Allergic rhinitis is upper respiratory ailment due to presence of allergens in environment. Generally, it occur during specific seasons such as spring when the environment is full of pollens, dust, fungi, mites etc. Allergic rhinitis can be characterized by early and late-phase responses. Initially, there is sneezing, rhinorrhoea, congestion, and in later phase congestion predominates. It is also accompanied by allergic conjunctivitis which is inflammation of the conjunctiva (the membrane covering the white part of the eye). The symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis are redness of eye, itching, edema/swelling, watery discharge and pain.
Symptoms of Allergic rhinitis
- Nasal symptoms such as sneezing, itching, congestion
- Running nose/rhinorrhoea (nasal cavity filled with significant amount of mucous)
- Throat irritation
- Eye symptoms such as swelling, redness, discharge
- Headaches, facial pain, ear pain, itchy throat and palate, snoring, and sleep disturbances
- Reasons for Allergic Rhinitis:
- Perennial allergic rhinitis is most often due to dust mites, mold spores, and animal dander. Seasonal allergic rhinitis is due to a large variety of pollens that varies based on geographical region.
Management of Allergic Rhinitis
Modern medicine/Allopathic Medicines
The treatment of allergic rhinitis involves avoidance of allergens such as pollens, dust, mites, animal fur, responsible for triggering body response. In some cases the severity of rhinitis can be reduced by removal of carpet, soft toys, using allergen-impermeable bedding covers for the mattress and pillow, vacuuming with a high-efficiency particulate air filter, and washing bedclothes and bed sheets in hot water. If a person is allergic to animal fur, dander, try to avoid contact with pets and vacuum carpets, upholstered furniture, and mattresses.
Along with this, intranasal corticosteroids, oral antihistamines, and intranasal antihistamines are helpful in relieving symptoms of rhinitis. Decongestants are used to get relief from congestion. Oral decongestants should be avoided in children less the 1-year of age, adults over 60 years of age, and any patient with a cardiac condition.
In allergic rhinitis management, second-generation antihistamines such as acrivastine, astemizole, azelastine, cetirizine, ebastine, fexofenadine, ketotifen, loratadine, mizolastine and terfenadine are generally preferred over rst-generation antihistamines. Fexofenadine, loratadine, and desloratadine do not cause sedation at recommended doses. Loratadine and desloratadine may cause sedation at doses exceeding the recommended dose and cetirizine and intranasal azelastine may cause sedation at recommended doses.
Ayurveda says, the reason of allergies is due to problem in digestion and reduced body immunity to fight infections. Due to impaired digestion there can be accumulation of ama in body. This ama circulates in body and aggravates the problem. Also when immunity is decreased than body becomes susceptible to such outside attack. In condition of Allergic rhinitis, there is vitiation of two doshas viz. kapha and pitta. So these doshas should be balanced by diet and medicines.
In allergic rhinitis, avoid eating food that increases kapha inside body. If a person is prone to seasonal allergies such as during spring time, than he/she should have diet that is easily digestible and does not aggravates pitta and kapha.
- Chayavanprash should be taken daily to improve immunity.
- Sunthi churna/dry ginger powder should be taken in dose of 1/2 teaspoon, twice a day with warm milk.
- Sitopaladi churna can be taken in dose of 1-3 grams with honey or ghee.
- Trikatu chrna, combination of three pungent herbs i.e. Sonth, Maricha and Pippali can be taken 1 to 2 gm twice internally with water, honey or ghee. Trikatu improves digestion and removes ama from body. It also reduces kapha.
- Himalaya Bresol, is a patented Ayurvedic product from Himalaya Drug Company, for managing Allergic rhinitis. It has antihistaminic, mucolytic (reducing the viscosity of mucus) and bronchodilatory properties.