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Allergies Affect Mood, Scientists Say

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Allergies Affect Mood, Scientists Say

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Feeling especially cranky or miserable while suffering from allergies? Turns out the runny nose and itchy eyes could actually be affecting your mood and even be exacerbating your risk for depression.

Doctors agree there's a real connection between allergies and mood, CNN reports, and it's easy to see how those irritating allergy symptoms can put a serious damper on people right around this time.

But research also shows there is about a doubling of risk for depression in a person suffering allergies -- and those who have been seen by an allergist are three times more likely of having depression.

There's no evidence that allergies cause depression, or vice-versa, but the physiological symptoms of allergic reactions -- low energy, greater likelihood of crying, etc. -- could trigger someone predisposed to depression.

There's also the possibility that the low moods during allergy season could be the result of all the sneezing or side effects from medication. But these, too, could "circumstantially make existing depression worse," says CNN.

To combat allergies with minimal side effects, allergist Dr. Robert Overholt tells CNN that prescription intranasal steroids and topical antihistamines for the nose work well.

Other allergy-sufferers seem to like the neti pot and other over-the-counter nasal rinses for sinus problems.

The only way to get more complete, long-lasting relief from allergies, though, is to undergo desensitization, or allergy shots, which are small doses of the offending pollen administered under a patient's skin over the course of three to five years. 

Do you find yourself getting moody during allergy season? How do you try and combat it?

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