Hay fever is a misnomer. Hay is not a usual cause of this problem, and it does not cause fever. Early descriptions of sneezing, nasal congestion, and eye irritation while harvesting field hay promoted this popular term. Allergic rhinitis is the correct term used to describe this allergic reaction and many different substances cause the allergic symptoms noted in hay fever.
Allergic rhinitis (nasal allergy) is an inflammation of the nasal passages characterised by symptoms that include any combination of the following: sneezing, nasal congestion, nasal itching, and discharge from the nose. In short it is the condition that makes you go sneezing and gives you an itchy, runny nose with watery eyes whenever you come in contact with certain allergens. The condition is usually precipitated in sensitive individuals after exposure to dust, dander, certain seasonal pollens, etc.
Allergic rhinitis (nasal allergy) is a very common disorder and it affects almost 20% of the population. Although it can affect people of all age groups, two-third of all patients with this condition develop it before the age of 30. The condition seems to spare the geriatric age group. The male - female ratio for adults remains equal though amongst children, boys are more frequently affected than girls.
There are two categories of allergic rhinitis (nasal allergy):
Seasonal: The allergy attacks occur during certain seasons, especially in pollen season
Perennial: The allergy attacks are interspersed throughout the year.
Every year, millions of dollars are spent on doctors’ visits and medication for the treatment of this chronic illness. Not to mention all the missed days at work and school as well as the impaired performance. Timely treatment can surely save a lot of money and agony for the patients of allergic rhinitis (nasal allergy).
How did you get that cold again?
The troublesome bout of allergic rhinitis (nasal allergy) which a lot of people dread can be triggered by a number of allergens. Allergens are substances that can induce an ‘allergic reaction’ in the body.
Some of the allergens that are common culprits in cases of allergic rhinitis (nasal allergy):
- Outdoor molds
- House dust mites
- Wood dust
- Exposure to certain animals (including pets)
- Irritant triggers such as smoke, pollution, and strong smells
When a susceptible person is exposed to an allergen such as pollen or dust, the body releases certain chemicals which include ‘histamine’. Histamine release is responsible for allergy symptoms such as itchy feeling, swelling, and mucus production.
Apart from allergens, there are certain other factors that are responsible in the development of allergic rhinitis (nasal allergy):
Weather: Hot, dry, windy days are more likely to trigger an allergy attack (due to increased amounts of pollen in the air) as compared to cool, damp, rainy days (when most pollen is washed to the ground)
Genetics: Heredity seems to play an important role in allergic diseases. If both your parents suffer from allergic rhinitis (nasal allergy), you have almost 50% chances of developing the same. If one of your parents suffers from it, your chances of developing this stand at 30%.
It must also be noted that the triggers of an attack may vary from person to person and the patient himself has to figure out which of these causative factors precipitates the episodes in him.
The little red runny nose…
Allergic rhinitis (nasal allergy) is not an easy disorder to live with. Though it may sound very benign to a non-sufferer, only the patient knows how nagging this condition is. Imagine a sudden episode of constant sneezing in the middle of (or just before the start of) an important meeting or assignment. It simply does not allow concentration to be focused on anything at all sometimes.
Allergic rhinitis (nasal allergy) can include any combination of the following symptoms:
- Repetitive Sneezing
- Runny nose (rhinorrhoea)
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy nose, ear, throat, eyes
- Watery eyes
- Reduced sense of smell
- Post-nasal discharge
Chronic cases of allergic rhinitis (nasal allergy) may develop additional symptoms like:
- Cough (due to the post nasal discharge)
- Sinus headaches
- Blocked ears
- Nasal polyps
- Eyelid swelling
- Injected sclerae (redness of the white part of eyes)
Respite at last!
In one of the research studies conducted, 147 cases with respiratory allergies were evaluated and the success rate with homeopathic treatment was found to be 87.6% in these.
In another double-blind clinical trial conducted in the Phoenix metropolitan area during the regional allergy season from February to May, the effects of homeopathic preparations were compared with those of placebo. Participants included 40 men and women, in the age group of 26-63 years, who had been diagnosed with moderate to severe seasonal allergic rhinitis. Significant positive changes from baseline to 4 weeks were seen in the homeopathic group as compared to the placebo group. The subjects reported no adverse effects during this period. Thus, the potential benefits of the homeopathic treatment in reducing symptoms and improving quality of life in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis were confirmed.
Homeopathy indeed has the credit of relieving a large number of patients from the distress of allergic rhinitis (nasal allergy). The medication targets the body’s immune system whereby it reduces the hypersensitivity to the allergens. Over a period of time, the patient reacts less aggressively to the allergens and gradually the hypersensitivity is cured.
At Dr. Batra's, we have treated thousands of cases of allergic rhinitis (nasal allergy) over the last 35 years and given significant relief to a large number of them. Our holistic approach at Dr. Batra's helps them overcome their illness and lead a better quality of life.
It must be noted that even during the period of treatment, patient may continue to get attacks of the allergic rhinitis (nasal allergy); however these episodes are less severe and last shorter as compared to attacks before commencing treatment.
Patient gradually notices an overall improvement in the general health as the treatment progresses. Even in chronic cases of a long standing nature, homeopathy has significant help to offer in terms of prevention of the complications. It is strongly suggested that patients with allergic rhinitis (nasal allergy) opt for homeopathic treatment as soon as possible.