Did you know that even a little stress and anxiety can worsen a reaction to common allergens? These findings are reported in a recent study by the American Psychological Association. The study recruited volunteers with a history of simple hay fever and seasonal allergies. Researchers gave standard allergy prick tests to the volunteers and then subjected them to stressful situations such as math tests and public speaking. Their reactions to the allergens were measured the same day and the day after. It was determined that those that were anxious or stressed had a much stronger reaction to the allergens initially and the day after. Therefore, people may be setting themselves up to have more persistent allergy issues by being stressed and anxious when allergy attacks begin. Americans pay more than $3.4 billion for allergy medications and allergy-related doctor visits annually, and lose about 3.5 million work days a year because of them. This new information is startling and shows the crippling effect that stress can have on the body. Stress relieving techniques are very powerful in lowering overall stress and may help the allergic reaction as well.