With the high-water year, many in our area have been fighting the seasonal allergy symptoms that have come with all this beautiful green. The most common symptoms of seasonal allergies include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy nose/eyes, and cough. Allergies may also worsen other conditions like asthma, eczema, and migraines.
So, what can you do?
#1 – Avoid allergens
While sometimes unrealistic, the most effective strategy to help with your allergies is avoiding pollen. Strategies to help with this include avoiding outdoor activities on high pollen days which are commonly reported on weather reports, driving with your windows rolled up and recirculating air in your car for your AC instead of pulling in outside air, washing hands and clothes when you get in from being outdoors, vacuum/dust your home regularly.
# 2 – Steam Inhalation
Inhaling steam from a warm shower or humidifier helps to clean out your nasal passages and reduce the symptoms of allergies. For a bonus, add Eucalyptus or Mint oil to your steam for a refreshing effect.
# 3 – Herbal Preparations1
Many may want a more natural remedy for their allergies. Below are some herbal preparations that are backed by science. These can also work together with allergy medications if the medication itself is not enough.
- ButterBur (Petcasites Hybridus)
- Tinospora cordifolia
- Menthol (Inhaled)
- Benifuuki green tea
Just like medications, herbal preparations have side effects, including damage to the liver. Herbal preparations also have the potential to interact with medications you may already be taking. If you have concerns, ask your provider.
#4 – Vitamin C
Vitamin C has antioxidant, immunomodulatory (changes how the immune system acts), and anti-inflammatory mechanisms that have been shown to decrease allergy symptoms2. The recommended daily amount of vitamin C is 1000 mg, although there are different preparations so pay attention to the packaging instructions.
What do I need to know about over-the-counter allergy medications?3
Common allergy medications are in a medication class called Antihistamines. These medications block histamine which is an immune signal that leads to the symptoms of allergies.
Common allergy medications include:
- Claritin (Loratadine)
- Allegra (Fexofenadine)
- Zyrtec (Cetirizine)
- Xyzal (Levocetirizine)
While in the same class. Benadryl is more likely to make you tired and is therefore less recommended for daily use during allergy season.
What about “ – D”? “ – D” means decongestant. This means it is a combination medication. For example, Allegra-D is Fexofenadine and Pseudoephedrine. While this may produce additional benefits, know that these decongestant medications can cause higher blood pressure, fatigue, headaches, dry mouth, and agitation. It is also generally not recommended for pregnant women to take decongestant medications.
Nasal Allergy Medications
- Astelin/Astepro (Azelastine)
- Patanase (Olopatadine)
Nasal Steroids: Steroids work by reducing allergy-related inflammation.
- Rhinocort (Budesonide)
- Flonase (Fluticasone)
- Nasonex (Mometasone)
- Nasocort (Triamcinolone)
You can use both nasal medication and oral medications together.
We are here to help!
At any time if your allergy symptoms are severe, unresponsive to treatment, associated with wheezing, or causing difficulty breathing please come by and see one of our providers for further treatment options.