Allergic Rhinitis Relief: Symptoms, Treatments, and Home Remedies

Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, affects millions globally. This condition arises when the immune system overreacts to environmental allergens such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, or mold. This reaction leads to inflammation in the nasal passages, causing a range of uncomfortable symptoms. Here’s how to identify, treat, and manage allergic rhinitis effectively.

Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis

According to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, about 20% of the global population suffers from allergic rhinitis. People with asthma, eczema, or a family history of these conditions are more likely to develop hay fever. The symptoms can vary in severity but commonly include:

Nasal Symptoms

  • Sneezing: Frequent and uncontrollable sneezing.
  • Runny Nose: Clear, watery nasal discharge.
  • Nasal Congestion: Stuffy nose due to swollen nasal passages.
  • Itchy Nose: Persistent itching inside the nose.

Eye Symptoms

  • Itchy Eyes: Constant itching sensation in the eyes.
  • Watery Eyes: Excessive tearing and watery eyes.
  • Red Eyes: Bloodshot eyes due to irritation.

Other Symptoms

  • Postnasal Drip: Mucus dripping down the back of the throat.
  • Cough: Persistent cough caused by postnasal drip.
  • Fatigue: Feeling tired and sluggish due to disrupted sleep.

How to Treat Allergic Rhinitis

Managing allergic rhinitis involves a combination of avoiding allergens, medications, and sometimes immunotherapy. Dr. Niveditha Damodharan, ENT specialist, and Dr. G. Krishna Mohan Reddy, Consultant Physician, offer the following insights:

Avoiding Allergens

Avoidance is the first line of defense against allergic rhinitis. Dr. Damodharan emphasizes that “Half of the cases of allergic rhinitis may progress to asthma.” Here’s how to avoid common allergens:

  • Identify Triggers: Determine which allergens cause your symptoms and take steps to avoid them.
  • Keep Windows Closed: During high pollen seasons, keep windows shut to prevent pollen from entering your home.
  • Use Air Purifiers: HEPA air purifiers can help reduce indoor allergens.


If avoiding allergens isn’t enough, your healthcare provider may suggest medications:

  • Antihistamines: These can relieve sneezing, itching, and runny nose.
  • Decongestants: Nasal sprays or pills that reduce nasal congestion.
  • Nasal Corticosteroids: Sprays that reduce inflammation and treat symptoms effectively.
  • Leukotriene Modifiers: Medications that help reduce nasal inflammation.


For severe hay fever, immunotherapy might be recommended. Dr. Damodharan explains that it “assists our bodies to establish tolerance to an allergen.” This can involve:

  • Allergy Shots: Regular injections of allergens to desensitize the immune system.
  • Sublingual Tablets: Allergy tablets placed under the tongue for long-term relief.

Home Remedies for Allergic Rhinitis

In addition to medical treatments, several home remedies can help alleviate symptoms:

Saline Nasal Rinse

A saline nasal rinse can flush out allergens and mucus:

  • Neti Pot: Using a Neti pot with a saline solution can help cleanse nasal passages.
  • Saline Spray: Over-the-counter saline sprays keep nasal passages moist and reduce irritation.

Steam Inhalation

Steam inhalation can provide relief from nasal congestion:

  • Hot Shower: Inhaling steam from a hot shower can help clear nasal passages.
  • Humidifier: Using a humidifier adds moisture to the air, reducing nasal irritation.

Herbal Remedies

Some herbal remedies have been scientifically proven to ease symptoms:

  • Butterbur: Effective in reducing allergic rhinitis symptoms.
  • Quercetin: A natural antihistamine found in apples, onions, and tea.
  • Peppermint Tea: Helps open nasal passages and soothe irritated airways.

Lifestyle Changes

Simple lifestyle changes can also help manage symptoms:

  • Maintain Cleanliness: Regularly clean your home to reduce dust mites and pet dander.
  • Wear a Mask: Wearing a mask during high pollen seasons can reduce allergen exposure.
  • Change Clothes: After being outdoors, change clothes to avoid bringing pollen inside.


Allergic rhinitis can significantly impact your quality of life, but with the right combination of medical treatments and home remedies, you can manage your symptoms effectively. Identifying your triggers, using appropriate medications, and incorporating home remedies into your routine can help you breathe easier and enjoy life with fewer disruptions from allergies. If symptoms persist or worsen, consult an allergist for a personalized treatment plan. By understanding your condition and taking proactive steps, you can keep allergic rhinitis under control and improve your overall well-being.

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