Acupuncture was recently included in the Allergic Rhinitis Guidelines from the American Academy of Otolaryngology as an Option for treatment of allergic rhinitis. I discussed the guidelines with a good friend of mine, Dr. Sandra Lin at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who was an Assistant Chair for the guidelines committee.
There are now many options for that runny nose, including over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, surgery, and yes, complementary therapies such as acupuncture!
Although the effect may not be as great as other therapies, several studies have shown that acupuncture may help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life in people with perennial (all year) allergic rhinitis and, possibly, seasonal allergic rhinitis. The therapy was listed as an "Option", particularly for patients who are interested in nonpharmagologic treatment.
Herbal therapy still does not have enough evidence for the committee provide a recommendation at this time.
The Plain Language Summary of the Guidelines can be found HERE.
Thomas S. Higgins, Jr., MD, MSPH
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