Allergy sufferers getting rid of over-the-counter allergy meds for acupuncture

CLEVELAND - We're all anxious for the spring sun to shine, but with spring comes allergy season. There is a treatment you can start today that may help with all those seasonal sneezes.

Spring flowers brighten the landscape and mood until the sneezing and wheezing starts leaving allergy suffers miserable.

"Of course with Northeast Ohio we get plenty of opportunity for congestion," Michael Page said.

Page's seasonal allergies are no longer a headache. His pain relief comes from acupuncture.

"I was a little anxious I must admit," Page explained.

Page doesn't really like needles, but he likes the results.

"As long as I don't look at it I'm fine," Page said laughing.

Jamie Starkey understands the fear. She once had a needle phobia too, until she saw the power of a perfectly placed needle. She's now the lead acupuncturist at the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Integrative Medicine.

Starkey said a new study supports this ancient treatment.

"Acupuncture actually decreased the symptoms of allergies. Itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestion and you needed less medication," Starkey explained of the study.

Instead of spending money on medicine, and dealing with those side effects some allergy sufferers are spending their money on acupuncture and preventing the symptoms before they can start.

If your insurance won't cover the treatment, the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Integrative Medicine offers group treatment.

"It drops the price point from $100 to $40," Starkey said.

It's an investment that paid off for Page. He's breathing easier, and looking forward to those spring flowers.

The average treatment lasts eight sessions for allergy sufferers.

It's best to start "before" the symptoms get bad.

With the initial consult, the cost would be just under $400 out of pocket. Some insurance providers cover the treatment.

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