Allergic Rhinitis is an allergic response to specific allergens. Pollen is the most common allergen in seasonal allergic rhinitis. It is a diagnosis associated with a group of symptoms occur when you breathe in something you are allergic to ,such as dust , animal dander or pollen. Symptoms can occur also when you eat a food that you are allergic to. Eventually allergic rhinitis when the body’s immune system recognises and over reacts to something in the environment that typically causes no problems in most people.
1) Stuffy nose due to blockage or congestion.
2) Runny nose or postnasal drainage.
3) Itchy , usually in nose , mouth ,eyes or throat.
4) Red and watery eyes.
5) Puffy , swollen eyelids.
8) Itchy ears with buzzing sound.
9)Dark circles under the eyes.
10) Excessive fatigue.
When your body comes in contact with an allergen ,it releases histamine ,which is a natural chemical that defends your body from the allergen. This chemical causes allergic rhinitis and it’s symptoms.
Besides tree pollen ,there are some more allergens which causes allergic rhinitis –
• Grass pollen
• Dust mites
• Animal dander
• Cat saliva
There are two types of allergic rhinitis –
1) Seasonal Rhinitis –
Seasonal allergies usually occur during the spring and autumn season and are typically in response to outdoor allergens like pollens.
2) Perennial Rhinitis –
These allergies can occur year round or at anytime during the year in response to indoor substances like dust mites and pet dander.
Risk Factors –
Allergies can affect anyone ,but it is more likely to develop in the people with history of allergies in their family.
Some external factors can also increase your risk towards allergic rhinitis –
• Cigarette smoke
• Cold Temperatures
• Air Pollution
• Hair spray
• Wood smoke
1) Physical Examination
2) Skin prick test
3) Radioallergosorbent test ( RAST )
1) Inability to sleep.
2) Development or worsening of Asthma symptoms.
3) Frequent ear infections.
4) Sinusitis or frequent sinus infections.
5) Absenses from school or work due to reduced productivity.
6) Frequent headaches.
7) Drowsiness due to Antihistaminics use.
1) Stay indoors when pollen counts are high.
2) Avoid exercising outdoors early in morning.
3) Take showers immediately after being outside.
4) Keep your windows and doors shut as possible during allergy season.
5) Bathe your dog atleast twice per week to minimize dander.
6) Remove carpeting from your bedroom.
1) Antihistaminics –
E.g. •fexofenadine (Allegra)
• Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
2) Decongestants –
You can use decongestants for a short period , usually not for more than three days ,to relieve a stuffy nose and sinus pressure. Using them for a longer time can cause a rebound effect , meaning once you stop your symptoms will actually get worse. E.g.
• Oxymetazoline ( Afrin nasal spray )
3) Eye drops & nasal sprays –
These can help relieve , itchiness and other symptoms for a short period of time.
Ayurvedic Perspective –
As per Ayurveda Allergic Rhinitis is caused due to the Ama (toxins) present in the body and due to low immunity . Accumulated ama aggravates the level of Kapha in the body , giving rise to different symptoms of allergies.
Ayurvedic Treatment –
1) Shodhan Treatment –
To cleanse nasal passage Nasya is highly beneficial where herbal oils are administered into the nostrils preceding herbal massages with oils and steaming to the face to clear out any mucus congestion from the sinuses.
2) Jalneti –
This self practice involves clearing the nasal passages with salt water with a Netipot. This helps to regulate pressure in the head and although it may seems not easy or uncomfortable at first ,but with a little practice it is easy to do and highly effective.
Herbs for Allergic Rhinitis –
1) Long pepper or Pippli –
It is an immunomodulator and has mucus removing properties.
2) Ginger –
It has anti-inflammatory properties and removes congestions.
3) Malabar Nut –
It is a bronchodilator.
It soothes the lungs and throat.
5) Turmeric –
It can prevent the onset of allergic rhinitis.
6) Holy Basil-
It is respiratory system rejuvenator and cures congestion and runny nose.
Diet & lifestyle –
1) Take light , lukewarm and freshly prepared foods.
2) Take hot soup and liquid to liquify the congested mucus.
3) Eat plenty of steamed green vegetables garnished with black pepper and basil.
4) Avoid heavy , fermented ,fried and sour foods.
5) Avoid deserts ,sweets and dairy products like milk , yoghurt etc.
6) Avoid cold or refrigerated foods.
7) Avoid dusty ,cold and humid places.
8) Try steam inhalation to relieve nasal congestion.
9) Use masks while getting exposed to irritants.
10) Follow breathing exercises like pranayam especially Anulom vilom , Bhastrika.
For more informative articles on health issues, please visit our website www.santripty.com and also feel free to consult.