Healthy Tips by Medical Center Pharmacy

Relief from seasonal allergies
Apr 07, 2011

Spring time brings new life, blooming flowers, budding trees, AND SEASONAL ALLERGIES. For so many people with allergies, this time of year is less than pleasant. It creates many health difficulties including runny nose, watery eyes, itchy eyes & throat. Although there is nothing that can be done about the change in the season, there are some reasonable options for controlling the symptoms of seasonal allergies.

• Using HEPA filtration systems in your home or workplace may decrease the allergens in the air. Many systems are available in a wide variety of price ranges.

• Over the counter antihistamines.

o Some antihistamines, such as Benadryl® or Chlortrimeton®, are very effective in treating runny nose and itchy, watery eyes but can cause a significant amount of drowsiness.

o Newer antihistamines, such as Claritin®, Zyrtec®, or Allegra®, can be just as effective and cause little to no drowsiness.

• Over the counter decongestantso Sudafed® (pseudoephedrine) and phenylephrine are effective in treating head or sinus congestion. It does, however, need to be avoided in patients that have high blood pressure or various types of heart disease.

• Allergy eye drops, both OTC and prescription, are available to treat red, itchy, watery eyes associated with seasonal allergies. These are effective but do not address the other symptoms of seasonal allergies.

• Some patients suffer from allergies severe enough to require allergy testing and allergy shots. A series of injections are given that cause your body to become increasingly resistant to the cause of your allergy reaction. These only work if given on a regular basis.

Always keep in mind that if you have any other health problems, check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting ANY over the counter or prescription medications.

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