What medication can i take for allergies

Many conditions can cause a sore throat, including common colds, the flu, and allergies, such as hay fever.

Taking note of other symptoms that appear along with a sore throat can assist people get a better thought of the underlying cause.

Symptoms common to both colds and allergies include:

  1. fatigue
  2. a runny or stuffy nose
  3. coughing and sneezing

Symptoms of colds, the flu, and infections:

  1. muscle and body aches do not generally happen with allergies
  2. fevers can happen with colds and the flu but not with allergies
  3. swollen lymph nodes in the neck region typically indicate an infection not an allergy

Symptoms of allergies include:

  1. itchy, watery eyes are common symptoms of allergies, but not of colds or the flu

An significant clue to whether the cause is a freezing, flu, or an allergy is how endless the sore throat lasts.

Colds and the flu do not generally final longer than 2 weeks.

However, allergies can final for as endless as a person remains exposed to the allergen. For people with hay fever, allergy symptoms may final for around 6 weeks during pollen seasons.

Some people with hay fever may develop oral allergy syndrome after eating certain foods. Raw fruits, vegetables, and some tree nuts contain proteins that are similar to the pollens that trigger hay fever symptoms.

Oral allergy syndrome can cause:

  1. redness and swelling of the lips and mouth
  2. a scratchy, irritated throat
  3. an itchy mouth
  4. general hay fever symptoms

People who experience a sore throat or other symptoms after eating raw fruits or vegetables should speak to a doctor or allergist.

Allergies are extremely common.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, more than 50 million people in the United States own some type of allergy.

Research reveals that 15% of people in the U.S. own received a diagnosis of allergic rhinitis from their doctor, and up to 30% of the population own self-reported that they own nasal allergy symptoms.


What causes allergies?

Allergies occur when the body’s immune system reacts to a specific substance as though it’s harmful.

It’s not clear why this happens, but most people affected own a family history of allergies or own closely related conditions, such as asthma or eczema.

The number of people with allergies is increasing every year.

The reasons for this are not understood, but 1 of the main theories is it’s the result of living in a cleaner, germ-free environment, which reduces the number of germs our immune system has to deal with.

It’s thought this may cause it to overreact when it comes into contact with harmless substances.


Is it an allergy, sensitivity or intolerance?

Medications

Many allergens that trigger allergic rhinitis are airborne, so you can’t always avoid them. If your symptoms can’t be well-controlled by simply avoiding triggers, your allergist may recommend medications that reduce nasal congestion, sneezing, and an itchy and runny nose.

They are available in numerous forms — oral tablets, liquid medication, nasal sprays and eyedrops. Some medications may own side effects, so discuss these treatments with your allergist so they can assist you live the life you want.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy may be recommended for people who don’t reply well to treatment with medications or who experience side effects from medications, who own allergen exposure that is unavoidable or who desire a more permanent solution to their allergies. Immunotherapy can be extremely effective in controlling allergic symptoms, but it doesn’t assist the symptoms produced by nonallergic rhinitis.

Two types of immunotherapy are available: allergy shots and sublingual (under-the-tongue) tablets.

  1. Allergy shots: A treatment program, which can take three to five years, consists of injections of a diluted allergy extract, istered frequently in increasing doses until a maintenance dose is reached.

    Then the injection schedule is changed so that the same dose is given with longer intervals between injections. Immunotherapy helps the body build resistance to the effects of the allergen, reduces the intensity of symptoms caused by allergen exposure and sometimes can actually make skin test reactions vanish. As resistance develops over several months, symptoms should improve.

  2. Sublingual tablets: This type of immunotherapy was approved by the Food and Drug istration in Starting several months before allergy season begins, patients dissolve a tablet under the tongue daily.

    Treatment can continue for as endless as three years. Only a few allergens (certain grass and ragweed pollens and home dust mite) can be treated now with this method, but it is a promising therapy for the future.

Leukatriene pathway inhibitors

Leukotriene pathway inhibitors (montelukast, zafirlukast and zileuton) block the action of leukotriene, a substance in the body that can cause symptoms of allergic rhinitis. These drugs are also used to treat asthma.

Nasal sprays

Nonprescription saline nasal sprays will assist counteract symptoms such as dry nasal passages or thick nasal mucus.

