Treating And Preventing Allergic Rhinitis
It’s difficult to completely avoid potential allergens, but you can take steps to reduce exposure to a particular allergen you know or suspect is triggering your allergic rhinitis. This will help improve your symptoms.
If your condition is mild, you can also help reduce the symptoms by taking over-the-counter medications, such as non-sedating antihistamines, and by regularly rinsing your nasal passages with a salt water solution to keep your nose free of irritants.
See a GP for advice if you have tried taking these steps and they have not helped.
They may prescribe a stronger medication, such as a nasal spray containing corticosteroids.
Choices Choices Choices Of Cough Medications
OTC cough and cold medicines come in a bewildering number of varieties. We say cough and cold remedies because while there are some products marketed purely as cough remedies often called tussins many have additional ingredients that are supposed to control cold symptoms, too.
It may be a little easier to make a choice if you realize that most of these products contain the same few active ingredients, in a limited number of strengths and combinations. Here’s a rundown of the five main types of ingredients:
Expectorants. These cough medications work chiefly by affecting the production, consistency, and clearance of mucus in various ways. Guaifenesin , which thins mucus, is the most common OTC expectorant. The cough guidelines cite studies showing that guaifenesin is effective, but also point to others showing that it’s not. Want a free, reliable way of loosening mucus? Just try drinking plenty of water the next time you have a cold.
Suppressants. These cough medications work by suppressing the cough reflex in the brain. Dextromethorphan is one of the most common ingredients in over-the-counter cough medicine products.
Still, exactly how the older drugs suppress a cough is unclear. Some researchers say they may work by blocking histamine in the central nervous system. In the brain, histamine is a neurotransmitter, one of the many chemicals that enable cell-to-cell communication. Products billed as “multi-symptom” solutions often include these older drugs.
What Should Be The Treatment For Allergic Cough
The treatment for allergic cough depends on the root cause behind the allergic reactions.
Priyanka wanted to know, How to get rid of a cough from allergies?
Dr Mayank emphasises, The only way to get rid of allergic cough is to identify the allergy
Your doctor may advise skin test or blood tests to identify the allergy you have. If needed, a lung-function test, chest x-ray or bronchoscopy may also be required to rule out other causes of persistent cough.
The best way to treat or limit allergic cough is to avoid the allergy-triggering factor.
Priyanka was advised a skin test to figure out the cause behind allergic cough. According to her test results, she was allergic to pollens as she had suspected.
People with allergic cough may require long-term maintenance therapy with an anti-inflammatory agent. Besides this, the right protection from allergy-triggering element is also very helpful.
In rare cases where anti-allergy medicines arent as helpful, steroids may be advised.
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Similarities And Differences In Symptoms
- Loss of taste and loss of smell are common in COVID-19 infections, while very rare for seasonal allergies.
- Stomach symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea can come with COVID-19 but are unlikely to occur with seasonal allergies.
- Seasonal allergies do not cause fever.
- Hives may occur with allergies, but are atypical for a COVID-19 infection.
- Itchy eyes, nose, and ears are common with seasonal allergies but unlikely with a COVID-19 infection.
No : Consider Allergies
If the cough is persistent and does not go away after two weeks, its time to start thinking about other factors, which could include allergies, especially if symptoms include not only post-nasal drip, but itchy eyes, ears and throat.
At this point, we might try an antihistamine to see if it would dry up some secretions, Dr. Cameron says. Claritin and Zyrtec are dosed down for children as young as 6 months, but I dont like to give either to really young kids unless I am treating an allergic reaction. Or if its older kids, I want to know that I am treating allergic rhinitis, which can be seasonal allergies or environmental allergens.
A cough caused by allergies may be seasonal and usually there is no fever or body aches and its not contagious. And, it may only occur around the allergic trigger, like cats or tree pollen, says Jason Catanzaro, MD, a pediatric allergist and immunologist. But, very young children are less likely to have outdoor allergiesthey havent been around long enough to be exposed to pollens from grasses, trees and weeds, he explains.
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How Would You Dispose Of An Allergy Cough
Assuming control over-the-counter meds: Allergy medications, like allergy meds, nasal splashes, and decongestants, can assist with lessening the irritation and bodily fluid creation that can prompt a cough. Utilizing a humidifier or breathing in steam from a shower: Humidifiers can assist with making a sound as if to speak aggravation.
How To Relieve Your Allergy Symptoms
If youre convinced your cough is a result of allergies, start by making a few changes to decrease your exposure to potentially irritating substances: Keep your windows closed, shower as soon as you come inside after being outdoors, brush your pets after walks, or invest in an air purifier for your home.
