Depression is a mood disorder characterized by feelings of sadness and loss of interest that can interfere with your daily life and ability to function. According to the WHO, depression is very common, affecting roughly 5% of adults around the world.
It may surprise you to learn that depression has been linked to allergies. We review the connection below.
What the Research Shows
One study, entitled “Mental Health in Allergic Rhinitis: Depression and Suicidal Behavior” and published in Current Treatment Options in Allergy in March 2017, reports that:
- Allergic rhinitis is more prevalent in patients with major depression and those having family history of a depressive disorder.
- Subjective worsening of mood when high pollen counts are high has been reported previously in college students.
- Studies have demonstrated that pollen-specific IgE positivity is associated with worse depressive scores in bipolar disorder patients during high pollen season.
In short, people tend to have worse depression during pollen season when their symptoms are flaring.
Why the Link?
Common allergy symptoms include itchy eyes, congestion, runny nose, sore/scratchy throat, cough and headache. These symptoms can range from mild to severe; while some people can be experiencing allergies and go about their days as usual, others may feel physically ill.
The world doesn’t pause just because you’re experiencing allergies; you likely still have to keep up on your obligations like going to work or school, parenting and showing up for your family. Allergies can negatively affect your ability to do these things.
If you live with chronic, severe allergies, you probably spend most of your days – especially in the spring and summer, unless you have year-round allergies – feeling pretty terrible. If you experience more bad days than good days, it can certainly affect your mood.
You can manage your allergies by:
- Practicing avoidance of known allergens.
- Taking medications like antihistamines.
- Undergoing immunotherapy.
In many cases, mild depression can be managed by:
- Practicing deep breathing.
- Exercising at LIV Fitness.
- Sleeping well.
- Eating a balanced diet.
If you find that you are unable to do these things to care for yourself, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your doctor.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with an allergist, call ENT of Georgia North today.