Allergic rhinitis (hayfever)
Allergic rhinitis is the allergic reaction to particles in the air like pollen, pollution, dust or pet dander. It usually affects the nose and eyes and respiratory tract. Seasonal rhinitis, or hay fever, affects people during the growing season when the pollen from grass, weeds and trees are blowing in the air. Perennial rhinitis occurs year round. Seasonal rhinitis is caused by outdoor allergens while perennial rhinitis is caused by indoor allergens.
The symptoms of allergic rhinitis may include a stuffed up runny nose, constant sneezing, eyes that become itchy with eyelids that are puffy to look at an itchy feeling in the mouth, throat ears and face; a sore throat and dry cough; buzzing in the ears and feelings of fullness. Some people also get headaches, fatigue, dark circles beneath the eyes and a partial loss of hearing, smell and taste.
Seasonal allergic rhinitis is most often caused by pollens and spores from trees, grasses, ragweed and fungus. They are carried on the wind. Perennial rhinitis is most often caused by airborne particles caused by pet dander, dust or dust mites, cockroaches and molds. Allergies may run through families, so if your parents are allergic to one of these things, you may be too. You may be more prone to having one of these allergies if you also have food allergies or eczema, or if you are exposed to second hand smoke.
To avoid allergic reactions, stay indoors during hay fever season with the windows closed. Use an air conditioner to cool the house, don't use fans that draw air in from the outside. Don't air dry your clothing or bed sheets, and bathe and change your clothing after going outdoors. If you have indoor allergies, cover your mattress and pillows with dust mite covers, use an air purifier and avoid pets and other things that trigger your allergy. If you have a severe reaction, seek immediate medical attention.
There is alot of folklore that suggests many herbs for the treatment of hayfever symptoms. Many of these herbs have not undergone rigorous clinical trials, so there is no concrete clinical proof available. A trial involving stinging nettle found that nearly 50% of patients found it as effective as their previous medication.
Essential oils that may be useful in the relief of discomfort caused by hayfever include:
Used in massage, bath, burner or inhalation, suggested blends are: