What Antihistamine Is Right For You
You can buy many different brands and forms of antihistamines without a prescription.
- Some work for only 4 to 6 hours, while others last for 12 to 24 hours.
- Some are combined with a decongestant, a drug that dries up your nasal passages.
Ask your health care provider what type of antihistamine and what exact dosage is right for you or your child. Make sure you understand how much to use and how many times a day to use it. Be sure to read the label carefully. Or ask your pharmacist if you have questions.
- Some antihistamines cause less sleepiness than others. These include cetirizine , desloratadine , fexofenadine , and loratadine .
- Do not drink alcohol when you are taking antihistamines.
- Store antihistamines at room temperature, away from heat, direct light, and moisture.
- Do not freeze antihistamines.
- Keep all medicines where children cannot reach them.
Avoiding Exposure To Allergens
The best way to keep your symptoms under control is often to avoid the things you’re allergic to, although this is not always practical.
For example, you may be able to help manage:
- food allergies by being careful about what you eat
- animal allergies by keeping pets outside as much as possible and washing them regularly
- mould allergies by keeping your home dry and well-ventilated, and dealing with any damp and condensation
- hay fever by staying indoors and avoiding grassy areas when the pollen count is high
- dust mite allergies by using allergy-proof duvets and pillows, and fitting wooden floors rather than carpets
Best Herbs For Seasonal Allergy Relief
Few things can cramp your style more than having a constant postnasal drip or watery, red eyes.
If you are someone who dreads the start of spring because of the increase of pollen, youve probably already tried a lot of allergy meds.
Although they are often highly effective against the main symptoms, unfortunately, many bring unwelcome side effects.
But, you can start preparing now to tackle this years allergy season naturally if you know what to use.
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Zyrtec Vs Allegra Vs Claritin: What Kind Of Antihistamine To Take
With three types of antihistamines all claiming to do the trick, which should you choose? To some extent, its all about figuring out which medication your body reacts to best.
They all do the same job of blocking the same receptor, Dr. Aronica notes, but some patients say one medication seems to work better for them. And in that case, thats the medicine you should use.
The key difference among the three is their capacity to make you sleepy. Theyre all labeled non-drowsy , but cetirizine has the highest chance of drowsiness.
Cetirizine has a little bit higher risk of sedation than the other two, followed by loratadine , Dr. Aronica explains. Fexofenadine is the only long-acting, non-sedating antihistamine approved for airline pilots because its the least sedating of the three.
Heres another thing to consider: Although its most likely to cause drowsiness, cetirizine also has the fastest onset of action in other words, it starts working the quickest.
Which Herbs Are The Best Antihistamines
Histamine is the chemical your body releases when a substance it identifies as an enemy comes into contact with mucus membranes in your nose, mouth, throat, or lungs.
In the case of someone with seasonal allergies, these enemies are things like pollen and mold.
Most allergy medications work as antihistamines to block the production of histamine. And most of them do, unfortunately, have side effects that often include drowsiness.
But, luckily for us, some herbs contain substances that act as natural antihistamines so allergy sufferers can find safe relief without the side effects!
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Treating Allergies On The Skin
For allergic reactions that cause skin symptoms, including those associated with allergens found in animal saliva, poisonous plants, drugs, chemicals and metals, additional treatment options include:
- Topical corticosteroid creams or tablets. Corticosteroids contain steroids that reduce inflammation and itching. Mild forms of these creams can be found online, and a doctor can prescribe stronger versions.
- Moisturizing creams. Emollient creams with soothing ingredients, such as calamine can treat skin reactions.
- Bite or sting medication. Medication targeted to reduce allergic reactions to insect bites or stings have a similar effect to other allergy medications.
- Ice pack. Applying an ice pack wrapped in cloth to the area for 10- to 15-minute intervals can reduce inflammation.
Otc Allergy Medication Prices
OTC allergy medication can cost anywhere from about $5 to $25, depending on the formula and the number of pills, sprays, or drops in each container. As a general rule, the more symptoms that an allergy medicine treats, the more expensive it is.
When purchasing allergy medicine, its more important to focus on the price per dose or the daily cost of using the medication rather than the cost of the container. If you only need the medicine occasionally, compare the different types based on the cost per dose. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you will probably want to pay attention to the price per day because you might need to use the medication once or more every day for total relief from symptoms.
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Fast Facts On Treating An Allergic Reaction:
- Most minor allergy symptoms can be treated with antihistamines, corticosteroids, or decongestants.
- Saline nasal rinses can be used for congestion-related allergy symptoms.
- Corticosteroid creams can treat skin rashes related to allergies.
- Immunotherapy is a long-term treatment option for chronic allergy symptoms.
- Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency, and people should call 911 if they suspect someone is having an anaphylactic reaction.
An allergic reaction occurs when cells in the immune system interpret a foreign substance or allergen as harmful.
The immune system overreacts to these allergens and produces histamine, which is a chemical that causes allergy symptoms, such as inflammation, sneezing, and coughing.
Mild allergic reactions can usually be treated with home remedies and over-the-counter medications.
However, chronic allergies need treatment from a medical professional. Severe allergic reactions always require emergency medical care.
Many mild to moderate allergic reactions can be treated at home or with OTC medications. The following treatments are commonly used to reduce the symptoms of an allergic reaction:
Tips For Treating Allergies Naturally & Creating A Healthy Immune System
There are many herbs that pack a punch to inhibit allergic responses.
Of course, they cant work optimally if the rest of your diet is unhealthy, your gut is unhealthy, or your liver needs a little love.
So, in addition to reading about the health benefits of the herbs below, please remember
- to add more beautiful fresh produce every day and eat a healthy diet
- everybody responds differently, and what may work for one persons symptoms might not work for you
- herbs are generally safe and have fewer side effects than allergy medicine but they can interact with medications so be sure to talk to your health care provider before stopping or starting any medication
Ok, now that we have gone over a few important tips, lets take a look at 10 herbs that have excellent soothing and healing properties and are effective for spring allergies!
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If Otc Medications Arent Effective Are There Prescription Options Available
Most allergy medicine is now available over the counter . However, several nasal sprays are available by prescription only. These include Astepro , Dymista , and Nasonex . Flonase is available in prescription and OTC strengths.
OTC medications are often sufficient to treat allergy symptoms, but if your symptoms are not relieved by OTC meds, check with your healthcare provider to see if a prescription medication may be right for you.
If you have asthma and allergies, there are a variety of treatments available by prescription to alleviate both, including inhalers or oral medication such as Singulair .
What Medicines Can I Take For Allergies
Some people dont take allergy medicines because they dont think their symptoms are serious. They may say, Its only my allergies. This can result in painful problems such as sinus or ear infections. Dont take the risk. There are many safe prescription and over-the-counter medicines to relieve allergy symptoms. Here is a short list of allergy medicines:
- Nasal corticosteroids are nose sprays. They reduce swelling. Swelling causes a stuffy, runny and itchy nose. They are the most effective medicines for nasal allergies.
- Antihistamines block histamine, a trigger of allergic swelling. They can calm sneezing, itching, runny nose and hives. They come in pills, liquids, melting tablets or nose sprays. These treat seasonal and indoor allergies.
- Mast cell stabilizers keep your body from releasing histamine. This can help with itchy, watery eyes or an itchy, runny nose. They are available as eye drops or nose sprays.
- reduce stuffiness by shrinking swollen membranes in the nose. But be careful. Using these sprays more than three days in a row may cause the swelling and stuffiness in your nose to get worse. This can happen even after you stop using the medicine. This reaction is a rebound reaction.
- Corticosteroid creams or ointments relieve itchiness and stop the spread of rashes. See your doctor if your rash does not go away after using this cream for a week. Corticosteroids are not the same as anabolic steroids used illegally by some athletes to build muscles.
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Treating Severe Allergic Reactions
Some people with severe allergies may experience life-threatening reactions, known as anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock.
If you’re at risk of this, you’ll be given special injectors containing a medicine called adrenaline to use in an emergency.
If you develop symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as difficulty breathing, you should inject yourself in the outer thigh before seeking emergency medical help.
The Best Natural Remedy For Allergies
The best natural remedy for allergies is, when possible, avoidance. Both doctors and natural healers will suggest that you limit or avoid allergens, which are what causes your allergic reaction.
