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Heather Hanks
Written by Heather Hanks

Reviewed by Dr Angelica L Dumapit on July 22, 2022

Best Therapies To Help You Deal With Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is caused by an overreaction of the immune system to certain triggers, such as pollen and allergens. Learn how to tame your symptoms here.

Allergic rhinitis min scaled

Do you live in an area with high exposure to pollen and allergens? If so, your non-stop sneezing and watery eyes could be due to allergic rhinitis.

Also known as hay fever, allergic rhinitis occurs when your immune system overreacts to specific allergens.

The condition isn’t usually dangerous, but it can lead to nasal congestion and other unwanted symptoms. Luckily, there are many things you can do to cope.

In this guide, we’ll explain the causes of allergic rhinitis and the best natural therapies to help you deal with it.

What Is Allergic Rhinitis?

Smoking may increase your risk of allergic rhinitis or worsen existing symptoms.

Allergic rhinitis is an allergic disease provoked by atopy. It’s also referred to as hay fever.

Atopy describes the tendency to produce an exaggerated immunoglobulin E (IgE) response to generally harmless substances.

IgE is a type of antibody found in mammals. It can stem from asthma, atopic eczema, and allergic eye problems and lead to sensitization to allergens that provoke allergic rhinitis.

People who smoke, use perfume or hairspray, or are exposed to cold temperatures, a windy environment, and air pollution from haze, fumes, and wood smoke are also vulnerable.

Causes and symptoms

During the onset of the condition, allergens set off the immune system. The immune system releases a chemical called histamine into the nose. As a result, nerve irritation and swelling of blood vessels transpire. 

This nasal aggravation will give rise to various symptoms, including: 

  • Fatigue 
  • Malaise 
  • Coughs 
  • Frequent sneezing 
  • Frequent headaches 
  • Dark eye circles 
  • Itchy, red eyes 
  • A blocked, itchy, or runny nose 
  • Increased mucus in the nose and throat 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) states that allergic rhinitis is the by-product of Lung and Spleen Qi (vital life force) Deficiencies. These can progress to a pathogenic Cold invasion of the nose.

Allergic Rhinitis Treatment Options

Before a physician provides suitable clinical treatment options, they’ll ask about your symptoms and determine if they tell of comorbid disorders. A blood test called the immunoglobulin (IgE) test can help detect multiple allergies.

A skin prick test will enable physicians to demonstrate how your body responds to allergens. Physicians will place samples of different allergens on your skin. Then, they’ll pierce or scratch the skin with a needle, allowing each allergen to get under the skin surface.

You could have an allergic reaction if your skin is red, itchy, or irritated within 15 to 30 minutes after it is pierced. An occurrence of wheals – raised, hive-like welts – may also imply an allergy.

Stay away from triggers

Reduce exposure to indoor allergens by vacuuming regularly, especially if you have pets.

Minimize the amount of dust in the house by refraining from using carpets or keeping soft toys. Change the bedsheets and vacuum and mop the floors regularly. Avoid outdoor activities during hazy weather, cold temperature, and a windy environment.

Consider immunotherapy

The objective of immunotherapy is to help build your tolerance toward allergens. A physician will provide a series of injections. Each syringe contains a higher quantity of the allergen than the former. You may also receive immunotherapy in the form of a pill that is placed under the tongue.

Take allergy medications

Antihistamine-type medications are available by prescription or over the counter. Their primary function is to block histamine release, which happens when the body is exposed to allergens. These medications can come in pill or liquid form or as inhalers, eye drops, or nasal sprays. 

Decongestants alleviate nasal or sinus congestion. Like antihistamines, they also come in pills, liquids, or nasal sprays.

Corticosteroid inhalers and sprays calm inflammation and ease symptoms. Leukotriene inhibitors halt the release of leukotriene – a chemical that prompts inflammation and the effects of allergic rhinitis.

It’s worth remembering that each medication type may also induce undesirable side effects. Antihistamines can make you sleepy and impair coordination, judgment, and reaction speed. Decongestants can elevate blood pressure and stir up irritability, insomnia, and headaches.

Side effects of other medications like corticosteroid inhalers or sprays include headaches, nasal irritation, coughs, and nosebleeds. Leukotriene inhibitors may cause skin rashes, mood swings, vivid dreams, and involuntary muscle movement.

Try TCM herbs

Consider these natural ingredients to manage allergic rhinitis:

  • Astragalus root (Huang Qi
  • Cordyceps militaris (Dong Chong Xia Cao
  • Licorice root (Gan Cao
  • Scutellaria root (Huang Qin
  • Stephania root (Fen Fang Ji
  • Xanthium fruit (Cang Er Zi
  • Magnolia flowers (Yu Lan Hua
  • Small centipeda herb (E Bu Shi Cao

Astragalus is the most used herb to treat the condition, followed by magnolia flowers and xanthium fruit. Additionally, Cordyceps is widely used as a Lung-tonifying agent. Brazilian green propolis can also have anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy effects on the body.

Acupressure

Acupuncture treatment for allergic rhinitis aims to regulate Lung Qi function, unblock the meridians, and replenish Qi in the Spleen and Kidney. The acupoints that can be activated include: 

  • Feng Chi (GB 20) 
  • He Gu (LI 4) 
  • Ying Xiang (LI 20) 
  • Yin Tang (MHN-3) 
  • Zu San Li (ST 36) 

Be mindful of the frequency of your sneezing and look out for other symptoms linked to allergic rhinitis. Speak to a licensed practitioner if you wish to consider TCM treatment options. It’ll help you understand distinct remedies for your body constitution.

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