An allergy develops when your immune system recognizes and overreacts to an otherwise harmless substance. When you are exposed to any of the allergens or dust, the sticky mucus produced by the inner lining of your nostrils prevents the entry of the allergens into your system. But if you have low immunity, there is no obstruction and the small particles in the air may enter the nasal passage causing irritation and inflammation.
What is Allergic Rhinitis
Allergic Rhinitis is a group of symptoms that affect your nose. The symptoms are similar to that of common cold. It is commonly known as Hay Fever. But it is neither caused by hay nor does it have fever as a symptom.
Allergic Rhinitis is basically an inflammation of the nasal membrane due to an allergic response to some specific allergens.
It is of two types:
This type of Allergic Rhinitis usually occurs during the spring and autumn season. The allergens are air borne mold (a fungus) spores or pollen from trees, grass or weeds.
It can occur year-round, or at any time during the year. The allergens are dust mites, pet dander (tiny skin flakes shed by pets along with fur), cockroaches and mold.
The following methods are used to confirm the disease:
Your doctor may ask about your family's medical history, frequency and severity of your symptoms, your work and home environment, whether your symptoms vary by day or season and your exposure to pets and other allergens.
If you have minor allergies, a physical examination might be enough.
However, your doctor may perform certain tests to devise the best treatment and prevention plan for you. They include:
Skin Prick Test
Your doctor will place several substances on your skin to see how your body reacts to them. If you are allergic to any substance, a small red bump will appear.
Another skin prick test involves injecting an allergen under your skin and checking the reaction after 20 minutes.
Blood tests are performed if you cannot have a skin test. The Radioallergosorbent Test ( RAST) measures the amount of Immunoglobulin antibodies produced in response to particular allergens in your blood. A complete blood count (CBC) test or the eosinophil count may also help diagnose allergies.
The symptoms that develop shortly after coming in contact with the allergens include:
A runny nose
Itchy nose, mouth, eyes, throat, skin.
Red watery eyes
Problems with smell
The symptoms that may develop later include:
Stuffy nose ( nasal congestion)
Clogged ears and decreased sense of smell
Sore or scratchy throat
Dark circles under the eyes
Puffiness under the eyes
Excessive fatigue and irritability
Some people experience symptoms, only when exposed to large quantities of allergens. Some experience them all year long.
When your body comes in contact with an allergen, your body releases a natural chemical histamine, in defence. Histamine can cause allergic rhinitis and its symptoms.
Common allergens that causes allergic rhinitis include:
Animal dander, which is their old skin
During certain times of the year, pollen can create problems. Tree pollen is more common in the spring. Grasses and weeds produce more pollen in the summer. In the autumn, ragweed or other weed pollen are produced more. Fungal spores can be present year-round.
The amount of pollen in the air can affect the development of hay fever symptoms.
Hot dry windy days seem to have more pollen in the air.
On cool, damp rainy days, most of the pollen is washed to the ground.
Allergies can affect anyone, but certain factors increase your risk of allergic rhinitis. They include:
The external factors that can worsen the condition include
Treatment in Ayurveda
Treatment for allergic rhinitis in Ayurveda is very effective as it is personalized according to every patient's body type.
According to Ayurveda, this disease is caused by the accumulation of toxins (ama) in your body, low immunity and hypersensitivity of your nervous system. The accumulated ama increases the levels of kapha( water) in your body, giving rise to different symptoms of allergies.
The treatment focuses strongly towards balancing the tridoshas and enhancing your immunity. The idea is to change the internal environment of the body so that it no longer over react to the allergens in any form.
Vamana is followed by Virechana therapy to eliminate the toxins and balance the doshas. The nasal drops therapy using herbal oils, Nasya helps in clearing the sinuses and detoxifying the nasal canal. Hypersensitivity is reduced.
Ayurvedic medicines are administered to improve the respiratory immunity and strengthen the respiratory tract.
To permanently resolve the disorder, dietary and lifestyle changes are also necessary.
Have freshly prepared warm food. Avoid junk and stale food.
Avoid kapha-aggravating foods like sugar, potatoes, tomatoes, dairy, grapes, small banana, cold milk, etc.
Avoid over fried and spicy food.
Avoid fermented and sour food items.
Reduce the consumption of sweet, sour, salty food, tea and coffee.
Cover your nose in dusty and cold surroundings.
Inhale steam whenever you feel slight congestion.
Avoid sleeping in the open and cover yourself properly before going to sleep. Avoid daytime sleep.
You must also do some physical activity or yoga asanas to improve your breathing process and rejuvenation.
Treatment at Jeevess
At Jeevess, the treatment is customized according to the individual requirement. Allergic rhinitis is treated by the Panchakarma therapy. Vamana, Virechana and Nasya detoxify and rejuvenate your body. Ayurvedic decoctions are also administered. Dietary and lifestyle advice are given. Yoga sessions help to improve the respiratory process.