Acupuncture for Hayfever and Sinusitis
Chinese Medicine For Hayfever and Sinusitis
Hayfever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is an allergic reaction that affects the upper respiratory tract, specifically the nose. The nose itself acts as an air filtration system, filtering out contaminants such as pollen, dust, hair, dander and other floating particles. In some individuals they can have an allergic response to these contaminants which can cause inflammation of the nasal passages and the production of mucous. This allergic reaction can also be associated with allergic asthma and other symptoms such as tearing and puffy red eyes and even an itchy throat and eyes.
People are searching for adjunctive or alternative natural hayfever treatments to manage their symptoms. Fortunately RMIT, a prestigious Melbourne university, has undertaken quite a bit of research looking at the effect of acupuncture for the treatment of allergic rhinitis (hay fever) in the last 10 years, and this research has contributed to the body of evidence showing the positive effect of acupuncture for the treatment of hay fever and its symptoms.
Natural Hayfever and Sinusitis Treatment
Melbourne can be a challenging place to live if you have sensitivity to pollen due to large amount of surrounding grasslands that can trigger hayfever and sinus symptoms. In some individuals the hayfever can due the seasonal type, which is usually caused by pollens in the air, or in others it can be the persistent hayfever, also called called perennial allergic rhinitis. Pennial allergic rhinitis (persistent hayfever) is often caused by general allergens in the home such as animal fur or dander, dust mites, moulds and other items. In some cases people may refer to their allergic rhinitis as sinusitis, hayfever is a common cause of sinusitis.
Hayfever (allergic rhinitis) can lead to inflammation of the sinuses and impaired nasal drainage. these circumstances can lead to the predisposition to developing sinusitis as a secondary infection. Sinusitis itself is the inflammation and infection of the sinuses, leading to the swelling of the sinus tissues and narrowing of the sinus spaces and the excessive production 0f mucous. The nasal discharge will often be purulent and either yellow or green.
Does Acupuncture Help with Hayfever and Sinusitis?
Acupuncture can offer a solution to manage your hayfever and sinusitis symptoms. Current Research shows that acupuncture can help with the management of hayfever and sinusitis symptoms. Much of the evidence mentioned below is either high or moderate quality evidence that shows a positive effect of acupuncture for the treatment of Allergic Rhinitis
Research Shows Acupuncture Can Help Hayfever and Sinusitis
There have been a number of systematic reviews over the years and they seem to consistently report the benefit of acupuncture for the treatment and management of hayfever - both seasonal and persistent hayfever. Systematic reviews reported significant improvements in nasal symptom scores, High quality evidence of effectiveness and clinicians may refer to acupuncture for those who wish with hayfever who wish to manage without medication (3,4,5). Another randomised control trial conducted by RMIT here in Melbourne in 2015 reported significant improvement in symptoms for Hayfever with high quality evidence (7).
Acupuncture May Reduce Inflammation and the Allergic Immune Response
Acupuncture also appears to have an effect upon the immune system. It appears that in addition to acupuncture treatment resulting in improvement of hayfever and sinus symptoms, it also resulted in reductions in total IgE and dust Mite specific IgE. Acupuncture also seemingly has an effect on reducing substance P - a marker that is related to inflammation (6).
Acupuncture Cost Effective Option for Hayfever
A 2012 review reported that acupuncture was a cost effective treatment for both seasonal and perennial hay fever and is considered superior to rescue medications options available(8, 9).
The Chinese Medicine View of Hayfever and Sinusitis
In Chinese medicine the view of hayfever and the its pathogenisis and cause is quite different. The paradigm of Chinese medicine looks at the body as whole and takes into account the effect of the surrounding environment upon the development of the illness and disease. Chinese medicine also tends to make a distinction between the symptoms associated with hayfever and the symptoms associated with sinusitis.
Conventional Treatment for Hayfever and Sinusitis?
At our Melbourne based Acupuncture clinic we will often see patients looking to use acupuncture for hayfever and sinusitis in addition to their conventional treatment.
Acupuncture for Sinusitis and Hayfever
Chinese medicine approach to Hayfever is a bit different to the conventional medicine approach. We take a holistic view when approaching your acupuncture treatment for sinusitis and hayfever. Generally, we usually will schedule a number of treatments as part of your treatment plan. Acupuncture can be a great management tool for hayfever, but it is not a magic pill, and will require a course of acupuncture treatment. We will talk to you during your consultation about our recommendations about how many hayfever/sinusitis acupuncture treatment sessions you may need.
The Hayfever/Sinusitis Acupuncture consultation
When working with you and your hay fever/sinusitis symptoms we may ask how long you have had this issue, what makes it worse or better, what time of day or environments are your rhinitis or sinusitis symptoms triggered, and how if it all your are currently managing episodes? We will then review other aspects of your health like your activities, sleep quality, aches and pains, your cycle (if relevant) and energy levels. After palpating your pulse and/or abdomen, we then decide upon a course of treatment that we will discuss with you. At Coburg Chinese medicine we support an integrative and inclusive approach to treatment. We may also discuss with you the inclusion of Chinese herbal medicine in your treatment plan
Our Melbourne Acupuncture Clinic
Based in Melbourne, the Coburg Clinic services people from Coburg and surrounding Northern suburbs such as Brunswick, Pascoe Vale, Preston, Fawkner, Thornbury, Northcote. If you wish to discuss how acupuncture can assist you call us on 03 9041 656
Call us on ☎ (03) 9041 6569 to arrange an appointment or book online below
1. McDonald, John & Janz, Stephen. (2016). The Acupuncture Evidence Project : A Comparative Literature Review (Revised). Australian Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Association Ltd, Coorparoo
2. Betterhealth.vic.gov.au. (2017). Hay Fever. [online] Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/hay-fever [Accessed 14 Feb. 2018].
3. Feng S, Han M, Fan Y, Yang G, Liao Z, Liao W, et al. Acupuncture for the treatment of allergic rhinitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2015 Jan-Feb;29(1):57-62.
4. Taw MB, Reddy WD, Omole FS, Seidman MD. Acupuncture and allergic rhinitis. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015 Jun;23(3):216-20.
5. Seidman MD, Gurgel RK, Lin SY, Schwartz SR, Baroody FM, Bonner JR, et al. Clinical practice guideline: Allergic rhinitis. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015 Feb;152(1 Suppl):S1-43.
6. McDonald JL, Smith PK, Smith CA, Changli Xue C, Golianu B, Cripps AW. Effect of acupuncture on house dust mite specific IgE, substance P, and symptoms in persistent allergic rhinitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2016 Jun;116(6):497-505.
7. Xue CC, Zhang AL, Zhang CS, DaCosta C, Story DF, Thien FC. Acupuncture for seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized controlled trial. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2015 Oct;115(4):317-24.e1.
8. Kim SY, Lee H, Chae Y, Park HJ, Lee H. A systematic review of cost-effectiveness analyses alongside randomised controlled trials of acupuncture. Acupunct Med. 2012 Dec;30(4):273-85.
9. Reinhold T, Roll S, Willich SN, Ortiz M, Witt CM, Brinkhaus B. Cost-effectiveness for acupuncture in seasonal allergic rhinitis: economic results of the ACUSAR trial. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2013 Jul;111(1):56-63.