Red, itchy, or puffy eyes, sometimes with allergic shiners — dark circles around the eyes.
Swollen nasal passages.
Runny nose with a clear discharge.
What It Is
Allergic rhinitis is the medical term for the nasal symptoms caused by allergies to a variety of airborne particles. The condition can be an occasional inconvenience or a problem so severe that it interferes with almost every aspect of daily life. If you notice symptoms in warm weather, you may have seasonal allergies, commonly called hay fever, triggered by tree or grass pollen in spring and by ragweed in the fall. If you have symptoms year-round — called perennial allergies — the most likely culprits are mites in household dust, mold, or animal dander. You may be allergic to one or more of these irritants. For either type of allergy, the symptoms are the same. People with allergic rhinitis may have a decreased resistance to colds, flu, sinus infections, and other respiratory illnesses.
What Causes It
When bacteria, viruses, or other substances enter the body, the immune system sets out to destroy those that can cause illness, but ignores such harmless particles as pollen. In some individuals, however, the immune system can’t tell the difference between threatening and benign material. As a result, innocuous particles can trigger the release of a naturally occurring substance called histamine and other inflammatory compounds in the area where the irritant entered the body — the nose, throat, or eyes.
No one knows why the immune system overreacts this way, but some experts think that poor nutrition and pollutants in the air may weaken the system. Allergic rhinitis also runs in some families.
How Supplements Can Help
For seasonal allergies, take all supplements in the list below from early spring through the first frost. In place of prescription or over-the-counter drugs, try quercetin. Whereas drugs simply block the effect of histamine, this flavonoid inhibits its release — without any side effects. Combining it with the herb nettle can combat sneezing, itching, and swollen nasal passages.
Vitamin A and vitamin C support the immune system; vitamin C, the main antioxidant in the cells of the respiratory passages, may also have anti-inflammatory and antihistamine effects. The B vitamin pantothenic acid may reduce nasal congestion. You may want to take these three nutrients during allergy season, even if you opt for traditional drugs for specific symptom relief.
And, for severe cases of hay fever, ephedra (Ma huang) may be useful because it opens the respiratory passages. You can use ephedra with quercetin and nettle, but not with prescription or over-the-counter antihistamines or decongestants.
What Else You Can Do
Stay indoors with the windows closed when pollen counts are high. Use an air-conditioner even in the car and clean the filter regularly.
Eliminate carpets and use furniture slipcovers that can be washed. Encase mattresses and pillows in allergy-proof covers and wash bedding weekly in very hot water. Dust mites collect in these areas.
Clean damp areas to prevent the growth of mold.
Certain herbs are natural antihistamines. Try sipping teas made from anise, ginger, or peppermint singly or in combination. Ginger and peppermint also have a decongestant effect. Drink up to four cups a day as needed to reduce symptoms.
Wash bedding in very hot water (130?F) to kill the dust mites that accumulate and trigger allergic reactions or add eucalyptus oil to a warm-water wash. Mix 2 ounces oil with 1 ounce liquid dishwashing detergent (otherwise the oil will separate from the water). In the washer presoak the bedding in this mixture for half an hour; then put in your usual laundry detergent and run the laundry cycle as you normally do.
1. Quercetin:-Dosage: 500 mg twice a day.
Comments: Use 20 minutes before meals; often sold with vitamin C.
2.Nettle:- Dosage: 250 mg 3 times a day on an empty stomach.
Comments: Standardized to contain at least 1% plant silica.
3.Vitamin A:-Dosage: 10,000 IU a day.
Comments: Women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy should not exceed 5,000 IU a day.
4.Vitamin C:-Dosage: 1,000 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Reduce dose if diarrhea develops.
5.Pantothenic Acid:- Dosage: 500 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Take with meals.
6.Ephedra:- Dosage: 130 mg standardized extract 3 times a day.
Comments: May cause insomnia.
Ayurvedic treatment may sometimes cure Allergy permanently.