Allergic Rhinitis is a common in Singapore, and these are the patients coming in with an itchy, dripping or blocked nose. It is a form of catarrhal inflammation, like a tap that doesn’t stop flowing. People who suffer from allergic rhinitis may also feel itchy around the eyes or suffer from post-nasal drip resulting in chronic cough.
Sinusitis may accompany Allergic Rhinitis, because a blocked nose often ends up blocking the sinuses. Sinusitis may present as acute or chronic, infectious or non-infectious. In all cases, the ethmoid and/or maxillary sinuses will feel swollen and inflammed.
Acupuncture can be very helpful in relieving inflammation and that ‘blocked’ feeling in both allergic rhinitis and sinusitis, while herbs can be very helpful in both acute and chronic phases.
Asthma / Allergic Bronchitis involves inflammation of the bronchi caused by an allergen, and can often occur as part of the atopic triad. This form of inflammation involves elevated IgE, elevated mast cell degranulation, elevated eosinophilic infiltration in the lungs and airway hyper-responsiveness.
Chinese herbs can be helpful in balancing out an over-active immune system, hence preventing an inflammatory cascade from spiraling out of control. For example, Cortex Mori Radicis is able to enhance TReg levels, while inhibiting expression of Th2 cytokines. As another example, Fritillaria ussuriensis inhibits the production of inflammatory cytokines and MAPKs in mast cells. All this and more helps in reducing Th2 excess in cytokine mediated bronchitis.
Allergic Dermatitis / Eczema
The immunological hallmark of Atopic Dermatitis is a Th2 dominance that produces IgE and activation of eosinophil granulocytes.
Urticaria is also called Angioedema or Hives. Urticaria presents as itchy wheals that vary in size and may disappear as the allergic reaction runs its course.