An introduction to allergic rhinitis treatments
Allergic rhinitis is caused by the immune system over-reacting to things like pollen and dust mites. Instead of just letting these things pass by as would normally be the case, the body sees them as dangerous and so does it’s best to get rid of them. It does this by increasing the amount of histamine it produces which, in turn, causes inflammation and swelling. The membranes lining the nose can also become inflamed, leading to an excess production of mucus and also congestion.
When it comes to allergic rhinitis, there are many different treatments available to ease symptoms like congestion, a runny nose and sneezing. However, the condition varies in terms of severity from person to person so what might work for one, might not for another so it’s a case of trial and error to find out which works for you. Fortunately though, here I’ve gone into detail about all the herbal, home and traditional remedies for allergic rhinitis so that you are able to thoroughly investigate your options.
The treatment available for allergic rhinitis depends on a variety of factors including how severe your symptoms are and how much these symptoms are affecting your day-to-day life. If your symptoms are mild for example, you can usually treat them yourself with some home and herbal remedies. However, if they are more severe a trip to your doctors may be necessary to find out more about prescribed treatments like antihistamines and corticosteroids.
Before rushing to your doctor, there are a few steps you can take to try and ease the problem of allergic rhinitis yourself.
Invest in a dehumidifier
Allergic rhinitis comes about when the body over-reacts to passing particles like pollen, dust or fur. Instead of just letting these float by as would normally be the case, the body deems them dangerous and so puts out a defence mechanism in the form of histamine. The condition is particularly problematic for the nose where, after contact with the allergen, symptoms such as sneezing, congestion and a runny nose emerge.
Investing in a dehumidifier is one small step you can take towards decreasing the negative effect of these allergens. This is because having one in your home will help to decrease humidity levels thus making the environment less suitable for things like pollen. However, dehumidifiers also help to prevent mould which is also a common cause of allergic rhinitis. So, with these positives surrounding dehumidifiers, it is a really good investment if you have allergic rhinitis.
This may sound obvious, but avoiding the things that trigger your allergic rhinitis can really help deal with the severity of the condition. However, I understand that this is a challenging task as it can be difficult to pinpoint what the allergen actually is and sometimes, especially for the likes of pollen, allergens are nearly impossible to avoid. Still, where you can, take steps to avoid your triggers. If you know that fur causes you issues for example, and your friends own pets, meet at your house instead of theirs. If dust or pollen is problematic, take steps to keep your home free of both so that you can at least feel comfortable there.
Clear your nasal passages
It is helpful to clear your nasal passages with a salt water solution to help deal with the nasal problems associated with allergic rhinitis. Such solutions can be obtained from a pharmacist or made at home with ½ teaspoon of baking powder and a pint of boiling water. Once this has cooled (do not attempt to rinse your nose with boiling water), you can then rinse your nose using a neti pot.
A neti pot is a container designed to rinse out debris and mucus from within your nasal cavity. It can be very beneficial for helping to relieve congestion, sinus problems and for treating symptoms of nasal allergies. The solution may pass into the throat as you do this - it is harmless but try to spit as much out as possible. Also, this can be done regularly but make a new solution each time.
Here at A.Vogel, we have a range of traditional and completely natural herbal remedies that could also help deal with allergic rhinitis and the problems associated with it.
Address the symptoms
Itchiness and irritation around the eyes can arise due to allergic rhinitis so, in order to address these symptoms, you could try our Eye Drops. These contain Euphrasia which is both anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, plus it can help with watery eyes too. Tears wash irritants out of the eyes so you don’t want anything too extreme however, Euphrasia is both effective and gentle so is the ideal ingredient.
Give your immune system a boost
When it comes into contact with an allergen, the immune system is put under more strain than normal. However, you can counteract this with Echinacea which has traditionally been used to balance immune function by stabilising an over-reactive response and reducing the severity of inflammatory symptoms.
Therefore, taking a regular dose of Echinacea could help keep your immune system in check to lessen the severity of your allergic rhinitis symptoms. Our Echinaforce Echinacea Drops will help you increase your Echinacea dose and can be taken regularly or, if pollen is the issue, in the run up to your usual trigger time. These drops are particularly effective as they are made from freshly harvested Echinacea so that they do not lose any of their active and valuable properties.
Dealing with pollen
As mentioned, allergic rhinitis brings about many different issues so to keep these under control, and to ease your discomfort, it is worth trying our Pollinosan Hayfever tablets. These are made with seven tropical herbs, including luffa, which together make a non-drowsy and effective treatment for allergic rhinitis symptoms.
If allergic rhinitis is causing severe symptoms, and you’ve tried the various home and herbal remedies on offer, it may be time to visit your doctor or pharmacist who’ll be able to offer one of the more conventional treatments. There is no cure for the problem but there are definitely ways to lessen the severity of symptoms.
Antihistamines block the release of the chemical histamine which, in someone with allergic rhinitis, is produced when the body detects an allergen. Therefore, this medication is regularly prescribed by doctors to treat the condition. Nevertheless, there are a few side effects to be aware of when taking antihistamines as issues like drowsiness could, in turn, affect your ability to drive or operate machinery.
These are used to relieve specific problems such as sinus pressure and a stuffy nose. However, they are only a short-term solution and if you have certain conditions like high blood pressure or heart disease, it is best to discuss using them with your doctor first.
Corticosteroids help to reduce swelling and inflammation on a longer term basis. Therefore, if your symptoms are severe or long-lasting, this medication is often prescribed by doctors. The side effects from corticosteroids are rare but can include things like nose bleeds, irritation and swelling.
Immunotherapy works by gradually introducing the body to more and more of the allergen in the hope that the immune system will eventually become less sensitive to it. However, this is only used for pollen allergies and only in the most severe cases too. Also, it’s important to note that the process should only be carried out by a doctor as severe allergic reaction can occur. It also takes place over a long period of time so is usually deemed a last resort.