Treatment For Drug Allergies
In most drug allergy cases, your doctor should be able to prescribe an alternative medication. Antihistamines, corticosteroids, or epinephrine may be needed for more serious reactions.
Otherwise, your doctor may recommend a desensitization procedure. This means taking small doses of the medication until your body can handle your dosage.
The 4 Best Natural Antihistamines
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Youve likely used many over-the-counter solutions to attempt to lessen these seasonal symptoms and may want to try something else. Theres evidence that completely natural solutions may ease your symptoms.
Whether its called hay fever, allergic rhinitis, or seasonal allergies, numerous drugs both prescription and OTC are available to help combat these cold-like symptoms. But some of these medications have their own lengthy list of side effects.
Understanding how antihistamines work can help you better understand how natural antihistamines can be an ally during allergy season.
Is It Safe To Take Otc Allergy Medications Every Day
Generally, yesthough you should consult with your healthcare provider for guidance. Nasal steroid sprays may take a few weeks to become effective. If you have occasional symptoms, it is okay to take antihistamines as needed, following the package directions.
If your allergy symptoms persist, you may have a sinus infection. Sinusitis treatments are similar to allergy treatments but in some cases, a provider may prescribe corticosteroids or antibiotics.
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What Is An Antihistamine
To understand antihistamines, its good to first know what histamine is. This important chemical plays a part in regulating many of your bodys physiologic functions. Its also involved in local immune responses.
Histamine is stored in immune cells called mast cells, Dr. Aronica explains. When your body encounters something youre allergic to , these mast cells are triggered to release their contents, which then cause allergy symptoms.
Histamine is the main chemical responsible for the itching associated with allergies. It can also cause your blood vessels to be more permeable , which causes stuffiness. Antihistamines, then, are medications that block some of the effects of histamine.
Allergists recommend long-acting, non-sedating antihistamines ones that wont make you sleepy for everyday use. Though you may know them by their brand names, the generic versions tackle the same problems:
- Cetirizine .
- Fexofenadine .
- Loratadine .
Diphenhydramine, commonly known as Benadryl®, is also an antihistamine, but it isnt recommended for everyday allergies. Its short-acting and very sedating, which can impact your day-to-day work and your ability to operate machinery .
What Is An Allergic Skin Rash What Causes An Allergic Skin Rash
An allergic skin rash is also known as contact dermatitis, which simply means skin inflammation from touching something that makes your bodys immune system overreact. An allergic skin rash may appear when your body comes into contact with an irritant or an allergen causing a patch of your skin to be itchy, red, and inflamed. It can appear within minutes, hours, or several days of coming into contact with the irritant or allergen.
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What You Should Do
Work with your doctor to develop a pretreatment strategy, including how far in advance you should use medications. That plan should also include drug-free ways to avoid allergens, such as keeping air conditioning and heating filters and vents clean, keeping windows closed, wearing a mask for outdoor yard work, and avoiding going outside when pollen levels are highest.
The Best Medications For Cat Allergies Comparison Chart
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Will An Antihistamine Treat Both Itching And Rash
The good news is that an oral antihistamine tablet like levocetirizine can help relieve the itchiness and discomfort from a rash however, you will need to let your body heal the rash with time. In addition to an oral antihistamine, an anti-itch cream or moisturizer on your skin can help soothe any red, irritated skin and help you avoid the urge to itch. Scratching the rash could open the wound, allow it to get dirty, and lead to an infection, which will take additional time to heal and possibly require additional medications.
If you think you will be exposed to something that will cause an allergic skin rash and it cannot be avoided, you can take antihistamines beforehand to help prevent symptoms. For instance, taking antihistamines before visiting your friend who has a cat or dog, can reduce the itching and rash from hives produced from contact with the pets dander.
Im So Confusedthe Allergy Aisle Is So Overwhelming Can You Break Down Each Medication
The allergy aisle can be extremely confusing. You may think youre going to pop in for a box of Claritin, and then see 24 different kinds of Claritin: brand, generic, different dosage, and forms.
Allergy medications generally fall into the following four categories.
- Oral antihistamines: These meds block histamine and can help symptoms of sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and post-nasal drip. Benadryl is an older, first generation antihistamine, which can cause drowsiness. Newer antihistamines, like Claritin , Allegra , Zyrtec , and Xyzal , are less likely to cause drowsiness.
- These help relieve a stuffy nose. A common decongestant is Sudafed. Decongestants are sold alone and in combination with antihistamines . If you have high blood pressure, you should avoid decongestants, as they can increase blood pressure.
