Introduction to Natural Ways To Treat Allergic Rhinitis
An allergen is a harmless substance or element that causes an allergic reaction. Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is mostly an allergic response or reaction to specific allergens. The most common allergen in seasonal allergic rhinitis pollen. It causes allergy symptoms that occur with the seasonal change.
The common symptoms of allergic rhinitis are:
- runny nose
- stuffy nose
- itching in nose
- sore throat
- itchy and watery eyes
- frequent headaches
- extremely dry and itchy skin
- excessive fatigue
One might usually experience one or more of the above symptoms immediately after coming into contact with any allergen. Few symptoms, such as headaches that are frequent and fatigue can only happen after long-term exposure to allergens. Fever is not a symptom of hay fever.
Few people experience symptoms only rarely. This mostly happens when one is exposed to allergens in large quantities. Many of the other people do experience symptoms throughout the year. Consult your doctor about your possible allergies if symptoms last for more than a few weeks and are not improving.
Causes of allergic rhinitis
When the human body comes into contact with an allergen, it starts releasing histamine. Histamine is a natural chemical that defends the body from the allergen and can cause allergic rhinitis and its associated symptoms, which includes a runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing.
The other common allergens include:
- grass pollen
- dust mites
- animal dander
- cat saliva
Types of allergic rhinitis
There are two types of allergic rhinitis known as seasonal and perennial. Seasonal allergies mostly occur during the spring and fall season and are in response to outdoor allergens such as pollen. Perennial allergies can occur continual, or at any time during the year in response to any indoor substances, such as dust mites and animal dander.
Risk factors for allergic rhinitis
Allergies can mostly affect anyone, but mostly develop in individuals having a history of allergies in family. Having a family history of asthma or atopic eczema can increase the risk of allergic rhinitis.
Few external factors can also trigger or worsen this condition, such as:
- cigarette smoke
- cold temperatures
- air pollution
- wood smoke
Diagnosis of allergic rhinitis
If someone has minor allergies, then maybe only physical examination is needed. Your doctor might perform a few tests to diagnose the best possible treatment and its prevention. One of the most common tests is a skin prick test. The doctor keeps several substances on your skin to see the reaction to each one on your body. Generally, a small red bump appears if you are allergic to any substance.
A blood test, or radioallergosorbent test (RAST), is also one of the common tests. The RAST assesses the amount of immunoglobulin E antibodies to the specific allergens in your blood.
Home remedies for allergic rhinitis
Medications such as antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays can provide some relief as suggested by the doctors. However, there are few natural and at-home methods can provide much relief. Following are few home remedies for treating allergic rhinitis at home:
Avoid the triggers of allergy
The best possible way to treat allergic symptoms is to avoid the allergens in the first place if someone is prone to seasonal allergies. For example, if you know your child’s allergy trigger, then limit their time which they spend outdoors especially on the days when the particular pollen count is highest. As the weather changes, avoiding the triggers can really help, according to the experts.
Make your house allergy-proof
Keep the windows of your house closed in warm and dry conditions making it easier for pollen to travel during the breeze. Put a clean filter in the air-conditioning system in the start of the season and keep replacing it every two to three months. Most of the allergens do thrive in moist environments, hence use a dehumidifier to reduce your home’s humidity level. One can also consider buying a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
Reduce the pollen grip
Pollen clings to clothes, skin, and anything else it comes on just as household dust. Avoid hanging clothes or towels outside to dry. When your child comes inside the house, use a damp washcloth for wiping their face, especially around their eyes. Also, before bedtime, let your child take a bath or a shower. When you come from outside, take a shower and change your clothes to keep away any allergens. Also, leave your shoes at the door.
Protect your child’s and your eyes
Red, itchy and teary eyes are one of the most aggravating allergies symptoms. The itching is due to the inflammation of the mucous membrane that covers the whites of the eyes and inner eyelids. Make your kids wear sunglasses and a hat with a brim when going out. Children keep touching their face all the time and with these accessories they will be less likely to rub their eyes.
Wear a mask when outside
Wearing a mask will keep allergens from getting into your airways, especially when you cannot avoid some allergy triggers, such as working or cleaning the house or your yard. Any proper filtered mask will block small particles, such as pollen and other allergens.
Eat healthy food
Children who eat lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, and nuts such as oranges, grapes, apples and tomatoes have fewer allergy symptoms. A healthy regular diet is good for our whole body and helps in reducing the allergy symptoms. Have at least one fresh fruit and vegetable to every meal you eat.
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Use nasal rinse
Trying a nasal rinse can clean mucus your nose and ease allergy symptoms. It can also remove bacteria and thin mucus by decreasing the postnasal drip. Buy a rinse kit or make one by using a neti pot or a nasal bulb. Mix 3 teaspoons of non-iodized salt with 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Store this in an airtight container. Use 1 teaspoon of the mixture into little distilled or boiled then cooled water. Lean over a sink and slowly flush one nostril at a time. This can flush the mucus easing nasal congestion.
Drink more water
Whenever you have a stuffy nose or have post nasal drip due to your allergies, sip more water, juice, or other fresh drinks. The extra liquid intake can thin the mucus from your nasal passages offering some relief. Also, one can have warm liquids like teas or soups.
Take some steam
Inhale some steam regularly. This simple and handy tip can ease a stuffy nose making it easier to breathe. Hold and keep your head over a warm not too hot bowl or sink full of water and put a towel on your head to trap the steam. One can also sit in the bathroom with a hot shower running.
Avoid cigarette smoke
Cigarette smoke can worsen your itchy, runny, stuffy nose and watery eyes. Avoid public places where people smoke and choose smoke-free restaurants or outdoor places. Avoid other fumes like aerosol sprays and smoke from wood-burning fireplaces that can worsen the symptoms.
- As adapted from the website: https://www.healthline.com/health/allergic-rhinitis
- As adapted from the website: https://www.webmd.com/allergies/ss/slideshow-natural-relief
- As adapted from the website: https://www.parents.com/health/allergies/prevention/8-home-remedies-for-nasal-allergies/