Which Allergy Medicine Has The Least Side Effects
About 87 million people in the US bought allergy medication last year, and you may be one of them. Allergy drugs have evolved to offer relief for symptoms like itchy red eyes and nasal congestion. Of course, every medication has side effects and the question is whether the benefits outweigh the costs. Yet when you are faced with taking allergy medicine regularly, it may be time to consider the side effects and which medication has the least.*
Preventing Food Related Headaches
Preventing food allergy headaches can be as simple as avoiding specific trigger foods once you figure out what your triggers are. But some triggers are difficult to avoid because they are found in most processed foods, this can also make those triggers difficult to find.
If youre having difficulty finding your trigger foods, it may be time to talk to a headache specialist at a headache treatment clinic to learn more about how to prevent headaches caused from allergies. Contact the National Headache Institute for more information on our cutting-edge treatments including stem cell treatment. Call today to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations.
Going Against The Migraine: Prevention
The best way to avoid allergy migraine is to stay away from the allergens you already know about.
To avoid seasonal allergies that can cause migraine:
- Monitor pollen and mold counts in your area.
- Keep your home and car windows and doors shut during allergy season.
- Shower, wash your hair, and change your clothes to wave buh-bye to allergens after youve been outside.
- Wear a NIOSH-rated N95 filter mask when doing chores outside or during other activities that can expose you to high levels of allergens.
- Take whichever allergy medication your doctor recommends.
Healthy eating is an important part of migraine management, as is avoiding notorious migraine trigger foods.
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Viral Or Bacterial Infection And Fatigue
Symptoms: Fatigue, fever, head or body aches.
Fatigue can be a symptom of infections ranging from the flu to . If you have an infection, youll probably have other symptoms like fever, head or body aches, shortness of breath, or appetite loss.
Infections that may cause fatigue include:
Fibromyalgia is one of the more common causes of chronic fatigue and musculoskeletal pain, especially in women. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are considered separate but related disorders. They share a common symptom: severe fatigue that greatly interferes with peoples lives.
With fibromyalgia, you may feel that no matter how long you sleep, its never restful. And you may feel as if you are always fatigued during daytime hours. Your sleep may be interrupted by frequent waking. Yet, you may not remember any sleep disruptions the next day. Some people with fibromyalgia live in a constant fibro fog a hazy feeling that makes it hard to concentrate.
Constant daytime fatigue with fibromyalgia often results in people not getting enough exercise. That causes a decline in physical fitness. It can also lead to mood-related problems. The best way to offset these effects is to try to exercise more. Exercise has tremendous benefits for sleep, mood, and fatigue.
Seasonal Allergy Symptoms With Fatigue
An allergy is an exaggerated abnormal immune response to something in the environment that normally would not be harmful. One of the most common types of allergies is the seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever . Hay fever affects one in five people, according to MayoClinic.com, and causes many of the same symptoms as the common cold. Seasonal allergies are caused by airborne pollen from trees, grasses and flowers . Contact initiates the immune response, leads to inflammation of the blood vessels in the air passages and produces a variety of symptoms that are annoying, but rarely dangerous.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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Allergy Medication Side Effects
Older antihistamines are associated with drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, upset stomach, blurry vision, a dry mouth/nose and throat, and difficulty urinating. The newer antihistamines are usually well tolerated but can cause drowsiness, dry mouth, and stomach problems.
Mast cell stabilizers can cause a short-lived stinging sensation inside the nose.
Nasal decongestants may cause a temporary burning, stinging, or dryness in the nose, a runny nose, and sneezing. Oral decongestants may cause dizziness, headache, nervousness, fast heartbeat, increased blood pressure, loss of appetite, and sleep problems.
Topical corticosteroids for skin allergies can cause burning, itching, redness, and changes to skin color and thinning of skin.
Topical immunomodulators for skin allergies may cause stinging, burning, irritation, and itching at the application site. They may also cause headache and flu symptoms.
Proper Pet Care And Handling
If youre a pet owner or youre planning to be one, you should know that exposure to pet hair and dander can cause allergy headaches. How you handle and care for your companion animal will determine how effectively youll be able to ward off the headaches.
If youre allergic to a particular household pet, you may be better off keeping it outdoors. If its a dog, consider building it a cozy doghouse, for example. If you think the pet must be kept indoors, keep it away from certain areas of the house like your bedroom. This way, youll minimize direct exposure to animal allergens while youre napping.
Make sure you thoroughly wash your hands with handwash and clean water immediately after handling any pets. If you havent yet decided on which pets to keep, consider opting for breeds that are hairless. Choosing a pet that wont worsen your allergies headaches is a health decision youll never regret.
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A Doctors Guide To Choosing Allergy Medicine Wisely
Allergies can pop up throughout the year. You may be tempted to grab the closest antihistamine medicine to fend off your itchy eyes, sneezing, or a runny nose. Before you do, make sure the medicine wont do more harm than good.
There are different types of antihistamines, and some are better than others depending on your age, health, and other medications you take.
