Hay fever: nasal irrigation instead of nasal spray

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Nasal irrigation with salt water solutions for hay fever

Hay fever patients should use nasal irrigation with salt water rather than the commercially available nasal sprays, according to a recent consumer initiative in Berlin. So far, there have been no scientific studies on the effectiveness of nasal douches in hay fever, but other experts, such as the allergist from the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the Ulm University Hospital, Professor Jörg Lindemann, have long been aware of the positive effects of Nasal irrigation convinced.

The symptoms of hay fever patients can be significantly improved if their nose is regularly rinsed with a salt water solution, according to the experts. "Instead of using nasal drops with a decongestant effect, it makes more sense (therefore) to rinse the nose with salt water," explained the consumer initiative in Berlin. Especially since the long-term use of nasal sprays is said to have a harmful effect on the mucous membranes, Sapphire Robert from the consumer initiative told the news agency "APA".

Nasal irrigation the better alternative Around 16 percent of the population in Germany "suffer from so-called hay fever, an allergy to pollen or pollen", according to the current consumer initiative. Sneezing, coughing, runny nose and breathing problems up to asthma are the typical complaints of those affected. In order to remove the blocked nose, many people with pollen allergies rely on commercially available nasal sprays, which are said to cause swelling of the mucous membranes. But the nasal sprays can have a negative effect in the long term. Because "the more often people use the spray, the more the body gets used to it and no longer manages" to fight the swelling of the mucous membrane itself, explained Sapphire Robert. To clear the nose, nasal irrigation with salt water is the better alternative. Professor Harald Morr of the German Lung Foundation had recommended the use of nasal irrigation to alleviate the symptoms of allergic rhinitis last year, whereby the nose should be cleaned once a day with a physiological saline solution (0.9 grams sodium chloride per 100 grams water) . However, more frequent use should be avoided, as the nasal douches can also have negative consequences for the nasal mucous membranes.

Allergy sufferers should minimize contact with the pollen In addition to nasal irrigation, the experts recommend that allergy sufferers take further measures to minimize contact with the pollen. For example, the consumer initiative advises those affected to ventilate only sparingly or after a downpour during the pollen season. It should be borne in mind that the pollen concentration in the air is highest in the morning in rural areas, while it is in the city centers it only rises during the day and peaks between 6 p.m. and midnight. The consumer initiative also recommends that people with pollen allergies do not take off their street clothes in the bedroom (because of the adhering pollen), wash their hair in the evening before going to bed and wipe the apartment with a damp cloth more often. Hay fever patients should also give up smoking urgently, since tobacco consumption "weakens the immune system even more than allergies already do," said Sapphire Robert.

Treatment is mostly limited to hay fever symptoms. While numerous treatment methods are available to relieve hay fever symptoms, very few therapies offer a way to cure hay fever. One method that starts here is the so-called hyposensitization, in which patients are accustomed to contact with low doses of the allergy-causing substances for years until an allergic reaction no longer occurs. The naturopathic treatment of hay fever starts with the causes of the symptoms and tries to remedy them. Here, for example, extensive treatment success has already been achieved with relaxation procedures, magnetic field and bioresonance therapy, autologous blood therapy, herbal therapies, acupuncture and homeopathy. If the naturopathic treatment approaches are unsuccessful, a doctor should be consulted in any case, since untreated hay fever can lead to asthma and other bronchial diseases.

Pollutants favor allergies It is still largely unclear why some people suffer particularly severely from allergies, while others do not show comparable symptoms, but some statements can be made regarding the possible risk factors. According to the consumer initiative, pollutants such as tobacco smoke, formaldehyde emissions from chipboard or fiberboard and increased particulate matter are possible factors that can accelerate the onset of allergies. For this reason, consumers should be well advised to pay attention to environmental seals such as the Blue Angel when buying furniture, paints, floor coverings and wallpaper, according to the consumer advocates. (fp)

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