LIFESTYLE

Stress Can Make Allergies Worse Says New Study

01/04/2014 16:46 BST | Updated 01/04/2014 16:59 BST

If you have allergies, you're more likely to feel the brunt of them if you're stressed out, says new research.

Feeling stressed - including by allergy symptoms themselves - can have an impact on how many times people have an attack, it found.

Experts at Ohio State University in the US analysed 179 patients for a period of 12 weeks.

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Of this group, 39% had more than one allergy flare-up and were found to be the ones suffering the most stress.

Among those who were stressed, 64% had more than four flare-ups over two 14-day periods.

A number of sufferers reported allergy flare-ups within days of increased daily stress, the study found.

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The research was published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Lead study author and allergist Dr Amber Patterson said: "Stress can cause several negative effects on the body, including causing more symptoms for allergy sufferers.

"Our study also found those with more frequent allergy flares also have a greater negative mood, which may be leading to these flares.

"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. While alleviating stress won't cure allergies, it may help decrease episodes of intense symptoms."

Experts recommend allergy sufferers relieve stress through meditation and deep breathing, not smoking or drinking caffeine, and asking for help with stressful workloads or events.

People should also make time for fun and relaxation, adopt a healthy diet and make sure they get enough sleep.

Dr James Sublett, from the American College of Allergy, said: "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."