Allergic rhinitis is an annoying condition. Your nose is stuffy and runny. You may sneeze a lot and have watery eyes. Your nose, eyes, and throat may itch and annoy you. Your sense of smell and taste can even be affected. And worse, even though the symptoms are caused by allergies, people may avoid you, thinking you harbor cold germs. Here are some treatment options you may want to try so you get relief.
Pollen is the main culprit behind allergic rhinitis, but it could be caused by other things too, such as cat dander. If you don't know what causes your symptoms, consider being tested by an allergist so you know what you need to avoid. You won't be able to avoid pollen entirely, but you can take steps to keep it out of your home if you are allergic to it. Close your windows and use an air purifier, especially in your bedroom when you are sleeping. Take your shoes and coat off outside the door so you don't carry pollen inside. You may even want to shower right away to get pollen out of your hair and off your skin.
Consider wearing a face mask outdoors when pollen counts are high. More pollen is in the air on days that are windy and dry. Rain washes it out of the air, so going outdoors after a rain is good when you want to run or do other exercise. Be sure to listen to the news for pollen counts in your local area, and when counts are extremely high, stay indoors if at all possible.
Even if you go to great lengths to avoid pollen, you'll probably still have symptoms that come and go. You can try various medications to treat these symptoms. Some of them need a prescription, but you can buy others over the counter. Talk to your doctor about the best drugs to use, taking into consideration the other medications you are on and your general medical condition. Classes of drugs your doctor may suggest are decongestants, antihistamines, and corticosteroids. Some of these drugs are available as pills and some come as nasal sprays. Just be sure to use the medication as indicated on the label or by your doctor. Using decongestant sprays for a prolonged time can actually make your problem worse rather than better.
When your nasal stuffiness and dripping are a constant problem but you can't avoid contact with pollen due to your job or other reason, your doctor may want you to have allergy shots. These shots slowly increase your tolerance to certain allergens so your body gets used to them and no longer responds with annoying symptoms. Certain types of allergies can be treated with pills you put under your tongue rather than shots. Immunotherapy through shots or pills is a process that takes months to go through, but if it is effective in controlling your symptoms, it could be worth it.
Whether your rhinitis is seasonal or lasts all year, there are treatments that can help. You may need to try different medications to find one that is effective for you, so working with an allergist is probably the best way to find the source of your problem and pinpoint the most effective way to treat it. Make an appointment with a place like Northwest Asthma & Allergy Center PS to get started working on your allergies.Share
6 January 2017
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