An immune system reaction results in allergies to protect the body against harmful bacteria and viruses. An allergy is a result or reaction to substances that are usually harmless. Some people’s immune systems react by producing antibodies that attach to cells in the eyes, nose, and lungs releasing histamine which causes the signs.
It’s the time of the year again when plants pollinate, sending pollens into the air. Sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and congestion will be common again, care of the strong breeze blowing, and millions of Americans will again be plagued by seasonal allergic rhinitis.
Medical Treatments for Allergies
There is no cure for allergies, but the following medications are able to help relieve the symptoms:
• Antihistamines – blocks histamine, a symptom-causing chemical released by the immune system during an allergic reaction. They come in oral pills, nasal sprays, and eye drops. Side effects are headaches and dry eyes.
• Decongestants – used for quick, temporary relief of runny nose and congestion. They come in pills, liquid syrup, nasal spray and drops. Side effects may include insomnia, headache, increased blood pressure and irritability. Not for women who are pregnant or for people with cardiovascular disease, glaucoma, high blood pressure or hyperthyroidism.
• Corticosteroids – relieve symptoms by suppressing allergy-related inflammation; may require a prescription. They come in oral pills, nasal sprays, eye drops, or creams and helps prevent and relieve stuffiness, sneezing and a runny nose. Other effects include nasal irritation, nosebleeds, and an unpleasant smell or taste.
• Mast cell stabilizers – blocks the release of immune system chemicals that contribute to allergic reactions. Comes in nasal sprays and eye drops. These drugs are generally safe, but usually need to be used for several days to reach full effect.
• Leukotriene Inhibitors – are as effective as antihistamines, and they have minimal side effects and are well tolerated in most populations. They are new medications for the treatment of allergic rhinitis.
• Allergy Shots – is a form of long-term treatment that decreases symptoms for many people with various allergies. They decrease the sensitivity to allergens which leads to lasting relief of allergy symptoms even after treatment is stopped.
• Steroid nasal sprays – are one of the strongest allergy medications. It reduces swelling and mucus in the nasal passageway and relieves other nasal symptoms. It is usually prescribed by the doctor to help make breathing through the nose easier.
• Auto-injector – treats extreme allergic reactions with an early, life-saving dose of epinephrine.
There’s no need to suffer the symptoms of allergies. Visit Piedmont ENT, they have specialists that are able to diagnose allergic conditions of the upper respiratory tract (ear, nose, throat, etc.). They use methods that achieve effective control of allergies quickly.