Shower Immediately After Being Outside
When you spend a lot of time outside, particularly if youre working out in the yard, pollen can end up on your skin and hair, worsening allergy symptoms. If youre highly allergic to pollen, its a good idea to take a second shower after you come inside to rinse away the pollen and avoid allergy symptoms, explains Mark S. Dykewicz, MD, a professor of internal medicine and the director of allergy and immunology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Why Allergies Are Out Of Control
If you feel like youre having the worst allergy season ever, its not just you: More than 24 million people in America have seasonal allergies, and allergists are already reporting that this year is a brutal one for those who experience hay fever allergies. You can blame climate change, as well as a delayed spring in some parts of the country, which is causing everything to bloom all at once. If youre taking an antihistamine but still feel miserable, you may need to switch up what youre taking or how youre taking it, says Tania Elliott, MD, an allergist in New York City, an associate attending physician at NYU Langone Health, and a national spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology . Now, its time to pay attention to your bodys signals when it needs better allergy management.
How Can I Be Prepared
If you know you have a drug allergy, memorize the name of that drug, both brand names and generic name. Tell all your health care providers before you get any type of treatment, including dental care.
Itâs also a good idea to carry a card or wear a special bracelet or pendant that identifies your allergy, in case of emergency.
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Articles On Drug Allergies
You need your medicine to manage your health. They can make a huge difference in your life. But sometimes, people have an allergic reaction to a medicine.
When you have an allergy, your immune system mistakenly sees something thatâs harmless as an invader. Your body responds with certain chemicals, such as large amounts of histamine, to try to get rid of it.
If you think you have a drug allergy, tell your doctor. There may be another treatment you could try instead.
Which Type Is Best
Thereâs not much evidence to suggest any particular antihistamine is better than any other at relieving allergy symptoms.
Some people find certain types work well for them and others do not. You may need to try several types to find one that works for you.
Non-drowsy antihistamines are generally the best option, as theyâre less likely to make you feel sleepy. But types that make you feel sleepy may be better if your symptoms stop you sleeping.
Ask a pharmacist for advice if youâre unsure which medicine to try as not all antihistamines are suitable for everyone.
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How Long Does It Take Allergy Shots To Work
Allergy shots have been around for around 50 years and have extensive research to back up their effectiveness. Because immunotherapy teaches your body to have a more measured response to the culprit allergen, the length of time varies based on the severity of the allergey and the pliability of your immune system to learn how to better manage the allergen.
Most patients experience a significant reduction in allergic symptoms within 12 months of initiating therapy, and by three years, many patients no longer have any sensitivity to the substance. Continued high-level exposure to the allergen during treatment may impact the efficacy of the treatment. For example, if youâre getting immunotherapy because youâre allergic to cats and you live with a cat, it may take longer for the immunotherapy to work, if at all.
Twelve months may seem like a long time when youâre accustomed to taking pills that quickly mask symptoms, but the sooner you start immunotherapy, the sooner you can lose the pills and feel better every day. Book online today.
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Know When To Take Your Allergy Medications
Did you know you can start taking your allergy medication before symptoms even arrive?
While allergy seasons seem to be starting earlier and lasting longer these days, pollen seasons are somewhat predictable. So, start taking allergy medications about two weeks before the allergy season and your symptoms begin. Then, continue taking them regularly throughout the rest of the season. Once inflammation starts, it may take longer to get relief.
Oral antihistamines take about a half hour to get into your system. Bedtime is a good time to take allergy medications. Many last 24 hours, which means theyll be working through the next day.
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You’re Taking Other Medication
Sometimes it’s not even your fault. Rather, it’s your other medication. If you’re treating another condition with medication, that could be the culprit. For example, some medicine can worsen sinus conditions, therefore making allergy medication ineffective. Or others could mean you get dry eye, leaving your eyes more watery than before.
Perhaps you are not diagnosed with a medical condition and it has limited your options for treatment. Your doctor might need to ask to swap out an allergy medication that worked to a new one that isn’t as great. Even worse, the new one you have gives you certain side effects which makes your allergy symptoms flare up even more.
Whatever the case, managing your allergy symptoms effectively requires constant trial and error it may not be as simple as taking a one-size-fits-all approach. Maybe you need to take medication and make some lifestyle changes such as altering your diet or cleaning your home more often.
