For many people, allergy season means itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing and congestion, which can lead to increased trips to the doctor. But there are many treatment options available to help with symptoms so you don’t have to suffer through the season.
Samantha Mucha, MD, a ProMedica Physician specializing in ear, nose and throat, shares treatment options and helpful tips in the video below.
“There are many medications over-the-counter that can be used to treat allergy symptoms,” explains Dr. Mucha. “There are over-the-counter, non-sedating anti-histamines like Claritin®, Zyrtec® and Allegra®. There are also some nasal sprays over-the-counter like Flonase® and Nasacort® that treat the inflammation associated with allergy symptoms.”
If over-the-counter medications are not controlling your symptoms, Dr. Mucha recommends seeing your doctor. “Allergy testing may also be useful. It’s helpful to find out what allergies somebody has, even if it’s year round allergies like dust or pet dander, because those allergies can make the seasonal allergies worse,” she says.
According to Dr. Mucha, individuals can also help ease symptoms by using nasal rinses, steam inhalation with essential oils, showering once you get home for the day, and laundering exposed clothing regularly. Changing your diet may also help. Eating foods with natural anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties–such as salmon, tuna, garlic and ginger– and avoiding certain foods with surface proteins that mimic allergens–such as bananas and melons–may reduce symptoms.
Allergy shots may be recommended as a last resort for patients who have tried different medications and have not experienced improved symptoms.