If you suddenly begin to sneeze, cough, have watery eyes, or have a runny nose, you’re being rudely reminded by mother nature that allergy season has begun. Allergy season timing and severity can vary based on many different climate factors, but spring allergies caused by tree pollination can begin as early as February. Allergies can be much more than a nuisance to some people and treating them can be an around-the-clock task.
What Causes Seasonal Allergies?
Allergic rhinitis, also known as seasonal allergies, is a disorder of the nose that is induced by a substance, such as pollen. The exposure to the substance triggers a hypersensitivity reaction in the body that causes the allergy symptoms to begin.
The first and most obvious recommendation is prevention. Try to avoid triggers that cause you to experience these allergic reactions. If you cannot avoid them, you can monitor pollen counts from your local weather service and go outside when these counts are low. When you return home, shower and clean the clothes that you were wearing during the day because they are likely covered in pollen and other allergens from outdoors. When drying clothes, use a clothes dryer instead of hanging them on a clothesline outside. When you are inside, instead of opening windows and doors for circulation, use air conditioning.
OTC Treatment Options
Oftentimes, these techniques to avoid the allergens aren’t enough. There are hoards of allergy medicines available without prescription.
- Antihistamines are first-line over-the-counter options for mild to moderate allergy symptoms. They are effective in treating itching, sneezing, and runny noses.
- Intranasal corticosteroids are the most effective treatment for nasal congestion associated with seasonal allergies. They are favored over oral medications to treat moderate to severe allergic rhinitis.
- Decongestants (oral and intranasal) are also used to relieve nasal congestion caused by allergies. They are generally reserved for more severe symptoms and are not considered first line options.
Stop by the Hyde Drug Store today to talk to one of our pharmacists about how to manage your seasonal allergies this year!