Allergies are one of the most annoying things to deal with. For some people, it might just mean a lot of sneezing in the spring. For other people, it can be hard to perform day to day activities, and they can suffer year-round. Whatever your experience with allergies is, there are treatment options available. Don’t keep suffering in silence and sneezing out loud—start feeling better by finding the treatment that works for you!
Allergies happen when your body comes in contact with something like pollen, grass or pet dander and your immune system thinks that it’s harmful. Your immune system is responding to the allergen as though it were a bacteria or virus. So even though your immune system is trying to protect you, it ends up hurting you anyway.
You will sneeze and cough a lot because your body produces antibodies in response to the allergens. Antibodies are helpful and protective against illness, but they can also cause irritation and inflammation in sinuses. All this inflammation makes for lots of sneezing, congestion, coughing and itchy eyes.
There are several types of medication for allergies. Sometimes you have to try a few before you find one that works for you. You can buy some of these medicines over the counter at your pharmacy. Others you will need a prescription from your doctor to get.
- Antihistamines are available in a variety of over-the-counter options, like Zyrtec and Allegra, or with a prescription, like Claritin. Antihistamines work by stopping your immune system from responding to allergens. They can be taken as pills, liquids, nasal sprays or eye drops. Antihistamines can cause drowsiness, but many of the new ones available don’t have this side effect. If you’ve tried antihistamines in the past and didn’t like the drowsy feeling, it’s worth exploring the options available now.
- Decongestants can relieve the congestion caused by allergies. They are often prescribed along with antihistamines. While they don’t fix the cause of your allergies, they do help offer allergy relief. Decongestants are available without a prescription. They can increase your blood pressure, so talk to your doctor first if that’s a concern.
- Anticholinergic nasal sprays can help you be less congested. These sprays actually reduce how much snot your nose makes. They do have some side effects, though. They can cause severe dryness in your nose as well as headaches and stomach aches.
- Steroids can lower inflammation in your body. Lower inflammation means less severe allergy symptoms. Steroids for allergies are not like taking steroids as a bodybuilder. These are usually taken as a nasal spray. They can be really effective, but you need to take them every day. One of the downsides of steroids is that they can have side effects like weight gain, bone thinning, cataracts and diabetes.
Finding the right allergy medicine for you could be one of these or a combination of them. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and concerns so they can help you find what works for you.
Immunotherapy Allergy Treatment
You might have heard of immunotherapy allergy treatment referred to as “allergy shots.” That’s because immunotherapy is usually given through shots, but there are other options. Immunotherapy involves injecting a small amount of the thing you’re allergic to into your system. Over time, the amount injected increases. By starting with a very small amount, your immune system doesn’t think the allergen is harmful over time and stops producing antibodies in response to it. By the time you’re done, interacting with those allergens out in the world won’t cause your immune system to act up.
Immunotherapy is a long-term treatment. Most people who go this route will get shots for 3 to 5 years. Even though it takes a long time, it can dramatically improve your allergies. Many people feel like get their lives back after finishing immunotherapy. Over 70% of people have long-lasting improvement, even after they stop getting the shots. Your doctor may recommend this treatment if allergy medicines haven’t worked for you, or if your allergies are really severe.
Keep in mind that allergies are a chronic condition. They can impact your mental health and your ability to enjoy life. If you feel discouraged by your allergies, you’re not alone. But effective allergy treatment and management is available. Find allergy relief so you can stop and smell the roses, or at least the cacti.
If you’re ready to get your allergies under control, you can make an appointment for Allergy Testing. Call 1-833-VLLYWSE to book an in-person or virtual appointment today.