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What are the treatment options for perennial allergic rhinitis?

Dr. Christopher Maloney, ND
Naturopathic Medicine Specialist

A large number of alternative treatments treat allergic rhinitis. Many programs and supplements focus on stabilizing the histamine response rather than suppressing the histamine release. Of these, food based programs starting in the winter months are more effective than spot treatments at the time of attacks. One of the promising alternative/conventional treatments is SLIT therapy, much like the allergy shots, but using oral presentation of the offending agent in increasing doses. Please consult your local licensed ND or holistic doctor to start a program.

If possible, the best treatment for perennial allergies is to remove the allergen from the environment. This may involve removing draperies and carpets, frequent cleaning, using special air filters, using dehumidifiers, running the air conditioning and replacing down pillows and comforters with synthetic ones. In addition, you may want to use over-the-counter antihistamines to relive their mild symptoms. You can use over-the-counter oral decongestants as directed to relieve congestion. Some doctors may prescribe nasal sprays that contain corticosteroids, and allergy shots are used in some cases. (If you are caring for a child with perennial allergic rhinitis, do not use a decongestant nasal spray.)

Alternative treatments for perennial allergic rhinitis do exist, but there is inadequate data to say conclusively that these work. Acupuncture and herbal remedies such as stinging nettle and goldenseal are among those methods used by people with allergies to relieve symptoms. Hypnosis is another alternative method that has been put forward as helpful for allergy sufferers.

Discuss with your doctor the use of over the counter medications and other treatments if you have any medical conditions.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.