Hay Fever Cures

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, describes a group of symptoms triggered by an allergen. Dust, dander and pollen are common offenders, which can prompt sneezing, itching, a runny nose and tearing in individuals with allergies. Symptoms that may emerge later include headache, fatigue, stuffy nose, clogged ears and a decreased sense of smell. Medline Plus also reports problems with memory and slowed thinking may occur.

Nasal Irrigation & Neti Pots

Salt water has natural purifying properties. Nasal irrigation techniques couple a cleansing saltwater rinse with flushing action to bathe the nasal cavity, which forces out irritants and loosens congestion. For many people, nasal irrigation pots are preferred over medications. In fact, the Mayo Clinic reports neti pot users claim regular use of the irrigation method is more effective for nasal allergy and sinus conditions than over-the-counter medications.

Antihistamines

Depending on the severity of your hay fever, the Mayo Clinic notes over-the-counter medications may be enough to relieve the symptoms. Antihistamines are commonly used medications, available in over-the-counter or prescription strength oral or nasal formulas. Antihistamines work to block histamine (a chemical released by the body in response to an allergen), which may help cure congestion, itching and sneezing.

Decongestants

Decongestants are often used to ease nasal irritation and congestion. They are available in over-the-counter tablets and nasal sprays. According to the Mayo Clinic, oral decongestants may raise blood pressure levels; therefore, those with certain conditions should not use them. In addition, rebound symptoms can occur with repeated use. Medline Plus recommends discontinuing use after 3 days.

Corticosteroid Sprays

For many people, nasal corticosteroid sprays are the most effective hay fever medicines, according to the Mayo Clinic. They work to help prevent and treat inflammation that occurs with hay fever. They often begin working within a week, though some people experience relief within days. Unlike decongestants, they are safe for long-term treatment.

Leukotriene Modifiers

Leukotriene modifiers block chemicals called leukotrienes, which cause allergic reactions. The Mayo Clinic maintains the drugs are effective for treating asthma and hay fever. They are available in prescription tablets, though they are not as effective as nasal corticosteroids.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy, allergy shots, is an option for those who have tested various medications without success. Medline Plus reports allergy shots may also be used when allergens are unavoidable. Injections containing purified allergen extracts are given to create immunity, slowing desensitizing the allergy sufferer to the irritants.

About this Author

Rica Lewis was a health care professional for more than 10 years. She obtained several certifications in the health care field and now combines her passion for writing and her expertise in health care to produce pertinent pieces on health and wellness. Her work has appeared in “Metroparent Magazine” and “Anew Heart Healthcare Magazine.” Lewis earned a diploma from LongRidge Writers Institute.