It’s spring in the North State and with that comes the dreaded allergy season! With all the welcomed rain this past fall, this allergy season is set to be one with high levels of pollen. Now is the time to get ahead of allergies before they knock you down!
“High season usually kicks into gear when the thermometer hits 60 degrees for 3-4 days. When that happens, pollen from plants starts moving through the air — and your allergy misery begins. It depends on where you live, but that’s typically early April or May.” Kara Mayer Robinson, writer for WebMD.
There are many different over-the-counter options available for treating allergy symptoms, the trick is finding the RIGHT medication that works for YOU. This may be a big of trial and error, one drug may work for your friend, but not for you. Some over the counter options are:
Antihistamines. These can help if you’re sneezing, have a runny nose, or your nose and eyes are itchy. Some that might cut your misery:
- Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- Desloratadine (Clarinex)
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- Fexofenadine (Allegra)
- Loratadine (Alavert, Claritin)
Some antihistamines may make you drowsy. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about taking antihistamines.
Decongestants. These come in the form of a pill, liquid, nose drop, or nasal spray. Decongestants are great if you suffer from a stuffy nose as they help reduce the swelling in your nasal passageways. Some options are:
- Pseudoephedrine (Afrin, Sudafed)
- Triprolidine/pseudoephedrine (Actifed)
Decongestants do work fast, but they are not recommended to be used for more than three days as it can actually make your nasal passageways more blocked up when you do stop using them.
Nasal Sprays. These work best when used every day. Talk to your doctor about the recommended number of sprays in each nose. Nasal sprays are a great option, however, keep in mind they may take a few weeks to kick in. Some examples of Nasal Corticosteroid Sprays are:
- Fluticasone (Flonase)
- Mometasone furoate monohydrate (Nasonex)
- Triamcinolone (Nasacort)
Eyedrops. Eye drops are great and work fast at treating itchy, watery eyes. They may prevent symptoms, too. But for some folks, they may cause stinging or a headache. Quit using if it becomes problematic or talk to your doctor about other options. Some you can try are:
- Alcaftadine (Lastacaft)
- Azelastine (Optivar)
- Ketotifen fumarate (Zaditor)
- Naphazoline/pheniramine (Visine-A)
If your allergies are non-treatable by over the counter methods, you may want to see an allergist to help determine which allergies are most harmful to you. An allergist will test you for a number of different allergies and will help you find out your triggers. You may even have to try prescription allergy medications or allergy shots, which is just like getting a vaccine, it helps your body build up a defense system against the causing symptoms. However, this process can be slow moving and isn’t ideal if you are in the thick of allergy season.
Whatever the cause is for your allergies, don’t let yourself be miserable this season, take action and start now on preparing yourself.
Any questions or concerns about over the counter or prescription allergy medications? Talk to an Owens Pharmacist today to gain expert knowledge on medications that may be right for you at 1-800-MYOWENS.
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