What medication can i take for allergies

Unlike decongestant nasal sprays, a saline nasal spray can be used as often as it is needed. Sometimes an allergist may recommend washing (douching) the nasal passage. There are numerous OTC delivery systems for saline rinses, including neti pots and saline rinse bottles.

Nasal cromolyn blocks the body’s release of allergy-causing substances.

What medication can i take for allergies

It does not work in every patients. The full dose is four times daily, and improvement of symptoms may take several weeks. Nasal cromolyn can assist prevent allergic nasal reactions if taken prior to an allergen exposure.

Nasal ipratropium bromide spray can assist reduce nasal drainage from allergic rhinitis or some forms of nonallergic rhinitis.

Decongestants

Decongestants assist relieve the stuffiness and pressure caused by swollen nasal tissue.

They do not contain antihistamines, so they do not cause antihistaminic side effects.

What medication can i take for allergies

They do not relieve other symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Oral decongestants are available as prescription and nonprescription medications and are often found in combination with antihistamines or other medications. It is not unusual for patients using decongestants to experience insomnia if they take the medication in the afternoon or evening.

What medication can i take for allergies

If this occurs, a dose reduction may be needed. At times, men with prostate enlargement may encounter urinary problems while on decongestants. Patients using medications to manage emotional or behavioral problems should discuss this with their allergist before using decongestants. Patients with high blood pressure or heart disease should check with their allergist before using. Pregnant patients should also check with their allergist before starting decongestants.

Nonprescription decongestant nasal sprays work within minutes and final for hours, but you should not use them for more than a few days at a time unless instructed by your allergist.

Prolonged use can cause rhinitis medicamentosa, or rebound swelling of the nasal tissue. Stopping the use of the decongestant nasal spray will cure that swelling, provided that there is no underlying disorder.

Oral decongestants are found in numerous over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications, and may be the treatment of choice for nasal congestion. They don’t cause rhinitis medicamentosa but need to be avoided by some patients with high blood pressure.

If you own high blood pressure or heart problems, check with your allergist before using them.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines are commonly used to treat allergic rhinitis. These medications counter the effects of histamine, the irritating chemical released within your body when an allergic reaction takes put. Although other chemicals are involved, histamine is primarily responsible for causing the symptoms. Antihistamines are found in eyedrops, nasal sprays and, most commonly, oral tablets and syrup.

Antihistamines assist to relieve nasal allergy symptoms such as:

  1. Eye itching, burning, tearing and redness
  2. Sneezing and an itchy, runny nose
  3. Itchy skin, hives and eczema

There are dozens of antihistamines; some are available over the counter, while others require a prescription.

Patients reply to them in a wide variety of ways.

Generally, the newer (second-generation) products work well and produce only minor side effects. Some people discover that an antihistamine becomes less effective as the allergy season worsens or as their allergies change over time.

What medication can i take for allergies

If you discover that an antihistamine is becoming less effective, tell your allergist, who may recommend a diverse type or strength of antihistamine. If you own excessive nasal dryness or thick nasal mucus, consult an allergist before taking antihistamines. Contact your allergist for advice if an antihistamine causes drowsiness or other side effects.

Proper use: Short-acting antihistamines can be taken every four to six hours, while timed-release antihistamines are taken every 12 to 24 hours. The short-acting antihistamines are often most helpful if taken 30 minutes before an anticipated exposure to an allergen (such as at a picnic during ragweed season).

Timed-release antihistamines are better suited to long-term use for those who need daily medications. Proper use of these drugs is just as significant as their selection. The most effective way to use them is before symptoms develop. A dose taken early can eliminate the need for numerous later doses to reduce established symptoms. Numerous times a patient will tell that he or she “took one, and it didn’t work.” If the patient had taken the antihistamine regularly for three to four days to build up blood levels of the medication, it might own been effective.

Side effects: Older (first-generation) antihistamines may cause drowsiness or performance impairment, which can lead to accidents and personal injury.

Even when these medications are taken only at bedtime, they can still cause considerable impairment the following day, even in people who do not feel drowsy. For this reason, it is significant that you do not drive a car or work with dangerous machinery when you take a potentially sedating antihistamine. Some of the newer antihistamines do not cause drowsiness.

A frequent side effect is excessive dryness of the mouth, nose and eyes.

