Blog: Healthy Mind & Body
by #77998

What Doctors Don’t Tell You about Your Allergic Rhinitis

As a medical student, I have access to the treatment guidelines your doctor uses. Save your health, time and money with these 3 things you need to know about allergic rhinitis.

Date:   7/1/2007 10:27:38 PM   ( 16 y ) ... viewed 2941 times

As a medical student I have access to the same clinical reference databases your doctor uses. One of the most widely used databases, called UpToDate, reviews all the pertinent literature and then develops treatment guidelines for various diseases and conditions.

As I was perusing the Allergic Rhinitis section, it struck me that there was some important information in here that doctors probably weren’t telling their patients. I believe it’s important for everyone to be fully informed about their own health so I’m going to go ahead and share this information with you.

1. If you must use nasal decongestants make sure you only use them for a week at the very most:

Nasal decongestant sprays are not recommended in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Tachyphylaxis (rapidly decreasing response to a drug following administration of the initial doses) develops after only three to seven days. Then rebound nasal congestion results, and if you continue to use the nasal spray anyways it causes rhinitis medicamentosa. Which is literally rebound nasal congestion caused by decongestants. Even worse, the swelling of the nasal passages may eventually result in polyps that need to be surgically removed.

2. Use a saline nasal spray or wash before your topical nasal medications:

Topical nasal corticosteroids are now the first line of treatment for allergic rhinitis. Intranasal steroids are more effective than cromolyn and second generation antihistamines in improving the symptoms of allergic rhinitis and the symptoms of seasonal asthma. BUT treatment failures may occur if mucus or other debris is not cleaned from the nose before application. Saline nasal sprays or washes should be used to clean the nasal passages before you use your meds.

3. Save your money! You might not be a good candidate for allergy shots:

A large number of controlled studies have demonstrated that allergen immunotherapy to tree, grass and ragweed pollens, mold and house dust mite are effective in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. But if you are on beta-blockers (often used in the treatment of high blood pressure and heart problems) you aren’t a candidate for allergy shots.

If you aren’t on beta-blockers and are willing to try a 2 year minimum (normally 3-5 years) trial of allergen immunotherapy then consider this as well. Individuals who don’t have easily demonstrable quantities of allergen-specific IgE (antibodies) by prick testing are not candidates for allergy shots. So you may save yourself a great deal of time and money by making sure your doc checks your IgE levels first.

If you decide against the allergy shots, but aren’t enamored with the thought of taking symptom-suppressing medications for the rest of your life then you might try some alternative treatments for allergic rhinitis. Homeopathy is an alternative field of healthcare which focuses on restoring the health of the individual rather than suppressing the symptoms of their disease.

In particular, an encouraging study was done on individuals living in the southwest who suffered from seasonal allergic rhinitis. The participants were given a homeopathic regional allergy mix (a medicine prepared from allergens specific to the southwest that in its final form is incredibly dilute). The study showed significant reduction of symptoms and improvement in quality of life over a 4 week period in the homeopathic group compared with the placebo group.

There are homeopathic medicines available that contain the appropriate allergen complex for any area of the U.S. The allergen complex most often contain specific grass, trees, weeds, pollen and mold that are found in high concentrations in specific regions. These regions include:
Southern U.S.- AR, LA, MS, AL, GA, FL, TN, KY, WV, VA, NC, SC, & east TX
Rocky Mountains- CO, ID, MT, UT, WY, & NV
Southwestern U.S.- OK & TX
Desert- UT, CO, CA, & NV
Northeastern U.S.- ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD
Plains- ND, SD, NE, & KS
Pacific- WA, OR, & CA
Great Lakes- MN, WI, MI, IA, MO, IL, IN, & OH

Don’t despair if your allergic rhinitis is caused by allergens other than those mentioned above. There are also homeopathic formulations which contain allergen complexes such as animal hair & dander, and dust, mite & roach. These 2 causes of allergic rhinitis have higher remission rates than pollen allergy and may respond even more favorably to a homeopathic attempt at allergy correction.

Kemp S. Management of allergic rhinitis (rhinosinusitis). 2007 UpToDate.
Kim LS. Treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis using homeopathic preparation of common allergens in the southwest region of the US: a randomized, controlled clinical trial. Ann Pharmacother. 2005 Apr;39(4):617-24.

About Author:
Nicole Evans is an alternative medicine researcher/developer turned medical student. In her spare time she works with King Bio, a homeopathic company dedicated to empowering people to safely and naturally improve their health. Visit
for natural allergy relief.

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