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Sneeze Patrol: How to Stifle Seasonal Allergies

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Find Your Best Remedy

Symptom: Itchy Eyes

Best Remedies: Antihistamine eyedrops and pills block histamine, one of the substances that causes itchy, watery eyes, according to Pamela Georgeson, MD, an allergist at the Kenwood Allergy and Asthma Center in Chesterfield Township, Michigan. Many antihistamines cause drowsiness, but over-the-counter Claritin is considered the least likely to do so. If OTC remedies don't work for you, make an appointment with your doctor, who can make further treatment recommendations.

Symptom: Stuffy Nose

Best Remedies: Intranasal cortico-steroids, a.k.a. nasal spray, and oral decongestants work best. Prescription corticosteroid nasal sprays such as Nasonex and Flonase reduce inflammation, swelling, and congestion in the lining of the airways. They also prevent the release of inflammatory chemicals that bring on a stuffy nose, explains Dr. Georgeson. Some over-the-counter nonsteroidal sprays, including NasalCrom, also block these chemicals and reduce symptoms.

Decongestants shrink the blood vessels, which decreases the amount of fluid that leaks out. They come in liquid and tablet form (for example, Sudafed) or as a nasal spray, and are available over the counter as well as by prescription. Don't use an OTC decongestant nasal spray, such as Afrin, for more than three days in a row or your congestion may get much worse, which could lead you to become dependent on the medication.

Symptom: Runny Nose

Best Remedies: Oral antihistamines head off histamine, one of the culprits in this case.

Symptom: Wheezing and Coughing Caused by Allergic Asthma

Best Remedies: Inhaled bronchodilators such as albuterol open up the bronchial tubes (air passages) of the lungs and work within minutes. If you experience these symptoms frequently, try a daily treatment that prevents them before they strike, such as inhaled corticosteroids, which stop cells from releasing substances that trigger your breathing problems, according to Dr. Georgeson.

Leukotriene antagonists (such as Singulair) are prescription medications that can reduce symptoms by blocking the action of leukotrienes -- a substance that can cause airway inflammation.

Allergy shots can decrease your sensitivity to allergens and relieve symptoms, even after treatment ends. This involves a consultation with an allergist, who will expose you to small amounts of different allergens to identify which one'll receive injections containing increasing amounts of whatever you're allergic to.

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ljbarton6220 wrote:

Seems like everything I eat triggers my sinus's to start a waterfall of gunk down the back of my throat resluting in constant clearing of my throat or coughing to be able to breathe. One thing that has helped quite a bit is switching to gluten free bread (so I can have a sandwich again) and gluten free waffles. I still eat things that cause me discomfort but I carry around my allegra pills (buy them in quantitiy at Costco) which are the only ones I have found to releave sysmptoms.

4/14/2012 10:41:43 AM Report Abuse
homewme wrote:

I was getting an allergy shot every spring and fall as well as taking the allegra, nasonex, etc. and other meds as prescribed but still had issues. Started taking a tsp of elderberry extract each morning in my juice and taking an olive leaf extract capsule each morning and at bedtime. During allergy season I may increase the capsule to 2 (I use the 150mg) as needed. But haven't had an allergy shot for 7 years now.

4/13/2011 10:17:31 AM Report Abuse
mowprincess wrote:

I hate the advertisements that pop up when I am trying to read... you try to close them out.. and you get sent back to the original e-mail.. no fun

4/11/2011 06:30:35 PM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

I've been on allergy shots for almost five years now, and the difference is amazing. I'm not symptom free, but I no longer want to crawl under the bed until my head explodes.

4/11/2011 02:30:58 PM Report Abuse
nccallanan wrote:

It was informative and I would like to see more on environmental allergies. I have suffered for allergies all my life and now am having difficulties finding safe products to deal with a new set of allergic reactions to chemicals.

4/11/2011 02:21:41 PM Report Abuse

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