What medication can i take for allergies

Less common side effects include restlessness, nervousness, overexcitability, insomnia, dizziness, headaches, euphoria, fainting, visual disturbances, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal distress, constipation, diarrhea, increased or decreased urination, urinary retention, high or low blood pressure, nightmares (especially in children), sore throat, unusual bleeding or bruising, chest tightness or palpitations.

Men with prostate enlargement may encounter urinary problems while on antihistamines. Consult your allergist if these reactions occur.

Important precautions:

  1. While antihistamines own been taken safely by millions of people in the final 50 years, don’t take antihistamines before telling your allergist if you are allergic to, or intolerant of, any medicine; are pregnant or intend to become pregnant while using this medication; are breast-feeding; own glaucoma or an enlarged prostate; or are ill.
  2. Some antihistamines appear to be safe to take during pregnancy, but there own not been enough studies to determine the absolute safety of antihistamines in pregnancy.

    Again, consult your allergist or your obstetrician if you must take antihistamines.

  3. Know how the medication affects you before working with heavy machinery, driving or doing other performance-intensive tasks; some products can slow your reaction time.
  4. Keep these medications out of the reach of children.
  5. Alcohol and tranquilizers increase the sedation side effects of antihistamines.
  6. Do not use more than one antihistamine at a time, unless prescribed.
  7. Follow your allergist’s instructions.
  8. Never take anyone else’s medication.

Intranasal corticosteroids

Intranasal corticosteroids are the single most effective drug class for treating allergic rhinitis.

They can significantly reduce nasal congestion as well as sneezing, itching and a runny nose.

Ask your allergist about whether these medications are appropriate and safe for you. These sprays are designed to avoid the side effects that may happen from steroids that are taken by mouth or injection.

What medication can i take for allergies

Take care not to spray the medication against the middle portion of the nose (the nasal septum). The most common side effects are local irritation and nasal bleeding. Some older preparations own been shown to own some effect on children’s growth; data about some newer steroids don’t indicate an effect on growth.

Eye allergy preparations and eyedrops

Eye allergy preparations may be helpful when the eyes are affected by the same allergens that trigger rhinitis, causing redness, swelling, watery eyes and itching. OTC eyedrops and oral medications are commonly used for short-term relief of some eye allergy symptoms.

They may not relieve every symptoms, though, and prolonged use of some of these drops may actually cause your condition to worsen.

Prescription eyedrops and oral medications also are used to treat eye allergies. Prescription eyedrops provide both short- and long-term targeted relief of eye allergy symptoms, and can be used to manage them.

Check with your allergist or pharmacist if you are unsure about a specific drug or formula.

Intolerance

Where a substance causes unpleasant symptoms, such as diarrhoea, but does not involve the immune system.

People with an intolerance to certain foods can typically eat a little quantity without having any problems.

Sheet final reviewed: 22 November
Next review due: 22 November

Avoidance

The first approach in managing seasonal or perennial forms of hay fever should be to avoid the allergens that trigger symptoms.

Outdoor exposure

  1. Don’t hang clothing outdoors to dry; pollen may cling to towels and sheets.
  2. Wear a pollen mask (such as a NIOSH-rated 95 filter mask) when mowing the lawn, raking leaves or gardening, and take appropriate medication beforehand.
  3. Wear glasses or sunglasses when outdoors to minimize the quantity of pollen getting into your eyes.
  4. Avoid using window fans that can draw pollens and molds into the house.
  5. Stay indoors as much as possible when pollen counts are at their peak, generally during the midmorning and early evening (this may vary according to plant pollen), and when wind is blowing pollens around.
  6. Try not to rub your eyes; doing so will irritate them and could make your symptoms worse.

Indoor exposure

  1. To limit exposure to mold, hold the humidity in your home low (between 30 and 50 percent) and clean your bathrooms, kitchen and basement regularly.

    Use a dehumidifier, especially in the basement and in other damp, humid places, and empty and clean it often. If mold is visible, clean it with mild detergent and a 5 percent bleach solution as directed by an allergist.

  2. Reduce exposure to dust mites, especially in the bedroom. Use “mite-proof” covers for pillows, comforters and duvets, and mattresses and box springs. Wash your bedding frequently, using boiling water (at least degrees Fahrenheit).
  3. Keep windows closed, and use air conditioning in your car and home. Make certain to hold your air conditioning unit clean.
  4. Clean floors with a damp rag or mop, rather than dry-dusting or sweeping.

