What works best for allergies
The first approach in managing seasonal or perennial forms of hay fever should be to avoid the allergens that trigger symptoms.
- 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.
- Avoid using window fans that can draw pollens and molds into the house.
- Don’t hang clothing outdoors to dry; pollen may cling to towels and sheets.
- 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.
- Wear glasses or sunglasses when outdoors to minimize the quantity of pollen getting into your eyes.
- Try not to rub your eyes; doing so will irritate them and could make your symptoms worse.
- Keep windows closed, and use air conditioning in your car and home.
Make certain to hold your air conditioning unit clean.
- 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 130 degrees Fahrenheit).
- 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.
- Clean floors with a damp rag or mop, rather than dry-dusting or sweeping.
Exposure to pets
- Wash your hands immediately after petting any animals; wash your clothes after visiting friends with pets.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
- 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.
- Sublingual tablets: This type of immunotherapy was approved by the Food and Drug istration in 2014. 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.
Nonprescription saline nasal sprays will assist counteract symptoms such as dry nasal passages or thick nasal mucus.
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. 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.
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:
- Sneezing and an itchy, runny nose
- Eye itching, burning, tearing and redness
- 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. 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.
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.
- Follow your allergist’s instructions.
- Do not use more than one antihistamine at a time, unless prescribed.
- 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.
- 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.
- Keep these medications out of the reach of children.
- 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.
- Alcohol and tranquilizers increase the sedation side effects of antihistamines.
- Never take anyone else’s medication.
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.
Treatments that are not recommended for allergic rhinitis
- 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.
- 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.
How to Stay Healthy, Breathe Easier, and Feel Energetic This Winter
Indoor allergies, freezing weather, less sunlight — winter can make it hard to stay well mentally and physically.
Discover out how to protect yourself against seasonal allergies, the winter blahs, freezing winds, comfort-eating traps, and fatigue this year.
Learn More About the Ultimate Winter Wellness Guide
Sinusitis can be a confusing thing to treat for anyone. Because a sinus infection can be so easily confused with a common freezing or an allergy, figuring out the best way to alleviate your symptoms can be difficult.
Even more challenging, a sinus infection can evolve over time from a viral infection to a bacterial infection, or even from a short-term acute infection to a long-term chronic illness.
We own provided for you the best sources of information on sinus infections to assist you rapidly define your ailment and get the best and most efficient treatment possible.
The Best Research Resources
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
This academy’s website provides valuable information to assist readers determine the difference between colds, allergies, and sinusitis.
A primer guide on sinusitis also provides more specific information about the chronic version of the illness. Additional resources include a «virtual allergist» that helps you to review your symptoms, as well as a database on pollen counts.
American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI)
In addition to providing a comprehensive guide on sinus infections, the ACAAI website also contains a wealth of information on allergies, asthma, and immunology.
The site’s useful tools include a symptom checker, a way to search for an allergist in your area, and a function that allows you to ask an allergist questions about your symptoms.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)
For allergy sufferers, the AAFA website contains an easy-to-understand primer on sinusitis. It also provides comprehensive information on various types of allergies, including those with risk factors for sinusitis.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The CDC website provides basic information on sinus infections and other respiratory illnesses, such as common colds, bronchitis, ear infections, flu, and sore throat.
It offers guidance on how to get symptom relief for those illnesses, as well as preventative tips on practicing good hand hygiene, and a recommended immunization schedule.
National Library of Medicine
The U.S. National Library of Medicine is the world’s largest biomedical library. As part of the National Institutes of Health, their website provides the basics on sinus infection. It also contains a number of links to join you with more information on treatments, diagnostic procedures, and related issues.
Types of Allergies that Could Become Worse During the Night
No matter what type of allergy you own, it can ruin your sleep.
Rashes, food allergies, or an upset stomach triggered by allergies can cause sleep problems, but the most common pair of sleep-destroyers are nasal allergies and asthma, numerous of which stem from several common allergies including:
Both asthma and allergy sufferers could own a dust mite allergy. Dust mites prefer carpeting, some furniture, and bedding to live in. That means they love warmer indoor environments love your bedroom, which is one reason your symptoms may get worse at night – there are more dust mites in your room.
Almost microscopic dust mites may live on your pillow, box spring, and mattress.
Dust mites may cause symptoms love itchiness, a feeling of being unable to breathe, chest tightness, coughing, wheezing, eye itchiness and redness, nose stuffiness, and sneezing.
Those who are allergic to pet dander can own instant reactions or longer-term symptoms. An animal doesn’t even own to be present for a pet dander allergic reaction to take put.
