41° Good Afternoon
41° Good Afternoon

Drinking alcohol may worsen year-round allergies

The reason your allergies are making you crazy all the time might have nothing to do with your significant other's cat (or dog, or carpet). It might be due to what you're drinking before, after or with dinner. Cutting back on beer, wine and cocktails could mean less sneezing, a clearer nose and more comfortable eyes.

In an eight-year study, women who drank 14 or more alcoholic beverages a week were much more likely to develop year-round nasal allergies than women who had less than a drink a week.

Can cutting down on alcohol cut allergy symptoms you already have? That's not clear yet, but it seems likely. The theory is that alcohol could make symptoms worse, given that alcohol seems to trigger hypersensitivity reactions - the same types of overreactions that occur when your immune system gets all wound up about allergens. Alcohol also can increase the production of an antibody involved in allergic reactions. Yet while drinking raised the risk for year-round allergies, it didn't change the risk for seasonal allergies.

There's no guarantee that switching from a margarita to a virgin version will stop your sneezes. But it's worth trying.


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