How to Treat Your Allergy Symptoms Part 1

How to Treat Your Allergy Symptoms Part 1

For those of us that have allergies there are several options we have to help us deal with them. Today we are going to talk about how to treat your allergy symptoms with conventional treatments.

When we cannot adequately avoid airborne allergens, our symptoms often can be controlled with medication. Effective medications that can be prescribed by a doctor include antihistamines and topical nasal steroids either of which can be used alone or in combination. 

Many over the counter (OTC) antihistamines and decongestants are effective and available at your local Walmart, CVS or Walgreens. Be prepared to show you ID.

How to Treat Your Allergy Symptoms with Antihistamines

As the name indicates, an antihistamine counters the effects of histamine, which is released by the mast cells in the body’s tissues and contributes to allergy symptoms.

For many years, antihistamines have proven useful in relieving sneezing and itching in the nose, throat, and eyes, and in reducing nasal swelling and drainage. Antihistamines will not help with congestion.  To relieve congestion, a decongestant is needed.

Many people who take antihistamine experience some distressing side effects: drowsiness and loss of alertness and coordination. In children, such reactions can be misinterpreted as behavior problems.

During the last few years, however, antihistamines that cause fewer of these side effects have become available by prescription and over the counter. These non-sedating antihistamines are as effective as other antihistamines in preventing histamine-induced symptoms, but do so without causing sleepiness.

Some of these non-sedating antihistamines, however, can have serious side effects, particularly if they are taken with certain other drugs.

It is not recommended that people with glaucoma or high blood pressure take certain antihistamines. Always let your doctor know what other medications you are taking.

How to Treat Your Allergy Symptoms with Topical Nasal Sprays

A topical nasal corticosteroid may be prescribed, especially for seasonal allergies.  This medication should not be confused with anabolic steroids, which are sometimes used by athletes to enlarge muscle mass and can have serious side effects.

Topical nasal corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that stop the allergic reaction. In addition to other beneficial actions, they reduce the number of mast cells in the nose and reduce mucus secretion and nasal swelling.

The combination of antihistamines and nasal steroids is a very effective way to treat allergy symptoms, especially in people with moderate or severe allergic rhinitis. Although topical nasal steroids can have side effects, they are safe when used at recommended doses. Some of the newer agents are even safer than older ones.

Up Next – How to Treat Your Allergy Symptoms - Part 2

Till next time