Older formulas work, but beware of side effects and bad interactions
Doctors often refer to the first type of antihistamines that were on the market as first-generation. They are great at treating allergy symptoms. Unfortunately, in some people, they can result in side effects like anxiety, confusion, feeling sleepy, blurred vision, reduced mental alertness, urinary retention and constipation. These effects are more common for anyone taking certain antidepressant medications.
Ingredients of first-generation antihistamines include brompheniramine, chlorpheniramine, dimenhydrinate, diphenhydramine and doxylamine. Ask a pharmacist to help you compare products and read the labels if the print is too small. Some of the brand names for these products include Dimetapp Cold & Allergy, Chlor-Trimeton, Tavist, Benadryl, Vicks NyQuil and Tylenol Cold and Cough Nighttime.
The labels should also include warnings that people with certain medical conditions should not take first-generation antihistamines. Ask your doctor before use if you have:
New formulations have fewer side effects, but you still need to be cautious
Otc Medications For Allergies And Migraine Come With Potential Risks
If the symptoms of allergies and migraine are fairly mild, they could both be treated with just over-the-counter medications, says Hamilton. I would caution people who are self-treating who think their headaches are from allergies. They may take a lot of allergy medication, and certain ones like Sudafed can potentially cause a worsening headache if you take it frequently, she says.
Pain relivers such as aspirin, acetaminophen, NSAIDS, decongestants, and combination medicines that contain caffeine, aspirin, and acetaminophen or butalbital can all contribute to medication overuse headache , according to the American Migraine Foundation.
MOH is defined as a headache occurring on 15 or more days per month in a person with a preexisting primary headache and developing as a consequence of regular overuse of acute or symptomatic headache medication, according to the International Headache Society.
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When To See The Doctor
If headaches from hay fever, allergies, or any unknown cause interfere with your day, you should see a doctor.
“It’s not OK to lose time away from your family, work, or whatever is important to you because of headaches,” says Dr. Cooper.
“Your doctor can help you get those days back, and it starts with you letting them know about your allergies and headaches.”
Meanwhile, start keeping a headache diary to track the characteristics of your headaches. It can provide clues to determine the type of headaches you have and the best course of action to relieving them.
Managing Allergy Headaches And Triggers
The key to managing your allergies and reducing headaches is limiting exposure to allergens and triggers.
- Stay indoors and keep the windows shut when pollen counts are high.
- Wear glasses or sunglasses outdoors to keep pollen from getting in your eyes.
- Use the air conditioning in your home and in your car. Make sure to change out the air filters regularly and keep AC units clean.
- Use mite-proof covers in your bedroom for pillows, comforters, and mattresses to reduce exposure to dust mites.
- Keep your homes humidity at 30-50% to reduce exposure to mold. Clean your kitchen, bathrooms, and basement regularly and use a dehumidifier in damp, humid places.
- Wash floors with a damp mop or rag to avoid dry-sweeping or dusting.
- If you are allergic to a pet, keep them outside of your home. If a pet must be kept indoors, keep it out of the bedroom so you are not exposed to allergens while you sleep.
- Replace carpeting with hardwood, tile or linoleum to reduce dander in the home.
Many sinus headache triggers are airborne and difficult to avoid. Discuss your options with your allergist to decide which treatment options are best for you.
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What Happens If I Overdose
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose can be fatal or cause liver damage.
Overdose symptoms may include loss of appetite, vomiting, weakness, confusion, ringing in your ears, upper stomach pain, dark urine, no urination, very dry eyes and mouth, yellowing of your skin or eyes, dilated pupils, fast heartbeats, tremor, agitation, hallucinations, or seizure.
Find The Right Treatment To Ease Your Jaw Pain
If you have severe or long-lasting jaw pain, you may want to talk to a medical professional. But if you suffer from jaw discomfort and allergies, some simple precautions may help you smile without pain in no time.
Kristen Stewart is a freelance writer specializing in health and lifestyle topics. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three kids and two very needy cats.
**The Can Allergies Cause Jaw Pain? section above originated on the Zyrtec website, was written by Kristen Stewart, and is being reshared here for an educational collaboration. The original version can be found here:
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IF YOU HAVE AN EXISTING HEADACHE, MIGRAINE, OR FACIAL PAIN DIAGNOSIS AND ARE LOOKING FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION, HOT TOPICS, AND TREATMENT TIPS, VISIT OUR FREE BLOG OF HOT TOPICS AND HEADACHE TIPS HERE. THIS IS WHERE I WRITE AND CONDENSE A BROAD VARIETY OF COMMON AND COMPLEX MIGRAINE AND HEADACHE RELATED TOPICS INTO THE IMPORTANT FACTS AND HIGHLIGHTS YOU NEED TO KNOW, ALONG WITH PROVIDING FIRST HAND CLINICAL EXPERIENCE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A HEADACHE SPECIALIST.
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Allergy Headache Symptoms And Location
As mentioned, an allergy-induced headache might cause pain on the top of your head and on your face.
