Hay Fever Treatment Updates: Seasonal allergic rhinitis and pollen allergies.


English 花粉症

Latest treatments: medications, laser, sublingual immunotherapy.

Allergic rhinitis is commonly known as hay fever. But you don't have to be exposed to pollen to have symptoms. And contrary to what the name suggests, you don't have to have a fever to have hay fever.
Allergic rhinitis is associated with a complex symptom characterized by paroxysms of sneezing, rhinorrhea, nasal obstruction, and itchy eyes, nose, and palate. It is also frequently associated with postnasal drip, cough, irritability, and fatigue.

Mechanism of Hay fever or allergic rhinitis.

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When the body is exposed to an allergen, it recognizes the pollen to be an alien substance, the body's immunity system reacts, and IgE antibodies are made. These IgE antibodies are connected to blood cells called mast cells which are immunity sensitive. Mast cells discharges chemical mediators such as histamine to fight against the pollen. These chemical mediators stimulate the nervous system and the blood vessels of the body. When a secretory gland is stimulated, a sneeze occurs. And when the glands are stimulated, symptoms such as runny nose occurs. When blood vessels are stimulated, nasal obstruction occurs. It is rare that hay fever (allergic rhinitis) cures naturally, and if symptoms get worse, it is quite difficult to diminish symptoms. For these reasons, it is important to begin a treatment as soon as possible when symptoms appear.

Treatment of hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis).

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One of the first treatments to take when hay fever appears is to have medical treatment.
Antihistaminic treatment is effective against sneezing and a runny nose. Mast cells stabilization drugs are effective against mast cells which are related to the immunity system. In addition, there are anti-leukotrienes agents effective for a stuffy nose (nasal obstruction). When eyes are itchy, use eye drops. The most effective drug against all those symptoms is a steroid nasal spray.
The latest study reports that this medication is quite effective before the onset of a deterioration of symptoms.

Laser therapy.

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For some people, drug treatment is not efficient. It could be due to the development of polyps in their nose or a specific form inside their nose.
After examination, without any specific problems, patients can have laser treatments. This is done in order to reduce the mucus surface inside the nose which is sensitive to pollen. However, the treatment might have to be redone because the effect is not long lasting. In addition, treatment should be done about 1 month before the onset of pollen.

Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT)

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The background therapy for the Japanese cedar pollinosis (Japanese cedar hay fever) is the sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT).
This treatment consists of taking a small dose of an allergen under your tongue to boost tolerance to the substance and reduce symptoms.
Once a day, you take few drops of allergen (Japanese cedar pollen) under your tongue for two minutes and then swallow it. We recommend continuing this therapy for two to three years to develop a lasting immunity.
While sublingual immunotherapy lasts for two years before there is an effect, a study related that more than 85% of the patients treated were satisfied by the results. It is said that the results are even better if they continue the treatment more than 2 years.

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However, as the treatment cannot be done while the pollen are released, the treatment must be done 2 months before this period.
There are several side effects like some itchiness or some swelling in the mouth due to allergic symptoms. It usually doesn't last.