OTC medications are also a great starting point, Dr. Bassett says. Oral antihistamines, like Claritin and Allegra, help block the histamines that set off symptoms in the first place. Nasal steroid sprays, like Flonase, can help clear a stuffy nose if youre dealing with that, too.
But the right treatment depends largely on the cause for a cough, Dr. Bassett says. If you dont see any improvement after taking these steps, reach out to an allergist, who can give you a proper diagnosis, help you identify your triggers, and potentially recommend prescription allergy meds or allergy shots.
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Saline Nasal Sprays And Irrigations
Other safe ways to help relieve sinus and nasal congestion and postnasal drip include nasal sprays and irrigations that contain saline solution. Saline solution is water that contains sodium chloride . There are many OTC saline nasal sprays that can be used to keep the nose moist and curb symptoms.
Nasal irrigation on the other hand, involves flushing your sinuses with a larger volume of saline solution. You can make your own irrigation solution with sodium chloride packets mixed with boiled or distilled water, or buy a pre-prepared saline wash kit at the pharmacy.
It is very important not to use tap or shower water to make your saline wash, unless the water has been boiled. Although rare, flushing your sinuses with unboiled tap water can lead to a serious infection that can potentially affect the brain.
Instead, you can use a bulb syringe, bottle sprayer, or neti pot for nasal irrigation. For best results, its recommended that you wash out each side of your nose with at least 200 mL of warmed saline solution. Check with your healthcare provider to see how often you should irrigate your sinuses.
How To Stop Constant Coughing From Allergies
Indoor or outdoor, seasonal or year-round, all types of allergies can potentially cause constant coughing. Along with a runny nose, sneezing and watery and itchy eyes, allergic cough can be disruptive and annoying. Coughing associated with allergies is often caused by postnasal drip, when mucus from your nose runs down the back of the throat. Allergic asthma may also cause persistent coughing 2. With this type of asthma, symptoms are triggered by exposure to allergens, such as pollen, dust mites and mold spores.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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What About Herbal Remedies
Herbal remedies can either be taken to treat seasonal allergies at the root of your cough, or be taken to treat the individual symptom.
For example, Pollinosan Allergy Relief Tablets combines several different herbs designed to reduce inflammation of the mucous membranes which occurs as the body reacts to pollen. Unlike some conventional seasonal allergies treatments, Pollinosan does not cause drowsiness.
If you are looking for a specific remedy for coughs, A.Vogel’s Soothing Cough Syrup containing extracts of spruce can help to ease a dry or tickly cough whilst Bronchosan may help with a mucous cough.
Beyond The Usual And Even The Unusual Suspects
But what do we do for patients who either do not respond to treatments for their common conditions, or for whom extensive evaluation rules out the less common causes of a chronic cough? Well, researchers are now describing a new family of breathing and cough conditions caused by nerve dysfunction.
New evidence suggests that postnasal drip, acid reflux, or even forceful coughing in and of itself can aggravate nerve endings in the “cough centers” of the airways. These aggravated nerve endings then overreact to many other triggers, such as smoke, perfume, or temperature changes, causing an overwhelming urge to cough. They label this condition “neuronal hyper-responsiveness syndrome” and outline several approaches to treatment.
But wait, theres more. Other researchers describe a similar concept at the level of the larynx, a family of disorders under “laryngeal dysfunction syndrome” that can include “laryngeal hyper-responsiveness.” Many of the treatments they describe are similar to the treatments for “neuronal hyper-responsiveness,” and the most promising include the anticonvulsants gabapentin and pregabalin, the antidepressant amitriptyline, speech therapy, or a combination of these.
Basically, medical experts are describing a new cause of chronic cough based on aggravated nerves and airway dysfunction, and more research will result in better treatments.
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What Allergies Cause A Cough
Allergies that may cause or contribute to an allergic cough are as follows:
- Second-hand cigarette smoking
- Incense stick
Dr Mayank said, Factors like air pollution, dust, pollen and such may set off a response from your immune system in the form of an allergic cough.
You may also be prone to an allergic cough if you have:
- Upper airway cough syndrome
- Nonasthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis and Atopic cough
Dr Mayank continued, Apart from allergies, disorders like Hay fever, asthma also make you more prone and sensitive to allergy-triggering elements like animal fur, dust and such.
Allergic Cough: Symptoms Causes And What To Do
Allergic cough is a type of dry, persistent cough that occurs whenever a person comes into contact with an allergenic substance, which can be dust , cat hair, dog hair or the pollen of herbs and trees, for example.
This type of cough is more common in spring and autumn, although it can also appear in winter, as environments tend to be more closed at this time of year, generating an accumulation of allergenic substances in the air.
