Seasonal Allergies (Allergic Rhinitis)
More than 7 percent of adults and about 9 percent of children in the United States have allergic rhinitis (hay fever).
Bottom Line: Many complementary health approaches have been studied for allergic rhinitis. Some evidence indicates that rinsing the sinuses (for example, with a neti pot) and the herb butterbur may be helpful.
- People can get infections if they use neti pots or other nasal rinsing devices improperly. Tap water is not safe for use as a nasal rinse unless it has been filtered, treated, or processed in specific ways.
- It is unknown if butterbur is safe for long-term use.
If you are using or considering any complementary health approach for seasonal allergies, talk with your health care provider.
For more information on allergies, visit the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Web site.
Seasonal allergies, also called allergic rhinitis or hay fever, are common among both adults and children. They occur when the immune system, which defends the body against foreign invaders such as bacteria, responds to a false alarm. In a person who has an allergy, the immune system treats a normally harmless substance as a threat and attacks it, producing symptoms of an allergic reaction.