5 Ways to Combat Allergic Rhinitis

What is Allergic rhinitis? 

Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hayfever, is a series of nasal symptoms triggered by relatively harmless substances known as allergens. Allergic symptoms can affect sleep quality and daily activity. Many people with allergic rhinitis also have asthma, allergic conjunctivitis, or eczema.

Allergic rhinitis symptoms

Allergy symptoms may include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose with clear discharge
  • Blocked nose
  • Itchy sensitive nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Puffy eyes
  • The irritated roof of the mouth
  • Cough due to postnasal drip
  • Blocked and itchy ear

How prevalent is allergic rhinitis?

Based on physician diagnosis, the incidence is 15% and 30% based on self-reported symptoms in the USA. About 13% of Singaporeans are affected by these rhinitis symptoms.

What causes allergic rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis reflects imbalanced immunity. The immune system identifies a substance as a threat. Usually, the things we encounter in our environment that prompt allergic reactions are not harmful. Common allergens include animal fur, pollen, dust mites, insect droppings and mould. But when someone has an allergy to one of these substances, their immune system treats the irritant as a foreign invader and produces antibodies. These antibodies induce immune cells to release inflammatory compounds such as histamine, which in turn cause allergic symptoms.

Your immune system treats these harmless substances as foreign invaders that are attacking you. Your body releases the chemical histamine, which results in inflammation. The inside layer of your nose, the mucous membrane, becomes swollen and produces excessive mucus levels.

A conventional method to treat allergies are the use of antihistamines. The oral non-sedating antihistamines are suitable for day time. Sedating histamines may be beneficial at bedtime. Antihistamine nasal sprays give symptomatic nasal relief. Antihistamine eye drops treat the itchy red eye or allergic conjunctivitis. However, antihistamines only treat the symptoms and may have side effects such as a dry mouth. 

5 ways to combat allergic rhinitis

1. Reduce exposure to common allergens

In some people with pollen allergy, it is seasonal and occurs when flowers are in full bloom. Consider buying an air filter that removes particles in the air by forcing them through screens containing microscopic pores.

Dust-proof homes thoroughly with regular vacuuming of rugs, furniture, and mattresses. Wash curtains in hot water or switch to blinds that are easy to wipe down. In bedrooms, invest in allergen-proof bed sheets and pillows and wipe down books and other dust-collecting items

2. Washout with nasal saline 

Nasal washout is an excellent drug-free way to remove the allergens in the nasal passage and clear blocked nasal passages. Frequent washouts help to control postnasal drip. I use a brand called NeilMed.

3. Reduce stress

Observe whether stress impacts your allergies and if so, take self-care steps to reduce stress levels. 

4. Eliminate trigger foods

Diet can impact allergies. It is helpful to note in a food diary what you consume in a day and whether allergic symptoms flare up after eating a particular food. Eliminate these foods from your diet and see if your allergies persist.

5.Take Santivia Immune daily

Santivia Immune is a specific immuno-modulator, which means it works to regulate your immune system. In the case of allergies, it works over time, to help balance an over-reactive immune response to the allergen. 

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