There are many over-the-counter (OTC) remedies for controlling allergies.
- Antihistamines including diphenhydramine (Benedryl(R)), loratidine (Claritin(R)), fexofenedine (Allegra(R)), and cetirizine (Zyrtec(R))
- Nasal steroid sprays including budesonide (Rhinocort(R)), triamcinolone (Nasacort(R)) or fluticasone (Flonase(R))
- Decongestants for stuffy nose such as pseudephedrine (Sudafed(R))
- Expectorants to thin mucus such as guaifenesin (Mucinex(R))
When treating children for allergies, always follow your pediatrician’s recommendation and the directions on the medication label.
You may not be able to prevent all allergic symptoms, but you can minimize them.
- Stay inside where it’s air-conditioned during peak pollen times, usually morning and evening.
- Take a thorough bath or shower before bedtime or right after working or playing outdoors.
- Take off your shoes when in the house.
- Keep the windows closed.
- Rinse out nasal passages with saline sprays.
Some individuals recommend using a neti pot. If you choose to go this route, ONLY use distilled or sterilized water. NEVER use tap water.
Allergies and colds do tend to share the same symptoms. However, if you have a cold you are more likely to have the following symptoms, along with the stuffy nose and sneezing:
- Sore throat
- Body aches
Also, a cold lasts about seven to ten days. If you have itchy, watery eyes or eczema (a type of rash), or your nasal symptoms last for weeks, it’s probably an allergy.
Occasionally, allergies can create conditions for bacterial infections to occur, including sinus infections, conjunctivitis, or bronchitis. See your primary healthcare provider or call Legacy ER & Urgent Care for medical assistance.