Also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, hayfever is a condition that is characterized by sneezing, runny nose and itchy, teary eyes upon exposure to an allergen, ragweed pollen.
When pollen particles are inhaled, they become trapped in the mucous layer of the nasal passages and form allergens. This causes the immune system to respond and results in the release of enormous amounts of substances known as IgE’s, white blood cells called eosinophils and inflammatory cells such as histamine, prostaglandins and leukotrienes.
Doctors recommends to take the supplements quercetin and nettle leaf. Also suggests reducing consumption of foods that aggravate his symptoms and trying nasal washes.
The supplement quercetin is a promising treatment to control inflammation by reducing the release of histamine and other mediators of allergic reactions from cells. Side effects are rare and include nausea, headache and tingling in the hands and feet.
In a double-blind, randomized study during the peak season for allergic rhinitis, an extract of the herb nettle leaf (Urtica dioica) was compared to a placebo. Ninety eight participants were given 1300 mg capsules of nettle leaf or placebo and were advised to take two capsules when symptoms began and continue for seven days. Overall assessment ratings of nettle leaf were higher than placebo, and patients reported a slight reduction in symptoms of hayfever, including sneezing and itchy eyes. This is the only research study that has been conducted on nettle leaf for allergic rhinitis, however, it has a long history of traditional use for allergies.
Some researchers suggest that people who react to pollens may also have a hypersensitivity to certain foods. For example, several studies have found that people allergic to grass pollens also reacted to tomatoes, peanuts, wheat, apple, carrot, celery, peach, melon, eggs and pork. To find out which foods aggravate symptoms of allergic rhinitis in a particular individual, an elimination and challenge diet is recommended. This diet involves the removal of suspected foods from the diet for at least a week followed by systematic re-introduction of foods in order to isolate the foods that may aggravate certain symptoms.
A nasal wash can help to remove inhaled pollen from the nose and prevent attachment to the mucous lining of the nose. To make a solution add a 1/4 teaspoon of salt to one cup of warm water. Use this solution to rinse the nostrils. Bend the head forward, keeping the nostrils lower than the throat to prevent excessive salt water from draining to the back of the throat.
Homeopathy, acupuncture and massage are other therapies that are used to manage allergic rhinitis.