Ask Dr. Nandi: Sad in the spring? Allergy-mood link is real

Posted at 5:46 PM, Mar 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-27 09:00:31-04

The warmer weather has finally arrived and along with it, spring allergies. 

Itchy watery eyes, sneezing and runny noses can be quite annoying but research has also found another more serious symptom which could affect your emotional state. 

The link between allergies and mood is quite real and likely not surprising if you have to deal with symptoms that make you feel miserable or cranky. 

Research has also found a link between allergies and depression. In fact, you’re at a 50% increased risk just for having allergies. And your risk almost triples for depression if you see an allergist.

The studies don’t show that allergies cause depression. But there certainly is a connection and I want allergy sufferers to be aware that you’re more vulnerable. 

Watch out for mild depression symptoms which can include feelings of sadness, fatigue and low energy. And be careful if you have clinical depression, as allergies can make your symptoms worse. 

One study found that suicide rates increased between April and June when tree pollen levels are at their peak.

So this is very concerning and please always see your doctor if you’re struggling with severe symptoms.

There are many different types of medications available that treat allergy symptoms. I would suggest you talk with your doctor or allergist as some antihistamines can cause sleep problems and grogginess which can make your mood even worse.

One of the best ways to get long lasting relief is through allergy shots. That’s where you’re given small amounts of pollen over several years. 

The results last anywhere between 1 and 5 years. 

However some lucky people get to lead an allergy-free life.

But you can always take other steps that help like using a nasal rinse, closing your windows when pollen counts are high and using a HEPA filter to capture allergens indoors.