Runny nose, sneezing, itching … the seasonal allergic rhinitis manifests itself with the return of pollens (also called hay fever), and lasts a few weeks to a few months. When it is the dust mites who are responsible for it, it becomes chronic and lasts all year round.
Medicines for respiratory allergy
- When the nose begins to sting, favor a sodium cromoglycate spray, well tolerated especially in young children. This limits the inflammatory reaction and is sometimes sufficient to control the allergy. Another solution: the spray which deposits a protective film on the nasal mucosa (hyaluronic acid, cellulose powder) in order to reduce contact with the allergen.
- When others symptoms of allergic rhinitis (itchy eyes, sneezing) appear, take an antihistamine drug in the form of tablets (one per day). Some are available without a prescription, such as based on cetirizine.
- “The corticosteroid therapy of local action, in the nose, is recommended when the rhinitis is more serious and the antihistamine treatment insufficient “, highlighted Prof. Antoine Magnan, pulmonologist and allergist.
The treatment lasts one to several months, “the ideal being to initiate it at the beginning of March until the end of April, it is the minimum,” specifies Dr Marie-Christine Delsaux, allergist. The allergenic molecules of trees, mainly birch, are small and more often induce respiratory problems. Better to deal quickly. Otherwise, it gets worse towards asthma or other allergies ”.
Desensitization can be offered to patients who are very embarrassed by their symptoms, and whose allergen (provided there is only one or two maximum) has been clearly identified by skin tests. This treatment is prescribed only by an allergist.
This immunotherapy is effective against dust mites, the pollens of grasses, of birch, of cypress and D’ambrosia.
Homeopathy and allergic rhinitis
Homeopathy offers “tailor-made” treatments as well as a specialty, Rhinallergy, for hay fever or allergic conjunctivitis. “Few or no studies to attest to its effectiveness, but homeopathic substances traditionally used by homeopathic doctors”, indicates the laboratory.
“These treatments can be complementary, but they are not sufficient in the event of severe symptoms or acute attacks”, estimates Dr. Delsaux.
Acupuncture and allergic rhinitis
Acupuncture is of moderate interest, but demonstrated and recognized by the World Health Organization as well as by the Haute Autorité de Santé. “It is often a patient in therapeutic failure or who wants to try other solutions to get rid of his chronic manifestations”, observes Dr. Henri Truong Tan Trung, doctor acupuncturist. “
Although there is no standard protocol, plan for three to six sessions, 15 to 25 minutes each and spaced one to two weeks apart. Less than fifteen needles are placed on the face (nose and ENT sphere) and at a distance (hands, feet according to the Chinese medicine diagnosis).
“The quality of life must improve; the symptoms and the consumption of antihistamines decrease after a maximum of three sessions ”, explains the doctor.
However, the effects are modest and do not necessarily last beyond treatment.
Essential oils and allergic rhinitis
As for aromatherapy, “The studies which have been made show that these treatments are not effective”, slices the allergist.
Françoise Couic-Marinier, doctor of pharmacy, ensures that Roman chamomile and tarragon essential oils calm sneezing. “Putting a drop of each on a handkerchief to breathe, or on a piece of bread to swallow hand and evening, it is very effective. “
Users, on the other hand, claim that essential oils allow them to reduce the need for conventional treatments.
Warning: essential oils can be badly tolerated and even allergenic. No more than a week of continuous intake. A medical opinion is necessary in the event of asthma, antecedents of convulsion and before 12 years.
Against allergy, actions that help
- It is recommended to rinse your nose morning and evening with physiological serum.
- In the event of hay fever, simple actions, such as washing your hair and changing clothes when you get home, help to better protect yourself from pollen.