Hay Fever – Treatment, Prevention and Home Remedies for Hay Fever
Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, pollinosis or nasal allergies is a collection of symptoms. It is an allergy that is caused due to exposure and inhalation of pollen, dust or dander in the air. It develops allergic symptoms to the nose and eyes. Hay fever is seasonal but it can last throughout the year if the allergens are present in the air. It is one of the common allergies affecting about 40 million people in the United States. The treatment, prevention and remedies for hay fever are discussed below.
Hay Fever Treatment
The best way to treat hay fever is to avoid the substances that cause the reaction. Along with this, you may also need additional treatments. If you are suffering from hay fever, your doctor may prescribe any one of the following medications or therapies.
Oral corticosteroids – They are in pill form and are used to relieve severe allergic symptoms. They can cause side effects such as muscle weakness, osteoporosis and eye cataracts. They are suggested only for a short term usage.
Nasal ipratropium – These are nasal sprays that help to relieve severe runny nose by preventing the glands of nose from producing excess fluids. Mild side effects such as sore throat, nose bleeds, and nasal dryness may occur. Difficult urination, dizziness and blurred vision are the other rare side effects. It is not effective for treating postnasal drip, sneezing or congestion.
Leukotriene modifier – This medication acts against and blocks the immune system chemicals that cause allergy symptoms such as excess mucus production. Side effects may cause dizziness, tooth pain, cough abdominal pain and headaches. Some psychological reactions can also take place in a person such as suicidal thinking, depression, hallucinations, aggression and agitation.
Cromolyn sodium – It is available as a nasal spray and also as eye drops. It helps in relieving hay fever symptoms by preventing the release of histamine and is most effective.
Decongestants – These medications are available as nasal sprays, tablets and tonics. Oral decongestants may cause side effects such as headache, irritability, insomnia and increased blood pressure. On continuous usage, it can worsen the symptoms.
Antihistamines – These are available as pills, nasal sprays and eyedrops. They block histamines that are released during allergic reaction. They relieve a person from runny nose, itching and sneezing. Over usage may make a person drowsy.
Nasal corticosteroids – This is a nasal spray that helps to relieve symptoms such as runny nose, nasal itching and nasal inflammation. They are most effective and are safe long term usage medicines. Side effects may cause nose irritation, unpleasant smell or taste.
Other treatments include:
Rinsing your sinuses – Prepare salt water solution by mixing ¼ teaspoon of salt in 2 cups of warm water or buy a nasal saline solution. Rinse your nasal passages directly. This flushes out the allergens and mucus from the nose. This is a quick, effective and inexpensive method.
Immunotherapy – Your doctor may suggest allergy shots that include desensitization therapy and immunotherapy. Injections that contain allergens are given to the patient regularly. Immunotherapy is very effective in allergic cases of pollen, dustmites or cat dander. It also prevents the development of asthma.
Prevention of Hay Fever
Listed below are some of the tips that help to prevent hay fever
- Use a humidifier in the winter
- Sleep with the head of the bed tilted upwards
- Remove indoor plants and other sources of pollen from inside the house
- Keep doors and windows closed during heavy pollination days
- Install an air purifier
- Change air filters monthly in air conditioning and heating systems
- Cover your nose with a mask when cleaning the house or mowing grass
- Do not allow dander producing animals in the home
Home Remedies for Hay Fever
Listed below are some of the home remedies for hay fever:
- Garlic is very effective remedy. It helps to reduce and clear any congestion.
- Take ginger tea or ginger juice. This strengthens the immune system.
- Herbal tea made from peppermint helps in cleaning up the congestion inside the nose and respiratory tract.
- Add a teaspoon of lemon juice in a glass of lukewarm water. Drink it in the morning. This is very effective in preventing hay fever.
- Take Indian gooseberry along with honey two times a day.
- Add few drops of eucalyptus oil into a bowl of steaming hot water. Inhale the steam and repeat this 2 to 3 times a day. This provides instant relief and removes congestion.
- Smear a very small amount of lemon oil and chamomile oil on to a tissue and inhale the same to treat hay fever.