The Best Natural Treatments For Hay Fever And Allergic Rhinitis
The Best Natural Treatments For Hay Fever And Allergic Rhinitis
Treating hay fever and allergic rhinitis with natural treatments and remedies is an extremely effective way of relieving the symptoms. Before we try to find a way about the effective natural treatments for hay-fever and allergic rhinitis, let’s take a look at first the definition, causes, and symptoms of these diseases.
Allergic Rhinitis Definition
An allergy is an immune system disorder where the body overreacts to harmless substances in the environment such as pollen, dust, mold, danders, and food. Allergy-producing substances are called allergens.
Allergens cause the activation of a certain type of antibody known as IgE. This antibody triggers the release of certain chemicals from cells in your nose, throat, and eyes such as histamine, resulting in an extreme inflammatory response and the associated allergy symptoms. The main causes of allergies are as follows;
Hereditary (runs in the family) RaceSex (boys have a higher risk of developing an allergy than girls) Age Alteration in exposure to infectious diseases during early childhood, Environmental pollutants, Allergen levels, Dietary changes
Hay fever and allergic rhinitis are the most common types of allergic diseases. Symptoms result from the inflammation of the nasal passages, throat, and eyes after inhaling allergens such as pollen, mold, dust, etc. The symptoms include;
Runny nose, Nasal congestion, Sneezing, Nasal itching, Itchy ears and throat, Postnasal drip (mucous runs down the back of the throat), Earache, Sore throat, Sleep disturbances, and snoring, Loss of taste and smell, poor concentration, Headaches, Itchy, sore and puffy eyes.
Natural nasal sprays –
Natural nasal sprays such as SinuSoothe are doctor recommended and contain natural anti-histamines that relieve a runny nose, sneezing, etc. It also relieves nasal congestion and associated headaches etc.
Saline nasal sprays –
Saline nasal sprays such as Sterimar may be useful for moisturizing the nasal passages, removing airborne irritants, and relieving nasal congestion. They can be either isotonic or hypertonic solutions. These can be used long term, have no side effects, and are non-addictive. They are not particularly useful for reducing histamine.
Nasal irrigation –
A neti pot is used to irrigate the sinuses with either an isotonic or hypertonic solution. An isotonic solution has the same salt concentration as your body. A hypertonic solution has a higher salt content and maybe more useful at drawing moisture and mucous from the sinuses. This may help reduce inflammation and relieve nasal congestion. It is a good practice for keeping your sinuses clean and removing irritants. It is completely safe provided you use the correct saline solution.
Natural anti-histamines –
Quercetin and butterbur can be just as effective as OTC anti-histamines but without their side effects. Stinging nettle can also reduce allergic reactions. Your local health food store should be able to advise you on these and others. It usually takes about 4 weeks for these to start taking effect.
Reducing stress levels –
Stress contributes to ill health and should be minimized whenever possible. It reduces immune function and causes ‘flare-ups’. Vitamin B complex assists the body during stressful times and magnesium, 5htp, etc. can help to relax you. There are also plenty of other supplements that can relieve stress and help you to cope with it better. The pressure is healthy, stress is not.
Exercise has been known to reduce allergy symptoms since the endorphins released during exercise act as natural painkillers. It can also improve immune function provided it is not over strenuous.
Natural anti-inflammatories –
Since the symptoms of allergies are caused by inflammation it follows that by reducing inflammation you will reduce the severity of the symptoms. Omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9 oils, vitamin C, turmeric, and ginger are all excellent natural anti-inflammatories. There are plenty of others and your local health food store should be able to advise you on these. It usually takes about 4 weeks for these to start taking effect.
Pollen barriers – Pollen barriers such as special barrier gel inside the nostrils can catch pollen before it enters the nasal passages thus relieving hay fever symptoms. Eye drops – If you suffer from itchy or sore eyes natural eye drops are available.
Allergic Rhinitis Prevention of Hay fever
- Keeping doors and windows closed when the pollen count is high.
- Staying away from areas where there is more pollen such as grass parks, especially in the early morning, late afternoon, and evening when the pollen count is highest.
- Wearing wraparound sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes.
- Taking a shower and washing your hair after going outside when the pollen count is high.
- Not drying washing outside if pollen counts are high – pollen may get trapped in the fibers of clothes and bed linen.
Prevention of Allergic Rhinitis
The only way to prevent allergic rhinitis is to avoid the allergen that causes it, so allergy testing is important to identify the exact indoor allergen that provokes the allergy.
- House dust mite eradication can help if special attention is paid to the bedroom.
- Synthetic duvets and pillows are better than feather fills.
- Old mattresses harbor up to 10,000 dust mites, so use mite impermeable barrier mattress covers.
- Wash pillowcases and covers at 60 degrees centigrade.
- Use a vacuum cleaner fitted with a HEPA filter.
- Choose hardwood and laminate flooring, not heavy pile carpets.
- Discourage soft toys and clutter.
- Regularly air the bedroom to reduce humidity.
For severe pet allergies, unfortunately, it’s best to remove the pet from the home permanently. Cat allergen spreads in the air throughout the home, even if the cat is restricted to specific areas. Although short-haired and female pets carry less dander on their fur, any furry pets can trigger allergies including rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, and mice.
– For food allergies, it is quite simply a case of eliminating the particular food causing the allergy from your diet.
– For allergies caused by mold and/or fungus, any signs of these in your home environment should be completely removed.
– As with all medical conditions you should always consult your doctor before undertaking new treatments.