Since allergy-induced headaches are primarily associated with migraines and sinuses, you’re probably going to have symptoms related to those, too.
Let’s break down the symptoms of migraines and sinusitis to help you determine which one may be related to an allergy headache.
How Do You Get Rid Of An Allergy Headache
Treating allergy headaches often requires a multi-pronged approach:
- Reduce your allergy symptoms and sinus congestion with an antihistamine, decongestant, or intranasal corticosteroid.
- Take acetaminophen , migraine medicine, or other pain relievers to minimize or eliminate your headache.
- Try at-home treatments like using a neti pot, drinking plenty of fluids, and applying a warm wet washcloth to your face.
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Who Can And Can’t Take Cetirizine
Cetirizine tablets and liquid that you buy from pharmacies and supermarkets can be taken by adults and children aged 6 and older.
Children over the age of 2 can also take liquid cetirizine for hay fever and skin allergies.
Cetirizine can also be taken under medical supervision by children aged 1 year and older.
Cetirizine isn’t suitable for some people. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you:
- have had an allergic reaction to cetirizine or any other medicines in the past
- have an allergy to the food additives E218 or E216
- have an intolerance to or can’t absorb some sugars, such as lactose or sorbitol
- have liver or kidney failure
- have epilepsy or another health problem that puts you at risk of fits
- have a condition that means you have difficulty peeing
- are booked to have an allergy test taking cetirizine may affect the results, so you might need to stop taking it a few days before the test
How To Take It
You can take cetirizine with or without food.
Always take cetirizine tablets or capsules with a drink of water, milk or juice. Swallow them whole. Do not chew them.
Cetirizine liquid may be easier for children to take than tablets or capsules. The liquid medicine will come with a plastic syringe or spoon to help you measure out the right dose.
If you don’t have a syringe or spoon, ask your pharmacist for one. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount.
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Allergy Medication For Toddlers
Allergy medications are not recommended for use in children under the age of two years without out the advice of a physician. In this group, mild symptoms can be managed using non-drug methods such as saline spray for a stuffy or dry nose and/or a vaporizer/humidifier for congestion. If the allergy is in the form of a rash, emollient creams may offer some relief. For more severe allergy symptoms widespread rash, wheezing, red, watery eyes parents should consult a pediatrician.
Do Antihistamines Cause Dementia
Long term use of some antihistamines may increase your risk of dementia. Diphenhydramine blocks the effects of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter is vital for memory and learning. Diphenhydramine increased the risk of dementia by 54% in one 3,000 patient study followed for seven years.
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When To Contact A Doctor
A person should contact a doctor if they:
- have an ear infection or ear pain that gets worse or does not improve within a few days
- have a headache that lasts longer than a day or have frequent headaches
- have severe allergies
- think that they may have migraine headaches
- have headaches that affect their mental health or daily functioning
A person should go to the emergency room if they experience any of the following:
- a sudden, unexplained, very severe headache that makes it impossible to do anything else, along with other symptoms, such as nausea or tingling
- stroke symptoms, such as numbness on one side of the body or a drooping face
- loss of consciousness, a feeling of being very well, or a worry that their headache is an emergency
Some other symptoms a person might notice with a headache and dizziness include:
When a headache or dizziness lasts for a long time, it is more likely that a person has a chronic or serious condition, such as migraine, head pressure from a tumor or infection, or a brain injury.
A person should avoid self-diagnosing and contact a doctor if they are concerned.
Can Allergies Cause Jaw Pain**
When you experience jaw pain, your mind may jump to reasons such as teeth grinding or toothaches. By going for the obvious, however, you may overlook something as simple as allergies causing your jaw pain. Keep reading to uncover how allergies can cause jaw pain. First, to help you determine if you may be suffering from allergies, heres a quick primer on what allergies are, what causes them, and whos most at risk of getting them.
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Are Your Allergies Making You Tired
For many of us, environmental allergens like pollen, mold or dander trigger an allergic response, especially during peak seasons when their counts are at their highest. During an allergic reaction, inflammation often develops especially in your eyes, lungs, sinuses and throat. Inflammation can trigger other allergy symptoms including coughing, sneezing or headaches, and can prevent you from getting a good nights rest. The combination of a lack of sleep and congestion often leads to allergy-induced fatigue. If inflammation develops in your ears, they may not be able to drain properly, leading to fluid build-up. Fluid in your middle ear can make you feel dizzy, similar to having your head underwater. The longer you experience allergy symptoms, the more tired you will become, making school, work and other daily activities increasingly difficult.
The first step to managing your allergies is to identify which allergen affect you. Once you have determined the cause, an allergist can help you develop a treatment plan that will limit your exposure to the allergen and alleviate your symptoms.
If you experience allergy-induced brain fog or other allergy symptoms, you can try:
Your allergist can help you to determine which medications, including antihistamines*, may be best for you. Antihistamine medications can help to combat feelings of fatigue by temporarily reducing the amount of swelling in your nasal cavity.