Allergy is a common condition. It happens when the immune system reacts to a certain substance, and by react, I mean create antibodies that attack that particular substance. The most common allergic reactions are to pollen (seasonal allergies), insect venom, some types of animals (mostly pets – cats and dogs) or types of food. It varies from person to person, and it usually causes mild symptoms like eye irritation, runny nose, swelling of lips, face or throat, skin rash or fever.
Some allergic reactions are severe (commonly known as anaphylactic shock) and require immediate medical help. Anaphylaxis is a state that can cause a person to fall into shock and the only remedy, in that case, is an epinephrine shot. It can happen if someone is extremely allergic to some substance and even the slightest contact can be fatal. To avoid this type of situations, consider allergy testing to find out which substances you’re sensitive to or are intolerable for your body. It’s helpful to know your body well in order to prevent serious complications in future. If mild symptoms of allergy appear though, you can try the following remedies.
Medications That Help With Allergy Symptoms
In your local pharmacy or at any e-pharmacy, you can find different types of allergy medication. Some of them can be bought over-the-counter, and some are only available with a doctor’s prescription.
How do allergy medications work? When there is an allergic reaction in your organism, the immune system releases histamine (the chemical that causes all the symptoms). On the other hand, allergy medications contain antihistamines that counter histamine and stop unwanted symptoms and reactions.
Allergy medication can be found in the form of pills, liquids, inhalers, nasal sprays, oral sprays, eye drops, skin creams and injections. They all have a different purpose and are used in a different way. But nasal sprays and oral pills are the most frequently used options.
Decongestant Nasal Spray
Since a runny nose is a very common symptom of allergy (maybe even the first one to appear) a nasal spray can really come in handy. You can buy a nasal spray at the local drugstore, or have your doctor prescribe one to you.How does it work? Decongestant nasal sprays shrink the swollen blood vessels inside your nose, that way, stopping the congestion and relieving the stuffy nose. It also helps with irritation, itching, and sneezing.
The dosage of this allergy medicine depends on your age. For adults, it’s ideal to apply 2 to 4 sprays into each nostril, 2 or 3 times a day. It’s usually very efficient. You can notice the first results in only 30 minutes. You can even use the nasal spray as prevention during allergy season.
In addition to a nasal spray, you can also get an oral spray. You spray this one under the tongue every half hour for 4 doses, then you do it once in every 4 hours. It contains ingredients that help relieve the symptoms of allergies together with food allergies or some chemical sensitivities. It helps you get rid of itching, bloating, sneezing, nasal and sinus congestion and indigestion.
Pills are basically oral antihistamines. Oral allergy medication helps relieve many symptoms at the same time, like a runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, swelling or skin rashes. Some antihistamines can make you feel tired, sleepy and lethargic, though, and that’s why it’s recommended to take the pills at night or at least avoid driving or doing other activities that require alertness.
Take note that antihistamines (like many other medications) can cause some side effects, but that’s nothing you should worry about. It’s usually a mild side effect like drowsiness or a headache, and it doesn’t require any special attention or treatment.
You should contact your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medications, because in some cases an interaction may occur. This treatment is also not recommended for children under the age of 12. The dosage of oral allergy medicines for adults is one tablet a day.
If you prefer natural remedies over pharmaceutical drugs and allergy medications, the following have proven positive effects in relieving the mild forms of allergy.
Published studies prove that probiotics are helpful in the fight against allergic rhinitis (inflammation in the nose followed by a runny and stuffy nose). They are beneficial in the overall fight with allergic reactions and symptoms, although it’s not completely clear how they influence the immune system.
Honey is well-known for its health benefits. People have been using it as a treatment for different types of conditions since ancient times. It’s a sweet liquid made by honeybees that collect nectar from different types of flowers and trees. In the case of allergies, honey has been proven to relieve symptoms. It can suppress cough and has anti-inflammatory effects. However, keep in mind that some people may be allergic to bees and honey, and using it trigger a reaction.
This one is a supplement and it counts as the world’s most popular one. It contains plenty of nutrients and antioxidants that benefit the body and the brain. Same as probiotics, spirulina is known to help with the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. A study has proven that only 2g of the spirulina per day can significantly reduce symptoms like nasal discharge, sneezing and itching.
Vitamin C can be found in many different types of food like citrus fruits or broccoli. Another alternative is to buy vitamin C from a drugstore and take it as a supplement. Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine and helps lessen allergic reactions, by decreasing the production of histamine in your body.
If you are a fan of essential oils, you’ll become an even bigger one knowing that essential oils help ease allergy symptoms. They have anti-inflammatory properties, plus they act as natural antibiotics. Despite allergy symptoms, essential oils are known to relieve different respiratory conditions. The best essential oils to choose from are: peppermint oil, basil oil, eucalyptus oil, lemon oil and tea tree oil.
Green tea has an antioxidant compound that can contribute to a milder immune response and is helpful with all kinds of allergens including pollen, dust etc.