LIFESTYLE AND AVOIDING ALLERGENS
The best treatment is to avoid what causes your allergic symptoms. It may be impossible to completely avoid all your triggers. However, you can often take steps to reduce your exposure to triggers such as:
There are many different medicines to treat allergic rhinitis. Which one your doctor prescribes depends on the type and severity of your symptoms, your age, and whether you have other medical conditions (such as asthma).
For mild allergic rhinitis, a nasal wash can help remove mucus from the nose. You can buy a saline solution at a drug store or make one at home using one cup of warm water, half a teaspoon of salt, and pinch of baking soda.
Treatments for allergic rhinitis include:
Antihistamines work well for treating allergy symptoms. They are often used when symptoms do not happen very often or do not last very long.
- Many antihistamines taken by mouth can be bought over the counter, without a prescription.
- Older antihistamines can cause sleepiness. They may affect a child's learning and make it unsafe to drive or operate machines.
- Newer antihistamines cause little or no sleepiness. They usually do not interfere with learning.
- Antihistamine nasal sprays work well for treating allergic rhinitis. You may try these medicines first.
- Nasal corticosteroid sprays are the most effective treatment for allergic rhinitis.
- They work best when used nonstop, but they can also be helpful when used for shorter periods of time.
- Many brands are available. You will need a prescription from your doctor.
- Corticosteroid sprays are safe for children and adults.
- Decongestants may also be helpful for reducing symptoms such as nasal stuffiness.
- Do not use nasal spray decongestants for more than 3 days.
- The leukotriene inhibitor Singulair is a prescription medicine approved to help control asthma and relieve the symptoms of seasonal allergies.
Certain illnesses that are caused by allergies (such as asthma and eczema) may need other treatments.
Allergy shots (immunotherapy) are sometimes recommended if you cannot avoid the allergen and your symptoms are hard to control. This includes regular injections of the allergen. Each dose is slightly larger than the dose before it. Allergy shots may help your body adjust to the substance that is causing the reaction (antigen).