for hay fever is allergic rhinitis, referring to the inflammation of the mucosal lining of the nose as a result of an allergic reaction. Allergic rhinitis encompasses seasonal allergic rhinitis, where symptoms generally occur in spring and summer, and perennial allergic rhinitis, where symptoms occur at any time of the year.
What can cause hay fever?
As its name suggests, hay fever is an allergic reaction triggered by exposure to certain stimulants (allergens).The most common substances that cause hay fever are present in the air and are inhaled into the nose. They include grass, weed and tree pollens, house dust mite faeces, mould spores, and animal dander (hair and skin flakes) especially from cats.
Wind-borne pollens are usually the cause of seasonal allergic rhinitis. Dust mites are the most common allergen for perennial allergic rhinitis.
Symptoms of hay fever
The symptoms of hay fever vary from person to person. The most common symptoms are:
- Itchy eyes and nose
- Runny nose
- Watery, red, puffy eyes
- Blocked nose, and sometimes blocked ears as well
- Sore throat, tickly cough and hoarse voice
How TCM may help
From the perspective of Chinese medicine there can be several underlying reasons behind the occurrence of hay fever. The diagnosis is made according to a number of distinguishing features such as whether the patient’s condition is predominantly ‘hot’ or ‘cold’. A hot type of hay fever includes symptoms of red and inflamed eyes and a yellow mucus discharge. Conversely, a cold condition includes symptoms of a clear nasal discharge and sensitivity to cold weather. Different herbs and acupuncture treatment are given according to which category of hay fever the patient’s symptoms fit.
Chinese medicine also examines the underlying nature of the patient’s condition and aims to treat the fundamental cause of the illness rather than simply alleviating the symptoms. Regardless of whether the allergy is hot or cold in nature, it can arise simply because the patient’s vital life energy or “Qi” has become depleted or out of balance in some way. Long term treatment would be directed towards discovering the underlying cause and rebalancing and strengthening the “Qi”.
How we can help
In our clinic, Dr. Jim Xing has a wealth of experience in assisting patients with hay fever and other allergy related conditions such as asthma, eczema, and hives. He is very passionate about helping patients both in alleviating their symptoms and achieving better overall wellbeing.
Book your appointment today
We are dedicated to helping you achieve the health and wellness that you desire. If you are interested, feel free to call us at our Frankston clinic on 9785 6688, or our Murrumbeena clinic on 9041 8879 to book an appointment today.