OSU researchers examine connection between allergies and anxiety, depression

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Dr. Kara Wada is an allergy specialist at the OSU Wexner Medical Center. She recently wrote a blog post about the connection between allergies and anxiety and depression.

"Even dating back to about ten years ago, there was some research out of the Ohio State University looking at the immune system, and its effects on allergies," Dr. Wada said. "And knowing that there is implications between anxiety and depression and our body's immune system and immune system health -- and allergy reactions."

Allergies are a type of inflammation. It's believed some of the same substances - called cytokines - may also have an effect on the brain and mental health. However, allergy symptoms themselves can lead to feelings of anxiety.

"If you feel like you can't get enough air in to breathe, whether it's in through your nose, or to your lungs, that certainly is one of the most scary symptoms one could experience. So that could drive underlying anxiety as well," Dr. Wada explained.

Dr. Wada says it's important to work with your medical team to discuss any possible interactions between medications.