The Asthma Center

Complementary and alternative treatment options

There is a growing trend to seek out complementary and alternative treatments for chronic medical problems including sinusitis and allergic rhinitis. According to recent polls, 42% of adults use alternative treatments alone; 58% use such treatments along with standard medical care. In the US alone it is estimated that consumers spend nearly $17 billion annually on a variety of complementary supplements. These products include vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanical products and sports nutrition products.

Complementary and alternative therapies are distinct terms. Complementary remedies are used in addition to standard medical treatments. Alternative therapies replace standard medical care. These therapies have failed to gain widespread approval by physicians due to a lack of scientific evidence, lack of standardization of contents and lack of regulatory supervision. Until scientific evidence supports their use, these treatments should only be considered after careful evaluation. The basic rule is “Buyer Beware” since these treatment options are unregulated and may still be unproven.

Remember that natural does not necessarily mean safe or effective. You may consider trying these remedies as long as they make you feel better, are not harmful and do not interfere with your prescribed medications. Make sure you inform your physician of any complementary or alternative therapies you have taken since they may interfere with the effectiveness of medications your physician prescribes.

Some common complementary and alternative medicine treatments are: