Lauren Thomas, the Digital Ninja for https://www.furnacecompare.com/ shared with Healthy Lombard that if you or someone in your home has allergies, you are probably all too familiar with the physical symptoms. Coughing, sneezing, watery eyes and wheezing or shortness of breath are extremely common and can make you feel absolutely miserable. But did you know that allergies, especially seasonal allergies, can also have an impact on your psychological health?
A variety of recent studies show a direct correlation between allergies and anxiety. There are many suspected reasons for this, from the body’s natural response to inflammation to the psychological stress of feeling sick, but the latest research leaves little doubt that those who suffer from allergies are at higher risk for anxiety (though the reverse does not seem to be true).
Fortunately, treating the allergies appears to bring down the anxiety as well. Seeing a doctor for your allergies is always important, but minimizing your exposure to allergens can also help. Properly maintaining your HVAC system is one of the biggest ways that you can lessen allergens in your home, reducing allergy flare-ups and the anxiety that goes with them. In addition, regular HVAC maintenance boosts the lifespan of your system, reduces the risk of expensive breakdowns, and keeps costs down by maximizing efficiency. If your HVAC has reached the end of its useful life, consider replacing it with one of the best furnaces or best air conditioners of 2020.
The link between allergies and anxiety
The link between allergies and anxiety has been heavily documented. A 2019 German study of 1,782 participants with an average age of 61 was published in the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology. It found a strong link between generalized anxiety and seasonal allergies. Medical News Today notes younger people were underrepresented in that study, but a small study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2016 shows similar results in children.
In July 2019, The Atlantic published a detailed roundup of research addressing this issue, as well as a comprehensive analysis of the factors that may play a role in linking allergies with anxiety. A simple explanation is that feeling sick can cause psychological stress. You might worry about whether your symptoms are actually from an illness or become anxious when you are straining to breathe. You might also worry about coming into contact with the things that trigger your allergies and begin making a conscious effort to avoid them. Over time, these heightened emotions thought patterns and behaviors can threaten your sense of overall safety and security in the world. In turn, it is not uncommon to settle into ongoing, chronic anxiety.