Allergy is associated with depression and anxiety !!
Allergies are the 6th most common chronic health diseases in the world.
Apart from physical health, allergies can also affect mental health. One study, Medical News Today covered last year found that having asthma, allergic rhinitis, or a topic dermatitis could increase a person’s risk of developing a mental illness.
Research was done in the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany with total participants of 1,782, whose age is between 39 and 88 years finds out that there is link between the anxiety and depression, and different types of allergy. This study is published in International Archives of Allergy and Immunology.
Different types of allergies associated with anxiety
The study has divided the allergies into different groups :
- With seasonal allergies,(allergy during the particular seasonal period)
- With perennial (allergy associated all along the year)
- With other allergies, including allergies to foods and insect sting
The study has shown the results, associated with depression
- 27.4% of the individuals reported having an allergy.
- 7.7% of participants said that they had a perennial allergy
- 6.1% had a seasonal allergy, and
- 13.6% reported having another type of allergy.
Few symptoms associated with allergy
- A runny nose
- A stuffy nose
- An itchy nose
- A sore or scratchy throat
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes
- Dark Circles under the eyes
- Frequent headaches
- Eczema-type symptoms, such as having extremely dry, itchy skin that can blister and weep
- Excessive fatigue
After asking the participants additional questions about their mental health — focusing on markers of depression, generalized anxiety disorders, and stress — the researchers concluded that individuals who lived with generalized anxiety also tended to have seasonal allergies.
Few limitations of the study:
“We have a relatively high average age of 61 years, so younger people are rather underrepresented here,” notes first author Katharina Harter, who works at TUM.
“The findings are also based on personal reports rather than official allergy diagnoses,” Harter continues. “But, we have blood samples from all participants and intend to scientifically verify this point.”
Despite these limitations, the study authors emphasize that their findings finally confirm that there is some kind of relationship between seasonal allergies and the experience of anxiety and that doctors need to pay more attention to their patients when they point out such associations.
Depression was positively, and anxiety negatively, associated with perennial allergies was shown in the research published in the journal International Archives of Allergy and Immunology.
The difference between those with seasonal and year-round allergies was surprising to the research team, says Katharina Harter, MPH, the publication’s lead author.
“Most surprising was the fact that we found differences between [the impact psychosocial factors have on] seasonal, or pollen, allergies and perennial allergies, like food allergy,” Harter, a doctoral candidate at University Hospital Augsburg (UNIKA-T) in Germany, told Healthline. “Anxiety was positively associated with seasonal allergies but negatively associated with perennial allergies.”
“We would like to investigate if the same associations can be found in confirmed allergies, which were diagnosed based on blood test or skin-prick tests,” she added. “Also, it would be interesting if these associations can be found in other samples.”
Various treatments of allergies:
The drugs that inhibit the physiological effects of histamine- (the chemical responsible for allergies). Take doctors advice before taking medications
These are to be taken for a short period of time, no longer than 3 days. This helps to reduce the stuffy nose associated with allergy. If used for a long period of time, this can cause a rebound blockage of nose.
Popular decongestants include:
- Cetirizine with Pseudoephedrine
Eye drops and nasal sprays
The eye symptoms of the allergy would be severe itchiness and eye discharge etc. These eye drops can relieve the allergy-related symptoms and nasal spray can relieve nose related allergies. These medications are also advised to be taken for a short period of time with the advice of a doctor.
Corticosteroids peroral or spray help to reduce inflammation and helps in the reduction of allergy. These have no rebound effect like that of the decongestants. Talk to the doctor before taking the medications to avoid medicine-related side effects.
This is the next line of treatment for severe allergies. These shots decrease your immune response to particular allergens over time. They do require a long-term commitment to a treatment plan.
There are different phases of the immunotherapy that include the shot once in one or three times per week for about three to six months to let your body get used to the allergen in the shot.
During the maintenance phase: your allergist would advise you shots every two to four weeks over the course of three to five years. Once you reach this point, it’s possible that your allergy symptoms will fade or disappear altogether.
There are different types of immunotherapy and sublingual is one of the widely used immunotherapy
Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT)
SLIT involves placing a tablet containing a mixture of several allergens under your tongue. It works similarly to allergy shots but without an injection. Currently, it is effective for treating rhinitis and asthma allergies caused by grass, tree pollen, cat dander, dust mites, and ragweed. You can take SLIT treatments, such as Oralair for certain grass allergies, at home after an initial consultation with your doctor. Your first dose of any SLIT will take place in your doctor’s office. Like allergy shots, the medication is taken frequently over a period of time determined by your doctor.
Allergies are the 6th most common chronic health diseases in the world. Apart from physical health, allergies can also affect mental health. Researches have proved that anxiety and depression are associated with allergies. This psychological illness can be prevented by various medical management like the immunotherapy and corticosteroids.
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