Allergic reactions are the result of your immune system deeming a normally-harmless substance as a threat and attacking it. During this attack, the antibody Immunoglobulin E is produced, which tells the cells to release histamine. Histamine is the cause of your itchy eyes, congestion and sneezing.
Not all home remedies have been scientifically proven to help treat allergies, but some can help soothe symptoms.
- Saline nasal irrigation. If you’re experiencing congestion, a saline nasal rinse using a Neti pot can help provide relief by flushing out the sinus and nasal cavities.
- A humidifier can add moisture to the air and thin the mucus in your nasal passages, helping it drain better. Be sure to use distilled water and clean your humidifier often.
- High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. A portable air filter can help filter allergens out of the air in your home, preventing allergy symptoms.
There are many types of allergy medications that can be purchased over the counter at stores such as Philadelphia Pharmacy.
- These medications work by reducing the amount of histamine the body produces. First-generation antihistamines, like Benedryl, can cause drowsiness and should only be taken short-term. Second-generation antihistamines, like Claritin, Zyrtec and Allegra, can be taken daily to prevent allergies.
- This type of medication can also provide allergy relief; however, they should not be taken continuously for more than 72 hours.
The best way to ensure long-term relief from allergies is immunotherapy. Immunotherapy works by introducing small amounts of allergen extracts into the body so that the immune system can build up a tolerance over time.
There are two types of immunotherapy: allergy shots and allergy drops.
- Allergy shots are administered in two phases: the buildup phase and the maintenance phase. During the buildup phase, larger and larger doses are given until a maintenance dose is reached. Then during the maintenance phase, a consistent dose is administered until symptoms no longer occur.
- Allergy drops are taken in the months leading up to and during allergy season. For year-round allergies, the drops are administered all year. Allergy shots are FDA approved for the treatment of ragweed, certain grasses and dust mites.
For more information about how to treat allergies or to schedule an appointment with an allergy expert, call Pinnacle ENT Associates today.