Hay Fever (allergic rhinitis) is well-managed using naturopathic medicine.
Hay fever is a type of environmental allergy.
Your immune system produces substances called antibodies, which identify harmful substances in your body for “neutralization”. Allergy symptoms occur when antibodies are released in response to benign substances (e,g., pollen, pet dander). Histamine is the main chemical your body produces that causes allergy symptoms. Allergy symptoms may involve your skin or digestive system, but hay fever primarily affects your sinuses and airways.
Seek professional healthcare if you suspect you have hay fever.
Seek emergency medical care if you have an anaphylactic reaction (an extreme allergic reaction, characterized by airway swelling and obstructed breathing) to an allergen.
Symptoms of Hay Fever
Possible symptoms of hay fever include:
- Nasal congestion
- Sinus pressure and facial pain
- Itchy, watery or swollen eyes
- Itchy, runny nose
- Itchy mouth and throat
- Decreased sense of smell and taste
Treatment of Hay Fever at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine
At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, the goals of hay fever treatment are significant or complete allergy symptom reduction, and effective management and prevention of associated health conditions (e.g., sinusitis, ear infections, asthma, eczema).
Conventional treatment for hay fever may include a variety of medications, including antihistamines and decongestants, corticosteroids, leukotriene modifiers and injections of allergen extracts. These treatments may have short- or long-term side effects.
For this reason, you may choose to try natural treatment to possibly avoid use of conventional medications, or together with conventional medications in order to decrease dosages of conventional medications required to manage your hay fever symptoms.
Naturopathic treatment of any chronic health concern must be recognized as a process that involves:
- Identifying specific treatment goals
- Development by your naturopathic doctor, of a thorough understanding of all factors affecting your health, including physical, psychological, emotional and lifestyle factors
- Development of a comprehensive treatment plan
- Implementation and maintenance of that plan through periodic monitoring and adjustment
At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, a typical approach to treating hay fever may be to:
- Identify and address underlying factors in your lifestyle (e.g., indoor mold and pet dander exposure) that may be contributing to your hay fever symptoms
- Decrease symptom severity using botanical (herbal) medicines and nutritional supplements
- Decrease (and if possible eliminate) your reactivity to triggers using acupuncture or homeopathic medicines
- Resolve or manage associated health conditions (e.g., sinusitis, ear infections, asthma, eczema)
Where appropriate, a number of therapeutic options are available, to be used alone, or more often in a complementary fashion, including:
- Nutritional counseling
- Nutritional supplements
- Metabolic detoxification protocols
- Botanical (herbal) medicines
- Bowen Therapy
- Exercise prescription
- Relaxation (meditation) training
- Lifestyle medicine and counseling
- Registered massage therapy
Treatments provided by naturopathic doctors and registered massage therapists are covered by most extended healthcare plans.
Hay fever [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; [cited 2009 Feb 18]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hay-fever/DS00174.