That’s where a doctor you trust can be helpful: this person can help you look at your specific needs and then prescribe a treatment that’s geared towards your individual needs. Relief may not happen overnight, but taking that first step to meet with your doctor to begin a treatment plan could pay off in the long run.
The fix: Treatment isn’t a one-size-fits-all case. Doctors have to look at each individual’s case and focus treatment accordingly, and finding the right treatment may take some tinkering.
, and for the latest updates.
What Is Claritin Supposed To Do
Claritin is a brand name for the drug loratadine which is an antihistamine used to treat allergies as well as hives or rashes. Antihistamines reduce the effects of histamines. Histamines are natural chemicals the body produces to help your body get rid of something thats bothering your immune system, such as an allergen.
In order to get rid of the allergen, histamines will heighten your bodys defense system causing you to sneeze, cough, tear up, have a runny nose, and itch to help get the allergen out of your system. Sometimes histamines can go overboard and leave you a miserable, sneezing, itching mess, so many people use antihistamines like Claritin to reduce the response their body has to allergens.
Claritin is designed to reduce the following symptoms:
- Runny nose
Claritin uses a formula that avoids the drowsiness many antihistamines produce so you can get allergy relief without feeling tired or foggy.
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Allergy Problem: You Cant Stop Sneezing And Sniffling
So youre on three different allergy drugs and you still feel wretched? Its only normal to ask your doctor : Has my body built up tolerance to my antihistamine? But the truth is, thats an urban legend, Dr. Caudle says. One of the biggest signs I see that a patients allergy meds are not working well for them, is that they still have symptoms despite properly taking their medications, she says. Some also complain of some improvement in symptoms but not total symptom resolution with taking their medications. This is what tells me that we need to rethink our allergy treatment strategy.
What Is The Best Allergy Medication
The best choice of allergy medication is one which relieves symptoms without interfering with everyday tasks. Many allergy sufferers are finding that the newer, non-sedating antihistamines meet both these important parameters. It’s also important to find an allergy medication that can safely be used for the long term, since for many, allergies last an entire season if not the entire year. And finally, allergy medications should minimally react with other medications.
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Best Treatment To Manage Allergies Long Term
Immunotherapy is a great option for anyone who suffers from severe allergy symptoms, especially for those with year-round allergies. Immunotherapy works by exposing you to gradually increasing levels of an allergen to help your immune system slowly build a tolerance, relieving allergy symptoms and even preventing new allergies from developing.
Allergy shots are one form of immunotherapy that require frequent office visits to be administered by a doctor. Allergy drops are a revolutionary form of immunotherapy that can be taken under the tongue from home each day to relieve allergy symptoms long term. Both allergy shots and allergy drops can be prescribed by a doctor after specific allergies are determined by an allergy test. This is a long term approach to allergy relief and management, with most patients taking allergy shots or drops for a period of three to five years.
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Best Allergy Fix: Steroid Nasal Sprays
Surprise: Steroid nasal sprays are better than antihistamines at relieving hay fever symptoms in general and sinus woes in particular, Dr. Elliott says. The reason they are ideal, she adds, is they target multiple chemicals that your body produces when exposed to an allergen antihistamines, on the other hand, only stop one of these chemicals, histamine. Steroid nasal sprays, which are available over-the-counter , also shrink the swollen tissue inside your nose and sinuses, so snot can drain, and you can breathe. If youre only using your steroid spray on bad allergy days, youre using it all wrong: It is a preventative medicine, which means you need to take it every day at the same time for it to work right. Give it five to seven days to kick in, then stick with it straight through allergy season. And avoid the decongestant nasal sprays like Afrin, Dr. Elliott adds, because when taken for more than three days, they can cause rebound congestion, leading to more misery.
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You’re Not Taking The Medicine Properly
While most allergy medicine is fairly foolproof taking the correct amount of pills seems easy enough even a small mistake can render your allergy medication ineffective. For example, inhalers that aren’t activated or used properly can mean the difference between being able to breathe easily or dealing with a stuffy nose. Same for nasal sprays, especially when sprayed at an incorrect angle.
You May Have Built Up A Tolerance
If youve been using Claritin for multiple years and it worked in the past but the Claritin has stopped working, your body may have built up a tolerance to it. Building up a tolerance can happen for any drug you take. What happens is your body gets used to the drug after you take it over an extended period of time and stops having a response to the drug. This causes the drug to not work well or at all.
If this happens, it may help to increase your dose or switch to a stronger antihistamine, but you shouldnt do this without speaking with your doctor. Increasing your dose on your own can lead to serious side effects.