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Cough Suppressants And Expectorants
Although your local drugstore probably carries a wide variety of brands and formulations, there are really only two types of OTC cough medicine available: cough suppressants and cough expectorants.
Cough suppressants quiet your cough by blocking your cough reflex. This is helpful for dry coughs that are painful or keeping you up at night.
Expectorants are better for wet coughs. They work by thinning the mucus in your airway so you can more easily cough it up. You may already have some natural expectorants at home, too.
What Is Post Nasal Drip
Mucus helps clean nasal tissues, fight body infection, trap harmful bacteria and humidify the air you breathe. The mucus is produced continually by the glands in the nose and throat, although you do not notice it. But even if you swallow it without noticing it, sometimes you would feel that there is something down at the back of your throat or something thats draining from the back of your nose. This is called post nasal drip.
Post nasal drip gets more noticeable, when your body produces more mucus than normal. At this time, you may have a runny nose or cold. It can be caused by allergies, foods we eat, perfumes, chemical products, pregnancy, illnesses, sinusitis, dry air, etc.
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Can Allergies Cause Coughing
Yes. Coughing is often a sign that you have a virus or an infection, like a cold or theflu. But it also can be caused byallergies. If you dont have an illness but have a chronic cough longer than three weeks, the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunologystates that it could be allergies.
If you notice that you cough more at certain times of the year, like during spring or fall, or when youre in a specific setting, such as a damp basement or a home with a cat or dog, allergies may be to blame.
How do allergies trigger coughing?
Allergies can cause irritation and swelling of your bodys airways. Allergies can also cause your body to make extra mucus called postnasal drip. This additional mucus trickles down your throat from your nose, often leaving you with a scratchy throat and dry cough.
You may also have other symptoms that go hand-in-hand with allergies, including:
- Itchy and watery eyes
- Dark circles under your eyes
Allergic Cough In Children
Cough as a symptom accounts for roughly 10% of all medical appointments in patients younger than 15 years old, with most cases being self-resolving and classified as acute cough due to upper respiratory tract viral infection. If a cough lasts more than 3 weeks or if episodes of cough are recurring over several months, it is advised to seek a proper evaluation by a medical professional.
Allergic cough in children is caused by post-nasal drip and upper airways irritation by the allergens.
Allergies tend to run in families: If both parents have allergies, the children have a 60-70% chance of being allergic too, while if only one parent has allergies, the chance is lower, around 30%. The exception to this is allergies to medications, insect venom and latex.
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How Do I Know My Cough Is From A Cold
You know how allergy coughs are typically on the drier side? Coughs from colds tend to be on the wetter side .
Coughs that come along with a cold usually come along with stuffiness, along with postnasal drip , which can cause a sore throat or chest discomfort. A low-grade fever may also signal a cold instead of allergies.
Colds aren’t as immediate as allergies. Instead, they tend to develop over the course of a few days, says Dr. Bryson.
You can try a few different things to help relieve a cough. Decongestants can work for, well, congestion. And ingredients like dextromethorphan can can help ease the coughing itself. Just make sure you take any products as-directed.
It should be said, however, that a dry cough isn’t always allergies, just like a wet cough isn’t always a cold. Allergies can plague your nose, for example, causing post-nasal drip , while mild colds might not leave you stuffed up enough to produce any phlegm.
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Allergy immunotherapy means either regular injections at the doctor’s office or taking tablets under your tongue first at the doctor’s office and then at home. Treatment takes three to five years. Youll need to complete the full course even if your allergy cough disappears sooner. Your healthcare provider can tell you if it might be right for you.
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Can Allergies Cause A Cough
Yes, and you can blame it on your immune system. When your body mistakes a substance like pollen or mold as a harmful invader, it sets off an intense response to try and flush it out, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology . During this process, your cells release histamine and other chemicals, which triggers an allergic reaction. Cue the cold-like symptoms, including a sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, and coughing.
Allergy coughs are typically caused by swelling or irritation of the airways, the AAAI says. And, if you develop post-nasal dripwhen the mucus hanging out in your sinuses trickles down the back of your throatthat can also cause a cough, Dr. Bassett says.
Allergic Cough: Is Your Loud Barking Cough Caused By Pollen
Priyanka Khurana, 23, was down with a persistent cough. She wondered whether it could be allergic cough because it always manifested in pollen-heavy season.
She decided to consult Dr Mayank Uppal, Consultant, General Medicine at Sitaram Bhartia Hospital.
Dr Mayank explains, Allergic cough is characterized by a loud barking sound with intensity and force. It is caused by an irritation in your airways which is triggered by elements like pollen, cigarette smoking, air pollution, chemical fumes, dust and such.
This cough can last for many weeks or months depending on the presence of the irritant.
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