A beginner’s guide to Dallas allergies
By Page Walker
April showers brings… May allergies? That’s how the expression goes right? At least in Dallas it does. You know the drill — runny nose, itchy eyes and throat, congestion and an overall icky feeling. If you are the lucky 1 in 5 Americans who suffers from spring allergies, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Most of us endure the daily symptoms of allergies during these late spring and early summer months, but many go undiagnosed or do not know how treat their symptoms. There’s no use in being uneducated when it comes to allergies because there are several ways to feel better.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is an allergy?
According to WebMD, allergies happen when your immune system reacts to something that’s usually harmless. Those triggers, which doctors call “allergens,” can include pollen, mold, and animal dander, certain foods or things that irritate your skin.
What Are the Symptoms?
• Itchy or watery eyes
• Itchy or scratchy throat
• Itchy or runny nose
• Feeling tired
How to Deal
Antihistamines have been used for years and relieve the dreaded symptoms of spring allergies. It combats histamine, which is what your body creates when it comes in contact with an allergen. They can be taken as pills, nasal spray or eye drops. Nasal sprays treat year round allergies and eye drops relieve itchy and red eyes.
• Over-the-counter: Allegra, Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec. Ocu-Hist eye drops
• Prescription: Clarinex and Xyzal, Astelin nasal spray
Decongestants relieve congestion and are often taken along with antihistamines. They can be nasal sprays, eye drops or pill form.
• Over-the-counter: Sudafed tablets, Afrin nasal spray, Visene eye drops
3. Combination Drugs
Some medications are a combination of both antihistamines and decongestants to relieve multiple symptoms.
• Over the counter: Allegra-D, Claritin-D, Zyrtec-D
• Prescription: Semprex-D, Naphcon, Vasocon, Zaditor
Steroids reduce inflammation and prevent nasal stuffiness, sneezing, and itchy and runny nose.
• Over-the-counter: Nasacort Allergy 24HR and Flonase Allergy Relief
• Prescription: Beconase, Flonase, Nasocort, Nasonex, Rhinocort, Veramyst, Qnasl, Zetonna
5. Allergy Shots
Allergy shots help your body get used to allergens using immunotherapy. Shots are given once or twice a week for the first several months. After that, your doctor will gradually increase the time between shots. Your allergies will not be cured but you will build up immunity and will hopefully not experience allergies as often.