Reducing allergy symptoms is the goal of treatment, and the best way to do this is to avoid exposure to allergens. Complete avoidance of environmental allergens may be impossible, but exposure may be minimized in many cases.
In allopathy, drug therapies (such as antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal corticosteroid sprays) are used to control mild to moderate symptoms. Medication is recommended based on the type of allergic rhinitis. Perennial allergic rhinitis may require daily medication, and if you have seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever), you may be advised to start medication a few weeks before the pollen season.
Anti-inflammatory agents : to prevent severe allergic rhinitis; examples include nasal corticosteroid (steroid) sprays, leukotriene antagonists (namely, zafirlukast and montelukast), and nasal cromolyn.
Antihistamines : to relieve sneezing and itching; may prevent nasal congestion before an allergic attack; available by prescription or over-the-counter.
Decongestants : tablets and sprays will help relieve a stuffy, blocked nose with catarrh, but can cause rebound blocking and should be used for short periods only.
Oral decongestants : commonly contain the active ingredient pseudoephedrine; side effects, such as nervousness, drowsiness, blood pressure changes, are more likely with oral than nasal decongestants.
Nasal decongestants : applied directly into the nasal passages with a spray, gel, drops, or vapor; available as long-lasting (6 to 12 hours) or short acting; work faster than oral decongestants and with fewer side effects. With extended use, nasal decongestants can cause the nasal passages to swell, and this can begin a cycle of dependency.
Desensitization immunotherapy, when available, might be considered in severe house dust mite allergic rhinitis. However, it is less effective than grass pollen desensitization.
Be aware that over-the-counter nasal sprays and drops may be addictive and should be used sparingly.
How ayurveda Works in Allergic Rhinitis
ayurveda remedies of allergic rhinitis have been well documentated in scientific research. A study by Taylor et al, published in the British Medical Journal in 2000 showed statistically significant improvement in objectively measured nasal air flow for patients treated with ayurveda.
Allergic rhinitis involves over-responsiveness of the immune system, and is therefore not limited to a local problem with the nose, but a system issue.
Signs and Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis or Hay Fever
Allergic rhinitis can cause many symptoms, including the following :
Stuffy, runny nose; discharge is generally thin and clear.
Post nasal drip.
Red, itchy and watery eyes.
Itchy mouth, throat, ears and face.
Sore throat (called pharyngitis).
feelings of fullness and buzzing in the ears (called tinnitus).
Partial loss of the senses of hearing, smell and taste.
Dark circles under the eyes.
What are the Risk Factors of Allergic Rhinitis or Hay Fever?
Having other allergies, such as food allergies or eczema.
Exposure to second hand cigarette smoke.
Diagnosis of Allergic Rhinitis or Hay Fever
Your family and personal history of allergy is important in diagnosing allergic rhinitis. Questions you may be asked include the following : Do symptoms vary according to time of day or the season? Do you have a pet or are you exposed to one? Have you made changes to your diet? Are you taking any medications?
Allergy testing may reveal specific allergen(s). Skin testing is the most common method of allergy testing.
A radioallergosorbent test, or RAST, is usually used to check your blood for elevated levels of the antibodies produced by your immune system to guard againts specific allergens.
In children, observing behavior is helpful in diagnosis. Symptoms of allergic rhinitis may cause a child to wiggle the nose and push the nose upward with the palm of the hand to clear obstruction.
Home Remedies and Prevention in Allergic Rhinitis or Hay Fever
During the peak allergic weather use facemask while moving outdoors.>
Keeping windows closed to prevent pollens and molds from driffting into your home.
Airconditioning can also help reduce your pollen exposure.
Avoid working with compost, raking leaves, or walking through uncut fields.
Minimize your early morning activity (between 5 to 10 am) when pollen counts are higher.
Clean mouldy surfaces. Mold is often found in AC, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, swamp collers, and refrigerator drip pans.
Reduce indoor humidity to less than 50% using AC and dehumidifiers.
Fix water leaks and clean up water damage.
Put windows in or otherwise ventilate kitchens, bathrooms and crawl spaces; vent laundry dryers to the outside.
Put flooring in crawl spaces.
Avoid carpets and uphostered furniture.
Wash bedding every week in hot water.
Keep stuffed toys out of the bedroom.
Encase pillows and beds with allergen-proof covers.
Many people with allergic rhinitis or hay fever are also allergic to certain foods and may experience symptoms as a result of eating allergy-triggering substances in such foods as eggs, nuts, fish, shellfish, chocolate, dairy products, wheat, citrus fruits, or food colorings or preservatives. To determine whether food allergies might be at the root of, or perhaps compounding, your allergic rhinitis or hay fever problems, try an elimination diet. Stop eating all the suspected foods, including those mentioned above, as well as prepackaged or prepared foods, for 10 days. If your symptoms disappear or diminish, reintroduce one food at a time and see whether your symptoms recur. If they do, eliminate the offending food and all its by-products from your daily diet.
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