For some people, the new seasons usher in welcome new vistas and the promise of a bright new world; however, not everyone welcomes the winds of change. Seasonal allergy sufferers brace themselves for the itchy, watery, sneezing illness to come. If you’re in the second group, read on for seasonal allergy treatments that really work — and, as always, it’s best to check with your doctor before beginning any new treatment plan.
Avoid the triggers. The first line of seasonal allergy treatment is the best tactic. Staying away from the things you’re allergic to circumvents the allergic reaction before it starts. For example: If you’re allergic to animal dander, steer clear of animals, especially in your home. This is not always easy or possible, unfortunately. In those cases, consult your physician for alternate treatments.
Your local pharmacy shelves are a resource. Useful and effective over-the-counter options are more available than ever before. Consumers and allergy sufferers can select from a variety of nasal sprays and eye drops to start. Antihistamines and decongestants are plentiful in several formulations that were once available only by prescription. Do your research and select the product that works best for you.
Nasal lavage is an effective old-time remedy. Whether you rinse your sinuses with salt water or another nasal preparation, lavage is a natural way to wash pollen and other allergens away from your vulnerable nasal passages and thin mucus secretions, reports WebMD. Neti-pots are one type of lavage system, but other options exist. Over-the-counter saline washes and sprays are also available in ready-to-use containers. Whichever you choose, this option offers a natural approach to the treatment of seasonal allergy symptoms.
Prescriptions provide relief. If the over-the-counter options don’t help your seasonal allergies, your doctor will likely suggest something in prescription strength. Corticosteroids, antihistamines, decongestants, cromolyn sodium and leukotriene modifiers top the list of safe and effective prescription strength seasonal allergy treatments, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Immunotherapy may be worth the effort. Anyone with seasonal allergies may wish to consider immunotherapy for severe allergies or if their previous attempts at treatment do not provide adequate relief. Immunotherapy involves controlled exposure to the allergen. A qualified physician administers a series of injections of the purified allergen extract. The allergen is slowly introduced to the immune system, allowing it to adjust to the allergen without all the uncomfortable side effects.
In an emergency, epinephrine can be crucial. Severe anaphylactic reactions — where lip tingling and throat swelling signals an emergency allergic reaction is potentially imminent — require strong medication, fast. In these cases, getting emergency treatment is critical. Having access to epinephrine (such as an EpiPen) can be a lifesaver to those needing extra time while getting emergency care.