Hay fever. For those who suffer from allergic rhinitis, hay fever season can be the absolute worst time of the year.
You’re sniffling, your eyes are watering, your ears are itchy, and your nose is like a running tap. Essentially, you can be an itchy, leaky mess. But what is allergic rhinitis? Are there any tips for how to cure allergic rhinitis?
In this article, we’ll take a look at everything that is involved when it comes to allergic rhinitis. From allergic rhinitis symptoms and allergic rhinitis causes, to hay fever treatment, we will hopefully cover all of the bases. When hay fever strikes, you will be prepared.
What Is Allergic Rhinitis?
You may be curious to know what hay fever actually is. It can produce all the symptoms of a cold, but it doesn’t go away until whatever it is that is causing the allergic reaction is gone. Basically, allergic rhinitis is an allergic response to specific allergens.
In this case, the main culprit is usually pollen, but it can also be things like pet dander and dust. Due to the allergens that can cause it, hay fever tends to be worse at certain times of the year, when the allergens are more prominent. This allergy is a very common one, as it’s estimated that 10% to 30% of people worldwide suffer from hay fever.
Allergic Rhinitis Causes
The causes of allergic rhinitis can be summed up as allergens and your immune system’s response to them. Pet dander, mold, pollen, and dust are just a few irritants. The problem occurs when the allergen hits your system and your body wants to fight it off with a chemical called histamine. It is the histamine that causes your body to produce mucus and tears and other things to help fight off the allergens.
The more consistent contact with the allergens, the more histamine is produced—and the more you end up looking and feeling like a walking disaster. It should also be noted that pregnant women who suffer from hay fever tend to get the symptoms worse during their pregnancy than they did before they were pregnant. So, how can you spot hay fever? Look for its symptoms.
Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever) Symptoms
How can you identify allergic rhinitis? What are the symptoms that go with hay fever that allow you to spot it? The symptoms are very similar to a cold and can include:
- Sneezing, often excessive and rapid
- Runny, stuffy, and itchy nose
- Watery, itchy eyes as well as dark circles
- Skin issues, including hives and eczema-type symptoms such as extremely dry, itchy skin that can blister and leak fluids
- Sore or scratchy throat
- Frequent headaches
- Excessive fatigue
These symptoms usually appear the instant that contact is made with the allergen. Depending on what allergen it is that causes your hay fever, some parts of the year may be worse for you than others. If the allergen that affects you is pollen, spring and summer are going to be terrible for your symptoms.
For things like pet dander, the winter is going to be brutal. With these kinds of symptoms, you may be curious to know if there are any methods that you can use in allergic rhinitis treatment and prevention. As luck would have it, there are.
Allergic Rhinitis Treatment
If you’ve ever suffered from hay fever, you know you want to get rid of it the moment your eyes begin to itchy and your nose begins to drip. There are a number of treatment options that you can undertake in the hopes of curtailing the symptoms of hay fever.
The most obvious choice is medication as there are a number of easily accessible antihistamines that you can purchase from a local pharmacy. These may be able to help relieve your symptoms. Decongestants may also be able to help you if your problems tend to be more stuffy than runny.
2. Medical Treatments
There are also a few medical treatments that your doctor may recommend. These can include immunotherapy, which involves shots designed to decrease the body’s response to allergens. There’s also a technique called sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) that uses a tablet made up of several allergens, which you place under your tongue. SLIT works in a very similar method to the immunotherapy.
3. Home Remedies
There are a number of home remedies that may be able to help you deal with the symptoms of hay fever. For the most part, they are very similar to methods that you may use for a cold. Steam can be used to help unclog nasal passages as can a saline rinse used to irrigate the nasal areas and sinuses.
Other home remedies can include:
Apple cider vinegar has properties that can reduce you histamines and give you some relief from your hay fever symptoms. Take two teaspoons of unfiltered apple cider vinegar and mix it with one teaspoon of lemon juice and one teaspoon of honey and a glass of warm water. Drinking this three times a day should help.
Increasing the amount of onions in your diet can help relieve your symptoms due to onion’s antibacterial and antihistaminic properties.
Adding more garlic to your diet can also help relieve hay fever symptoms as the vegetable has many of the same healthy properties as its close relative, the onion.
But you know what they say, prevention can often be the best method of treating any medical condition.
Allergic Rhinitis Prevention Tips
So, how do you prevent hay fever from happening? Is that even possible? Allergic rhinitis prevention is somewhat possible, but it is difficult to prevent it allergic rhinitis completely. That being said, the following tips can help reduce the number of causes of hay fever and also reduce the amount of time you have to deal with symptoms.
1. Reduce Contact with Allergens
This is potentially both the simplest and hardest tip on the list. If you don’t want hay fever or the symptoms that come with it, simply avoid the cause of your hay fever. As anyone who has ever had hay fever can attest, this is easier said than done. But you may be able to narrow down the culprits and lessen symptoms with small steps in this area. If cat dander is a trigger, don’t cuddle cats. If it’s pollen, try to use air conditioning rather than open windows to cool down your house.
2. Keep Your Home Clean
Keeping your home hygienic by cleaning it regular intervals can help get rid of or reduce the amount of pollen, dust, and pet dander that can trigger your hay fever.
Keeping these things in mind can help remove some of the holds that your allergic rhinitis may have on you.
Hay Fever Can Be Miserable
Hay fever can be a miserable condition. It can make you tired, snotty, and congested. Generally, those who suffer from allergic rhinitis can have a rough season depending on how badly their body reacts to the allergens. But now that you know what to look for, you may be able to lessen the impact of hay fever with our prevention methods and treatment tips.
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