- Nasal steroids: These help decrease inflammation in your nasal passages, relieving nasal congestion. They may take up to two weeks to work. Some examples are: Flonase ,Nasacort Allergy , and Rhinocort . When using nasal steroids, you can also use nasal saline drops or sprays so your nasal passages dont dry out.
- Eye drops: Allergy eye drops can help relieve symptoms of itchy, red eyes. Some examples are Zaditor and Pataday , which has been approved by the FDA and should be available OTC soon.
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How Do Decongestants Work
During an allergic reaction, tissues in your nose may swell in response to contact with the allergen. That swelling makes fluid and mucus. Blood vessels in the eyes can also swell, causing redness. Decongestants work by shrinking swollen nasal tissues and blood vessels, relieving the symptoms of nasal swelling, congestion, mucus secretion, and redness.
How Do You Minimize Drowsiness
Older antihistamines, such as Benadryl , can cause significant drowsiness. Newer antihistamines, like Claritin , Allegra , Zyrtec , and Xyzal , are less likely to cause drowsiness, but many patients do report some sleepiness.
Be careful when choosing any combination product for allergies or cough and cold because many of them contain sedating antihistamines. Ask your pharmacist to help you choose a product that wont immediately put you to sleep.
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What Can I Take For Allergies
Many people experience allergy symptoms when exposed to certain substances indoors or outdoorsoften seasonally. When your body recognizes a harmless allergen as a possible threat, symptoms including runny or stuffy nose, cough and congestion, headache, sneezing, itchy eyes, and fatigue may happen.
Allergy medicine can offer relief for bothersome symptoms, and its available in a variety of over-the-counter forms including oral tablets or gel caps, nasal sprays, eye drops. Many different allergy medicines are available for purchase in stores or online at Walgreens. Some allergy medicines may last for up to 24 hours while others may be short-acting. You should always check with your healthcare provider before starting an allergy medicine as some may not be appropriate if you have certain health conditions or take other types of medicine.
Fighting Back Against Tiny Allergens Before They Strike Can Help You Avoid Or Reduce Symptoms
The spring allergy season begins next month, and if you want to avoid symptoms, you must act now. “Pretreating allergies will lead to better control of symptoms, and maybe prevent symptoms from showing up,” says Dr. Ahmad Sedaghat, an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.
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Top 9 Natural Allergy Relief Home Remedies
According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, one in five people, or an estimated 50 million Americans, suffer from some type of allergies. The chances are high that you or someone you know deals with ongoing allergies, whether seasonal allergies, food allergies or another type, and could use allergy relief at least from time to time.
Most people who struggle to find allergy relief go to the doctor to be treated and/or are routinely given pharmaceuticals ranging from acetaminophens to antihistamines, both of which may actually further aggravate the symptoms they were given for. If you prefer not to take prescriptions to keep your symptoms under a control, what can help allergies at home?
Home remedies for allergies including symptoms like congested sinuses, headaches, and watery or itchy eyes include using frankincense essential oil, eucalyptus oil and quercetin. Below youll learn about nine amazing, all-natural home remedies for allergies that can help provide fast allergy relief.
What Is The Difference Between Allergic Skin Rash And Non
An allergic skin rash is caused by allergens which cause the immune system in some people to overreact. Some common allergens include plants like poison ivy, jewelry made of nickel, soaps, fragrances, or cosmetics. It is even possible to develop an allergy over time to things you have used before!
On the other hand, non-allergic skin rashes are caused by irritants, which are substances that would cause an immune system response with anyone who comes into contact with it. Common irritants like permanent hair dyes, harsh detergents, or chemicals can cause a non-allergic skin rash which typically results in a painful skin rash that appears quickly after contact.
In both cases, the skin symptoms are most severe where you touch the allergen or irritant. If you want to know what substances may be causing your skin rash, you can see an allergist for a skin patch test, where they will help you identify the problematic substances. It will help your doctor if you write notes with details surrounding the skin rash such as where it touched your skin, how much of the substance you encountered before the reaction, and any activities 1-2 days before the skin rash appeared.
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Ten Ways To Alleviate Seasonal Allergies Without Medication
When your immune system overreacts to an airborne substance that doesnt bother everyone around you, you have allergies. Pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mold spores and insect stings are the biggest culprits of seasonal allergies.
Increased pollen counts and higher temperatures across the globe are contributing to longer and more severe allergy seasons. This means many people whove never had an issue before are experiencing seasonal allergy symptoms for the first time. However, because these symptoms are so similar to the common cold, many just assume theyve caught a bug. If this sounds familiar, the best way to tell the difference between allergies and a cold is whether you have a fever. If youve been feeling unwell for 7 days or longer without a fever, you are probably suffering from seasonal allergies.