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Zyrtec Not Working For Allergies
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You Didnt Start Taking Claritin Soon Enough
In order for Claritin to be most effective, you should aim to start taking it one to two weeks before allergens or other histamine triggers are in the air. Doing this helps your body begin to build up resistance so its prepared by the time the allergens arrive.
If you only start taking Claritin once you have allergy symptoms, you may not get immediate relief, but the good news is itll begin working after several days or up to two weeks after you begin using it.
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Best Allergy Fix: Inhaled Steroids
Experts now know that when asthma isnt properly controlled, the swelling and spasming in the airways can get worse and potentially cause long-term damage to the respiratory system. I cant stress enough that if you have spring allergies, you shouldnt be on as-needed rescue inhaler you should be on every day steroid inhaler, says Dr. Elliott. You dont want to let it get out of control, because then it snowballs into an asthma exacerbation. Book an appointment ASAP with an allergist or pulmonologist, who can prescribe a steroid inhaler, such as Flovent. You need to use these steroid inhalers every single day for them to work. And if that doesnt make you feel much better? In some cases, allergists will prescribe a pill called Singulair for allergic asthma. It controls leukotrienes, a chemical in our body that triggers some but not all cases of allergic asthma. It only works 25 to 50 percent of the time, however, and can have side effects, so it isnt usually a first-line treatment.
Best For Treating For Nasal And Sinus Congestion Or Pressure
Allergy medications that are decongestants can come in pill, liquid or nasal spray form. The most common form of decongestant are pills, which many people use to combat seasonal allergies especially. Nasal sprays and eye drops can both stop being effective or make symptoms worse if overused, so it is important to use them sporadically to treat symptoms.
Why Isnt My Allergy Medication Working
As spring slowly approaches, those of us who suffer from seasonal allergies are preparing for the onslaught of symptoms which include sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, and congestion. Unfortunately, most of us also find that the allergy medicine we used last season just isnât working anymore. The cause of this dilemma is a bit insidious, in that our own immune system, which is designed to protect us from illness, is actually the cause of the allergic reaction, as well as the reason the medicines stop working.
In the spring, when we find that our allergy medication is no longer working, the most common allergy trigger is pollen, which is released into the air by trees, grasses, and weeds. If you are allergic to pollen, your immune system goes into hyperactive mode as it mistakenly regards the pollen as an illness causing organism and then releases antibodies to attack it like it would a bacteria. When your bodyâs antibodies attack the allergens, it causes a chemical reaction which releases histamines into the blood. The histamines are what results in runny nose, itchy eyes, and other symptoms of allergies. Allergy medications are designed to block the histamine that is released. Unfortunately, since our immune systems are adaptive, we quickly build immunity to the medications, and therefore the medicines stop working.
How To Ease Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
Pollen may be hanging around almost all year, but these steps can keep you comfortable
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Got itchy eyes and an alternately stuffy and runny nose? Feeling like allergy season seems to start earlier and end later?
It’s true that due to climate change, there’s more pollen in the airand for a longer timethan there used to be, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology and the Environmental Protection Agency. And pollen counts are expected to double by 2040, notes AAAAI.
Thats a problem for the 6.5 percent of American adults and 7.5 percent of children with hay feverallergies to pollen from trees, weeds, and grasses. Research has found that 80 percent of those with seasonal allergies report moderate-to-severe symptoms that significantly impair their quality of life.
Heres what to know about the latest treatment recommendations and what you can do to keep your seasonal allergy symptoms to a minimum.
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How Do I Avoid Allergens
The best way to prevent allergy symptoms and limit your need for allergy medicine is to avoid your allergens as much as possible. This includes removing the source of allergens from your home and other places you spend time. You can also reduce your symptoms to airborne allergens by washing out your nose daily. You can do this by using a nasal saline rinse using a squeeze bottle or a Neti pot.
How Do Allergy Shots Work
Allergy shots work by decreasing symptoms from particular allergens.
Each injection contains small amounts of the allergen so that your body builds up immunity to it over time. The process works much like taking a vaccine, where your body creates new antibodies to combat the invasive substances.
Allergy shots also improve the way other immune system cells and substances function in response to allergens. Eventually, successful immunotherapy helps the body fight off allergens and reduce adverse symptoms.
Allergy shots aim to decrease overall allergy symptoms over time. If you have allergic asthma, reduced asthma symptoms are also possible.
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