Exposure to pets

  1. If you are allergic to a household pet, hold the animal out of your home as much as possible.

    If the pet must be inside, hold it out of the bedroom so you are not exposed to animal allergens while you sleep.

  2. Wash your hands immediately after petting any animals; wash your clothes after visiting friends with pets.
  3. Close the air ducts to your bedroom if you own forced-air or central heating or cooling. Replace carpeting with hardwood, tile or linoleum, every of which are easier to hold dander-free.

Sensitivity

The exaggeration of the normal effects of a substance. For example, the caffeine in a cup of coffee may cause extreme symptoms, such as palpitations and trembling.

Allergy

A reaction produced by the body’s immune system when exposed to a normally harmless substance.

Treatments that are not recommended for allergic rhinitis

  1. Antibiotics: Effective for the treatment of bacterial infections, antibiotics do not affect the course of uncomplicated common colds (a viral infection) and are of no benefit for noninfectious rhinitis, including allergic rhinitis.
  2. Nasal surgery: Surgery is not a treatment for allergic rhinitis, but it may assist if patients own nasal polyps or chronic sinusitis that is not responsive to antibiotics or nasal steroid sprays.

Pain, irritation, scratchiness, and swelling are common symptoms of a sore throat.

Allergies, common colds, the flu, and other respiratory infections can every cause a sore throat.

Knowing what has caused a sore throat allows a person to treat it more effectively. Sore throats due to allergies, colds, and the flu generally reply well to home treatment. However, when someone has mononucleosis, tonsillitis, or a more severe case of the flu, a sore throat may require medication.

In this article, we describe how to tell whether a sore throat is due to an allergy (which is not an infection) or a viral upper respiratory infection, such as the common freezing or the flu.

We also cover the treatment and prevention of allergy symptoms and when to see a doctor.


Common allergies

Substances that cause allergic reactions are called allergens.

The more common allergens include:

  1. mould – these can release little particles into the air that you can breathe in
  2. latex – used to make some gloves and condoms
  3. medicines – including ibuprofen, aspirin and certain antibiotics
  4. insect bites and stings
  5. animal dander, tiny flakes of skin or hair
  6. food – particularly nuts, fruit, shellfish, eggs and cows’ milk
  7. grass and tree pollen – an allergy to these is known as hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
  8. dust mites
  9. household chemicals – including those in detergents and hair dyes

Most of these allergens are generally harmless to people who are not allergic to them.


How to manage an allergy

In many cases, the most effective way of managing an allergy is to avoid the allergen that causes the reaction whenever possible.

For example, if you own a food allergy, you should check a food’s ingredients list for allergens before eating it.

There are also several medicines available to help control symptoms of allergic reactions, including:

  1. lotions and creams, such as moisturising creams (emollients) – these can reduce skin redness and itchiness
  2. decongestants – tablets, capsules, nasal sprays or liquids that can be used as a short-term treatment for a blocked nose
  3. antihistamines – these can be taken when you notice the symptoms of a reaction, or before being exposed to an allergen, to stop a reaction occurring
  4. steroid medicines – sprays, drops, creams, inhalers and tablets that can assist reduce redness and swelling caused by an allergic reaction

For some people with extremely severe allergies, a treatment called immunotherapy may be recommended.

This involves being exposed to the allergen in a controlled way over a number of years so your body gets used to it and does not react to it so severely.


Getting assist for allergies

See a GP if you ponder you or your kid might own had an allergic reaction to something.

The symptoms of an allergic reaction can also be caused by other conditions.

What medication can i take for allergies

A GP can assist determine whether it’s likely you own an allergy.

If they ponder you might own a mild allergy, they can offer advice and treatment to assist manage the condition.

If your allergy is particularly severe or it’s not clear what you’re allergic to, they may refer you to an allergy specialist for testing and advice about treatment.

Find out more about allergy testing


Symptoms of an allergic reaction

Allergic reactions generally happen quickly within a few minutes of exposure to an allergen.

They can cause:

  1. a red, itchy rash
  2. wheezing and coughing
  3. red, itchy, watery eyes
  4. a runny or blocked nose
  5. sneezing
  6. worsening of asthma or eczema symptoms

Most allergic reactions are mild, but occasionally a severe reaction called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock can happen.

This is a medical emergency and needs urgent treatment.


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