When you seek medical treatment for allergy symptoms, your doctor will typically prescribe medications or injections to help you feel better. But the good news is that there are a lot of things you can do at home to alleviate seasonal allergies without medication.
Reduce Allergens In The Environment
At roughly 1/10th the size of a dust allergen, these microscopic particles become airborne and remain in the environment for up to 6 months after the cat is no longer in the area. Regular cleaning is a necessity for those with cat allergies. Here are a couple ways to make a big impact.
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How Is Allergic Rhinitis Diagnosed
If you have minor allergies, youll probably only need a physical exam. However, your doctor may perform certain tests to figure out the best treatment and prevention plan for you.
A skin prick test is one of the most common. Your doctor places several substances onto your skin to see how your body reacts to each one. Usually, a small red bump appears if youre allergic to a substance.
A blood test, or radioallergosorbent test , is also common. The RAST measures the amount of immunoglobulin E antibodies to particular allergens in your blood.
You can treat your allergic rhinitis in several ways. These include medications, as well as home remedies and possibly alternative medicines. Talk to your doctor before trying any new treatment measure for allergic rhinitis.
Consider Nasal Washing With Sinus Rinses
Sinus rinses are a popular allergy treatment that you can do at home, working well with antihistamines and nasal sprays. The neti pot may be one of the most recognizable sinus rinse products.
A neti pot can be picked up at any local drugstore or online, and typically comes with packets to mix with warm, distilled water to create a saltwater solution. Using the pot to pour the solution through your nasal cavities, you can flush out gunk and allergens to reduce swelling and ease symptoms.
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How Do Antihistamines Work
When you are exposed to an allergen — for example, ragweed pollen — it triggers your immune system. People with allergies have an exaggerated immune response. Immune system cells known as “mast cells” release a substance called histamine, which attaches to receptors in blood vessels, causing them to enlarge. Histamine also binds to other receptors causing redness, swelling, itching, and changes in secretions. By blocking histamine and keeping it from binding to receptors, antihistamines prevent these symptoms.
Natural Remedies For Allergic Reactions
Many traditional medicine systems use herbal supplements and extracts to both treat and prevent allergic reactions, especially seasonal allergies.
Though there is little scientific evidence to support the use of most alternative or natural remedies, some people may find that some can provide relief from their symptoms.
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians recommend the following natural treatments for allergies:
- Dietary changes. A low-fat diet high in complex carbohydrates, such as beans, whole grains, and vegetables may reduce allergy reactions.
- Bioflavonoids. These plant-based chemicals found in citrus fruits and blackcurrants may act as natural antihistamines. These can also be taken as supplements.
- Supplements. Flaxseed oil, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and E are suggested to improve allergy symptoms.
- Acupuncture. Acupuncture treatments may help some people to find relief from their symptoms.
A very severe allergic reaction can lead to a condition called anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock.
Anaphylaxis occurs when the bodys immune response to an allergen is so severe and sudden that the body goes into a state of shock.
Anaphylaxis can impact multiple organs and if left untreated lead to coma, organ failure, and death.
The early symptoms of anaphylaxis can be fairly mild and similar to those of minor to moderate allergic reactions, but they often rapidly worsen.
Symptoms unique to anaphylaxis include:
First aid for anaphylaxis includes:
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What Is The Difference Between Seasonal And Perennial Allergies
Seasonal allergies, also called hay fever or allergic rhinitis, generally occur around the same time each year, often between January and April, or even into early summer. Common seasonal allergies include pollen from trees, grass, and/or weeds like ragweed.
Perennial allergies can affect you year-roundnot just allergy seasonor occur intermittently at different times. Common causes of perennial allergies include: mold, dust mites, insects, and pet dander.
Regardless of the type of allergy, when your immune system tries to fight the cause of the reaction, you may experience any or all of these symptoms:
- Watery or itchy eyes
Allergy medications, both OTC and prescription can help to alleviate them. Allergy medicine alone typically suffices for seasonal allergies however, if your symptoms are affecting your quality of life or occur year-round, you might want to consider immunotherapy through allergy shots.
How Much Does Otc Allergy Medicine Cost
OTC allergy medications vary significantly in price, according to our analysis. Costs ranged from around 25 cents for an antihistamine tablet to nearly $20 for a months supply of nasal spray.
Our Best OTC Allergy Medications for Adults and Children ranking didnt include the vast number of generic versions with the same active ingredients as many brand name products. Generic products are held to the same FDA regulations as brand name products, making them just as effective as their brand name counterparts but at a lower price.
If you find that Claritin, for example, is an antihistamine that works for you, you may want to consider a generic version of loratadine as a more affordable alternative.
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