Achoo! Is It Possible to Get Relief from Allergies?
Watery and itchy eyes, nose, and throat are just some of the symptoms people suffering from allergies experience. Not only are allergies a nuisance, but they make a person more susceptible to other infections and illnesses. Did you know that uncontrolled allergies can cause stress and inflammation to develop in our bodies? Over time, uncontrolled inflammation can contribute to chronic disease development. As a team dealing with a range of medical conditions in Idaho, we share with patients that there are many things one can do to help alleviate their allergy symptoms.
A common treatment remedy is antihistamine medication. Some antihistamines require a prescription, but most can be found over the counter. There are many over-the-counter options available. I personally like a 24-hour-acting daytime antihistamine, such as fexofenadine or Allegra 180. This option is non-drowsy and great for daytime allergy symptom relief. If you want an antihistamine that promotes drowsiness and helps make sleeping more comfortable, then levocetirizine or Xyzal taken one to two hours before bed is a good option.
A natural remedy that can also be helpful with relieving allergy symptoms is a supplement called Quercetin, a flavonoid that is found naturally in many fruits and vegetables (onions, apples, berries, tomatoes, grapes, etc.). It helps alleviate allergy symptoms by decreasing mast cells and histamine production. Quercetin also has immune-boosting anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
If the above-mentioned options are not giving you proper allergy relief, then a visit to your doctor may be warranted. Some people benefit from allergy shots or allergy drops. In order to do either of these, lab work is needed so your provider can assess what you are allergic to. From there, a customized treatment approach is made for you and given to you regularly for a period of time to help “desensitize” you to your allergies.
At CT Derm, we prefer allergy drops, also known as sublingual immunotherapy or “SLIT.” This option does not involve shots and is as simple as placing a few drops under your tongue each day. There is an over-the-counter option that is similar to SLIT therapy called Allergena. Although this option is not customized to one’s personal allergies, it is specific to the regional area where one lives and will cover the main pollens in that area. Idaho is considered zone 7, and Oregon is zone 8. The goal of this therapy is to desensitize you to your allergens so that over time, when you encounter these allergens in nature, you are less allergic to them. Contact us to learn more!
Brittney Irons is a family nurse practitioner (FNP) currently working at CT Derm. Prior to becoming an FNP, she worked in the hospital at the bedside for seven years. Brittney strongly believes in establishing caring relationships with her patients and strives to provide well-rounded, comprehensive care and education. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and her husky puppy!