Anyone who deals with constant allergy symptoms can tell you they aren’t a pleasant experience.
However, research has shown that not only are allergies not fun to deal with, but they can significantly affect your mood and mental health as well.
Research Shows Allergies May Increase Depression
Multiple studies have been done on allergies and their effect on mood. A systematic review of 51 large-scale studies that included over 2.5 million participants examined the association between allergic disorders and depression.
Researchers found that:
- Allergic disorders were associated with a significant increase in depression.
- A higher risk of depression was also found in patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma.
- Both children and adults with allergies were at a higher risk of depression than control groups.
Why This Happens
While researchers are still working to completely understand the mechanisms behind how allergies affect mental health, there are several thoughts as to why the connection exists:
- Fatigue. Allergies can cause fatigue in several ways. Nasal congestion, itchy eyes and postnasal drip can all worsen your quality of sleep, leaving you feeling exhausted in the daytime. Poor sleep can worsen mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
- Inflammation. Chronic allergy symptoms can lead to inflammation. Inflammation has been linked to a variety of different health issues, including anxiety and depression.
- Stress. Having allergies can be stressful, particularly if you tend to have severe reactions. You may be worried about coming into contact with your allergens or constantly worrying about how to avoid serious allergic responses.
Can Treating Allergies Help Your Mental Health?
If you’re dealing with feelings of anxiety or depression that are interfering with your daily life, it’s important to reach out to a trained mental health provider to get the help that you need.
In addition, if you have allergies that may be contributing to your struggles, finding the right allergy treatments may help improve your mood. Several ways to do this include:
- Lifestyle changes. Avoiding your allergy triggers is the best way to prevent symptoms. In cases where complete avoidance isn’t possible, minimizing exposure can help. This may include regularly vacuuming and dusting your home, keeping your windows closed and avoiding outdoor areas like Haynes Bridge Greenway when pollen levels are high.
- Over-the-counter treatments. Nasal sprays, antihistamines and other over-the-counter medication may help alleviate your symptoms, making it easier to sleep and feel better throughout the day.
- Visiting an allergist. An allergist can help you properly identify your triggers via allergy testing, prescribe stronger medication and see if you are a good candidate for immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots or drops.
If allergy symptoms are interfering with your life, call the experts at ENT of Georgia North to schedule an appointment today.