Western Medicine theorizes that allergies are caused by an 'antigen' in pollen, animal hairs, or other substance. They believe the body's immune system produces and releases antibodies in response to the foreign substances, and that the antibodies have a special attraction to the cells which line the nasal passages, eyelids, and internal organs. Western Medicine then believes that when the antibodies attach to these cells, they release chemicals (histamine) which irritates tissues and produces symptoms of sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, and itchy eyes. You may be required to see an allergy specialist for skin and blood tests to identify which substances are causing the symptoms.
Treatment includes avoiding the substances (your pets, certain areas, etc.) which the tests identify. Antihistamines and decongestants are also prescribed to reduce the symptoms. In chronic or severe cases, steroids may be prescribed to counter the 'inflammation'. Other treatment options include allergy (desensitization) injections with the 'allergen' so the body's immune system can create antibodies to neutralize the production of antibodies. The allergy injection treatments can take up to 3 years to achieve 'desensitization'. Unfortunately, these treatments only control the symptoms, and do not solve the root of the problem so allergy symptoms return season after season.
Traditional Chinese Medicine believes the root cause of sinus problems is due to excess mucus or moisture in the nasal area or top of the lungs. Breathing in tiny particles may cause them to stick to the mucus creating an allergic response. Naturally, the body will try to eliminate the foreign matter by constantly secreting extra mucus. Symptoms of sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes are all signs that the body is eliminating something. We understand that these are only symptoms and not a disease. As long as excess moisture is present in the nasal area or the top of the lungs, allergies can occur at any time.
Treatments with Traditional Chinese Medicine includes herbs to open the nasal passages and to strengthen the spleen functions of controlling excessive tears and mucus. By controlling the bodyˇ¦s environment, the root of the problem can be eliminated. Acupuncture may be used in conjunction with herbs to enhance the treatment.