You should avoid exposure to your allergens. For example, if youve had an allergic reaction to a sulfa drug, let your doctor know about your allergy. Theyll most likely prescribe an alternate antibiotic if youll ever need one.
That being said, some allergens are hard to avoid. In that case, after discussing your symptoms with your doctor, you might consider a home remedy for allergies to deal with the results of exposure to an allergen.
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Take An Antihistamine But Choose The Right One
As soon as allergy symptoms set in, Dr. Hays says your first line of defense should be antihistamines.
“Antihistamines are really effective for treating allergies,” says Dr. Hays. “They need to be taken every day while you’re experiencing symptoms, and people with seasonal allergies should proactively take them throughout both the fall and spring allergy seasons.”
There are two things you need to know when it comes to choosing the right antihistamine. Dr. Hays says the best antihistamines are ones that are long-acting and non-sedating. To find one that meets this criteria, look for the following types of antihistamines:
Some antihistamine drugs such as diphenhydramine are effective, but can make you very drowsy. Dr. Hays recommends taking this type of antihistamine only before bed.
Whether you’re buying name-brand or generic, the antihistamine drug name will be mentioned somewhere on the box typically on the front.
“One of the main advantages of antihistamines is that they help with the majority, if not all, of your allergy symptoms,” Dr. Hays explains. “In addition, they kick in pretty quickly. You should notice a reduction in your symptoms in just a few hours.”
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.
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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:
Best Nasal Spray: Nasacort Aq
Nasacort AQ is a steroid nasal spray, similar to Flonase but with a different active ingredient .
The most important thing to keep in mind when using these sprays, Dr. Kalra says, is that they should be used on a regular basis to be most effective allergy medicines they can be. They don’t work as well when they’re used “as needed.” The recommended dosing for people over 18 is one spray in each nostril twice daily or two sprays in each nostril once daily.
The technique you use is incredibly important to help cut down on irritation and up the effectiveness, she adds, so be sure to follow the instructions on the package and talk to your doctor if you’re unsure of how to use the spray.
These meds aren’t right for everyone, so talk to your doctor before starting them.
âBuy it:â and Target âPriceâ: $15.17 for 120 sprays or $22.99 for 120 sprays
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Risks And Side Effects
While most of the supplements and tips described above can provide natural allergy relief safely, there are some precautions to keep in mind.
When allergies are mild or moderate, they are usually not very threatening and go away with time. However, severe allergic reactions can be dangerous and require medical attention.
Anaphylaxis is the term for a severe allergic reaction, which can happen due to contact with food allergens, drugs/medications or insect stings. Symptoms usually affect the lungs, blood vessels or heart and can include:
- trouble breathing
If you or your child experience these symptoms, head to your doctor or the emergency room right away to prevent complications.
What can you do for severe allergies? Your doctor may need to prescribe allergy shots or prescription asthma medications, such as bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids.
Discuss these options with your health care provider, and consider trying the natural allergy relief remedies described above in addition to using medications.
Side Effects Of Antihistamines
Ask your provider if antihistamines are safe for you or your child, what side effects to watch for, and how antihistamines may affect other medicines you or your child take.
- Antihistamines are thought to be safe for adults.
- Most antihistamines are also safe for children over 2 years old.
- If you are breastfeeding or pregnant, ask your provider if antihistamines are safe for you.
- Adults who take antihistamines should know how the medicine affects them before driving or using machinery.
- If your child is taking antihistamines, make sure the medicine is not affecting your child’s ability to learn.
There may be special precautions for using antihistamines if you have:
Allergic rhinitis – antihistamine Hives – antihistamine Allergic conjunctivitis – antihistamine Urticaria – antihistamine Dermatitis – antihistamine Eczema – antihistamine
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Medications For Food Allergy Symptoms
Avoiding allergenic foods is the only way to prevent food allergy symptoms. However, it can be hard to avoid food allergens, especially when eating out or traveling. Some foods with ingredients that seem safe turn out to be cross-contaminated with allergens. Some medications can improve the symptoms of allergic reactions or stop life-threatening allergic reactions.
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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