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Stress May Boost Allergy Symptoms

Update Date: Apr 01, 2014 04:35 PM EDT

Meditation and yoga may help protect people against spring allergies, a new study suggests.

While stress doesn't cause allergies, new research reveals that avoiding stress and easing your mind could lead to less allergy flare-ups.

New research reveals that stressed out allergy sufferers experience more allergy flares than their more relaxed counterparts.

"Stress can cause several negative effects on the body, including causing more symptoms for allergy sufferers," lead researcher allergist Amber Patterson, MD and American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology member, said in a news release. "Our study also found those with more frequent allergy flares also have a greater negative mood, which may be leading to these flares."

The latest study involved 179 patients for 12 weeks. Researchers said that 39 percent of patients had more than one allergy flare. The findings revealed that this group suffered more stress than those without allergy symptoms.

Of the group that had more than one allergy flare, 64 percent had more than four flares over two 14-day periods.

While the study found no significant links between allergy flares and stress on the same day, researchers said a large proportion of sufferers reported allergy flares within days of increased daily stress.

"Symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes can cause added stress for allergy sufferers, and may even be the root of stress for some," said Patterson. "While alleviating stress won't cure allergies, it may help decrease episodes of intense symptoms."

Researcher recommend allergy sufferers relieve stress by meditating, reducing participation in stress-inducing activities, adopt healthy lifestyles, asking for help, and setting aside time for fun and relaxation.

"Allergy sufferers can also alleviate stress and allergy symptoms by seeing their board-certified allergist," allergist James Sublett, MD, ACAAI president-elect, said in a statement. "An allergist will help you develop an action plan with ways to avoid allergy triggers and what treatment will be best for your individual needs."

The findings are published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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