If you’re on the back foot because of your allergies, know that you’re not alone. According to WebMD, about 30% of adults in the US have some sort of allergies, while the incidence rate in children is even higher at 40%. Luckily, there are many different ways to treat and soothe the effects of allergies. To that end, this article will present a top 10 of the best allergy treatments.
Before we begin, it’s important to know that there is no cure for allergies. Even so, you can find many over-the-counter and prescribed medications that will help you live with your symptoms and minimize things like nasal congestion as much as possible.
Whether you prefer tablets, chewable tablets, liquids, or capsules, chances are you’ll find antihistamines in a form that suits you. The dose you have to take depends on your condition and symptoms. Keep in mind that you should not operate vehicles or do any mentally challenging tasks once you take this group of drugs because they cause significant drowsiness.
Natural Allergy Treatments
Those that want to try herbal supplements for allergies can try freeze-dried nettles or tonics crafted with a herb called goldenseal. Another way to fight allergy symptoms and get natural relief is to use a nasal spray with saline or saltwater that will flush pollen and mucous out. Apart from different herbs, doctors sometimes recommend treating seasonal flare-ups with grape seed extracts and quercetin.
Decongestants, as the name suggests, help with nasal swelling caused by allergies by shrinking swollen blood vessels and tissues in the area, according to WebMD. Decongestants, like antihistamines, come in a variety of forms, including sprays, pills, liquids, and nose drops, and many are available without a prescription.
Steroid Nasal Sprays
This medication reduces nasal passage inflammation and the symptoms of nasal allergies as a result. However, there are quite a few reported cases where these nasal sprays cause nose bleeds and sore throats. If you notice these negative side-effects, stop using the steroid sprays and consult your doctor.
Anticholinergic Nasal Allergy Spray
After this medicinal spray is applied to both nostrils, it subdues secretions from glands in your nasal area and reduces the amount of mucus caused by a runny nose. Before buying this drug, it is important to check whether you’re allergic or not to any of the ingredients it contains. Anticholinergics are most often used 2-3 times a day. It also usually has few if any side effects, so it can be used in conjunction with other treatments.
Leukotrienes are chemicals that the body releases naturally when triggered by an allergen or allergy. They cause airway muscles to contract and tighten, but also increased production of mucus which makes it difficult to breathe. Leukotriene inhibitors block this natural response and therefore help with common allergy symptoms.
Anti-allergy Eye Drops
Those whose allergies cause watery or itchy eyes should try anti-allergy eye drops. These drops contain specially formulated agents that work to lessen inflammation, puffiness, and irritation of your eyes during an allergy flare-up. There are prescription eye drops and over-the-counter solutions available that help with things like hay fever. However, be careful when applying it because it tends to cause slight stinging that’s temporary right after being administered. If this stinging continues, you should contact a doctor. Finally, people using contact lenses should wait 10-15 minutes after using these drops before they put their lenses back.
Foods that Fight Allergies
Some studies suggest that foods high in omega-3 fatty can help ease allergy symptoms. That’s why it is recommended that people with allergies try to increase the intake of this vital nutrient. Natural sources of omega-3 are cold-water fish such as salmon or trout, walnuts, eggs, and flaxseed oil.
Allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, increase a person’s resistance to a variety of allergens. Most often, this treatment is reserved for patients with severe symptoms that last 3 or more months each year. These shots do not cure allergies and they must be taken regularly and in stronger doses.
Mast Cell Inhibitors
This medication prevents the release of histamine and other chemicals that trigger allergic reactions in mast cells when a patient with allergies is exposed to pollen or other allergens. The effects of this allergy drug last up to about 8 hours, so patients using it may need to take it multiple times per day. Both nasal sprays and eye drops are available.
Removing Allergens From Your Home
Finally, identifying and removing as many allergens from your home as possible is also a great way to ease your allergy symptoms. Those with asthma, for example, tend to react badly to dust, so regular and thorough dusting is recommended.
- “Allergy Statistics and Facts,” WebMD,
- “Why do Antihistamines Make You Drowsy?” Live Science, Joseph Castro, 16 December, 2013,
- “Decongestants,” WebMD,
- “Leukotriene Modifiers and Allergies,” WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/allergies/leukotriene#1