Dander can travel and land on lots of household and bedroom surfaces. This means that, even if you don’t own a pet yourself, you can bring the dander home with you and then own to deal with allergy symptoms for days, maybe even longer.
While you hope to never own to deal with indoor mildew and mold, it does happen. If you’re allergic to mold, then it could trigger your allergies and hold you up at night. That’s especially true if your bedroom is shut to a bathroom.
While we’ll share some tips for avoiding allergies later in this article, you should clean indoor mold as soon as you spot it.
To properly clean mold, stir bleach and water until you own a cleaning material made up of about five percent bleach. You can also use detergent in lieu of bleach.
As one of the most common allergy triggers, pollen affects millions of people in the United States. Although it’s an outdoor powder, pollen can travel anywhere. Animals can transport it, as can insects, birds, and the wind.
When you go exterior, pollen particles settle on your skin, your hair, your clothes, and your shoes. If you don’t wash your clothes and take a shower, then you can finish up having pollen in your bed.
Sleeping with an open window can also permit pollen to get in as the sun rises and pollen counts do, too.
Cockroaches can get in through your window and make you feel symptomatic. According to information from the ACAAI, up to 98 percent of US urban homes could own cockroach allergens, with 63 percent of every other homes potentially containing the insect allergen.
If you own a cockroach allergy, you may be more susceptible to sinus infections and ear infections. You might also experience wheezing, skin rashes, nasal congestion, and coughing as your symptoms.
What Triggers Allergy Night-Time Symptoms?
There are multiple potential triggers for night-time allergy symptoms.
Indoor allergens including dust mites, pet dander, and pollen are a few examples. Dust mites could live in your bedroom. Pet dander, which is skin (as well as urine and saliva) and not fur, can stick to your clothing or bedding and cause allergy symptoms that way.
The same goes for pollen. It can exist indoors, and if you spend time exterior and don’t immediately wash your hands and change your clothes and shoes, you could bring even more pollen inside your bedroom.
Favorite Resources for Finding a Specialist
American Rhinologic Society
Through research, education, and advocacy, the American Rhinologic Society is devoted to serving patients with nose, sinus, and skull base disorders.
Their website’s thorough coverage of sinus-related issues includes rarer conditions, such as fungal sinusitis, which are often excluded from other informational sites. It also provides a valuable search tool to discover a doctor, as well as links to other medical societies and resources that are useful for patients.
Their website contains an exhaustive guide on sinusitis and an easy-to-use «Find a Doctor» search tool.
ENThealth provides useful information on how the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) are all connected, along with information about sinusitis and other related illnesses and symptoms, such as rhinitis, deviated septum, and postnasal drip.
As part of the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, this website is equipped with the ability to assist you discover an ENT specialist in your area.
Posted on: December 13, 2019
It’s the same thing almost every single night. You brush your teeth, finish your nightly routine, climb into bed, and immediately feel congested and sneezy.
If you suffer from allergies, your symptoms most likely get worse at night. This is something you share with other allergy patients. In fact, research shows that 74% of allergy sufferers wake up during the night because of allergy symptoms and over 90% of sufferers own difficulty sleeping.
Allergies and Sleep Apnea
When you own to wrestle with your allergies each night at bedtime, you may fitfully throw and turn and then wake up exhausted.
It feels love you slept for maybe an hour or two. As you drag on with your day, bleary-eyed and dead tired, it’s simple to assume you’re so exhausted because your stuffy nose, eye itchiness, and coughing kept you awake.
While that could be true, you could also be dealing with sleep apnea without even knowing it.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a form of sleep apnea associated with allergies. The nasal symptoms of your allergies make you snore when you might regularly don’t. The sound of your snoring, while extremely distracting to a partner, can even annoy you, causing you to wake up again and again throughout the night.
The upper airway is obstructed with this sleep apnea, either somewhat or every the way.
Since your airway cannot open, the lungs don’t get as much air unless your chest muscles and diaphragm strain.
You can own obstructive sleep apnea and not even know it because you’re barely aware of what’s causing you to hold waking every night. Here are the other symptoms:
- Morning headaches
- Constant exhaustion that makes it hard to get out of bed
- A choking or gasping feeling that wakes you up, even several times a night
- Mood changes, depression, feeling forgetful, and difficulty with concentrating on tasks
- Night sweating
- Feelings of restlessness
- Sore throat and/or dry mouth in the morning
By seeing your provider, you can start getting your case of obstructive sleep apnea under control.