Allergic Rhinitis Management by Using Self-Help Treatment
Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever or seasonal allergies, is discussed in a previous post. The allergic reactions are mostly associated with allergens that occur in certain season of the year. The most common symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, or blocked nose. The symptoms may not be evident in mild cases. As discussed in the previous post, medications for hay fever include antihistamines, decongestants, corticosteroids, and some combined therapy.
Some patients choose home remedies or alternative treatments to relieve the symptoms. Visiting a general practitioner is only the choice when the symptoms get worse after using the home remedies. In addition, avoiding the risk factors can also help minimizing the risk of developing the allergic rhinitis. The following are some options of treatment for seasonal allergies, in addition to the medical interventions:
3 Options of Allergic Rhinitis Self-Help
Blocked, stuffy nose or runny nose is the worst symptoms of seasonal allergies. In several cases, the nasal problems may develop into a chronic condition called rhinosinusitis. It is characterized with continually inflamed condition of infected sinus. The following are some self-help steps that you can do to prevent the symptoms from worsening:
Keeping your nose free of irritants is the idea behind nasal passages. This forced irrigation may feel unpleasant, but it helps relieve the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. This self-help practice is also known as nasal douching or nasal lavage. Salt water is the most common ingredients used to clean the nasal passages. The following are the steps:
- Prepare salt-water solution. You can buy a special salt solution on the pharmacy. However, you can also prepare it on your own way. Mix ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ of bicarbonate soda into about 500 ml of boiled water. However, make sure that the water cools down to room temperature before mixing the ingredients.
- Cup the palm of one hand and pour some of the solution into it. Sniff the solution and irrigate it. Repeat the process until you feel relieved.
- Alternatively, you can use a neti pot (a special syringe that looks like a small horn), instead of your palm. The step is similar.
- Do the practice 2 to 4 times a day, but make sure to use freshly made solution anytime you clean your nasal passages.
People who have done the practice reported that nasal douching offers significant relief from blocked nose or runny nose. In addition, the technique helps in reducing headaches caused by sinus congestion. In many patients of allergic rhinitis, this self-help technique reduces their reliance upon medical drugs like antibiotics.
Taking Butterbur Supplement
Butterbur is a type of marsh plant, which has been used as traditional medicinal plants for hundreds of years. Parts of the plant are used to treat various health problems, like headaches and nasal allergies. The plant is mostly available as oil extract or pill preparation.
When your body is exposed to an allergen, the it releases leukotriene (LT), which is responsible for triggering allergic reactions. Substances in butterbur plant work as an LT receptor inhibitor. Just like the medical drugs to treat nasal allergies, butterbur supplement prevents or relieves allergic reactions by inhibiting the release of leukotriene (LT).
However, few studies had been conducted on the use of butterbur for allergic rhinitis. Therefore, make sure to consult your doctor before taking the supplement. Make sure to use Studies show that butterbur contains a kind of chemical called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). The chemicals may lead to liver damage or other illnesses. Make sure to use PAs-free butterbur products to avoid unnecessary effects.
Taking Local Honey
This self-help option for treating allergic rhinitis has not been supported by enough studies. The use of honey to counter allergies is mostly based upon traditional practices. Traditional community believed that local honey works just like allergy shots that work to build antibody in a gradual way.
Local bees collect pollen, which then gets into honey. When you take local bees, you also take the pollen. Then, your body may become less sensitive to pollen. With repeated exposure to pollens, your body learns that they are not dangerous. But again, how immune system responds may vary greatly. Nobody can determine the amount of pollen inside the local honey.
Consulting your GP is a wise thing to do before taking honey to counter the allergic reactions. Then, avoiding or minimizing contacts with risk factors of allergic rhinitis is more important. They include cigarette smoke, humidity, air pollution, perfumes and colognes, fumes, cold temperatures, and chemicals. In addition, avoid doing outdoor activities when pollen counts are high. Or, if you have to go out, wear a mask to minimize exposure to allergens.
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