Many people are breathing a sigh of relief that spring officially starts Thursday.
However, if you're one of the millions of allergy sufferers, breathing through a stuffy nose comes with the season.
On Wednesday, college student Emmy Weikert took a diagnostic test to determine what she is allergic to.
Dr. Brian Foley of Nashville connected Weikert to a machine that tested her for thousands of allergens.
“You actually have an allergy point, if I could have this finger, you have an allergy point here and here. This is all mapped out in acupuncture,” explained Dr. Foley.
Dr. Foley takes a holistic approach to treating allergies.
“They have these allergies and they go to the allergy doctor and what he does is he basically covers them up with different medications, when in reality you could get rid of the allergies once and for all,” Dr. Foley said.
Dr. Foley said in more than 90% of his patients, allergies turn out to be a sign of a greater heath problem, often time related to the liver.
The liver has a wide range of functions, including detoxification.
“The person is breathing in these allergens, and it is not getting detoxified in the liver, and it ends up in the blood stream,” said Dr. Foley.
Dr. Foley said that's when a person's body starts to attack the allergen with antibodies giving them symptoms of seasonal allergies.
“That becomes a sensitivity, or a full blown allergy. They start having watery eyes [and] nose and that kind of thing,” said Dr. Foley.
If you are looking for a quick fix, over the counter medications will help, but getting to the root of the problem, as Dr. Foley suggests, will take much longer.
“This particular technique is not a quick fix. It does take a little bit of time and a little bit of effort. We're going to have to look at their diet too. It's more of a program the person needs to fix the body,” said Dr. Foley.
The first step in Dr. Foley's diagnostic test is checking for a patient's food allergies.
Weikert has always considered herself a seasonal allergy sufferer, but Wednesday to her surprise, learned she is allergic to chicken and grain.
“Finding out that I'm allergic to those things was a little disappointing,” said Weikert.
According to the Academy of Allergy and Asthma and Immunology, about 35 million American's suffer from allergies.