There are many things you can do to help lessen your symptoms if you suffer from indoor or outdoor allergies. The first thing most doctors will tell you to do if you have allergies is to find out what you are allergic to by keeping a journal of your symptoms or by having a skin allergy test.
Once you know what is causing your allergic reaction, you can try to avoid the allergens (what you are allergic to) if possible or you can try some of the tips listed below. You may be told what over-the-counter allergy medications the doctor recommends you use, or you may receive an allergy prescription to take.
Allergy Relief Tips
Avoid the substances that you are allergic to if possible
Clean your house as often as possible to rid it of any dust, animal dander, or molds that may exist inside.
Stay indoors when pollen counts are high outside.
Over-the-counter allergy relief medications are fine unless you have a health problem other than allergies, such as asthma, are pregnant, are breast-feeding, are an older adult, or a child than you should talk to a doctor first before taking any over-the-counter allergy medication. Over-the-counter medications for allergies are also more likely to produce side effects that if experienced, you should consult with your doctor.
Immunotherapy (allergy shots) is another way of lessening the effect that allergens have on your body. You will first need to know what you are allergic to before receiving a series of shots so a skin allergy test may be needed prior to starting immunotherapy.
Depending on your health insurance plan, your prescription coverage may or may not be more expensive than the cost of over-the-counter allergy medications. The prescriptions given by your doctor will be better controlled for your specific needs and monitored by your doctor. Your doctor may even need to try you on several different medications or doses before you locate what works best for your allergies.
Your allergy relief needs may also change throughout the year as different allergens become active. Changes in your lifestyle, place of work, school and home environment may also change what you are allergic to; a new cat may trigger dander issues, someone at work starts wearing a new perfume or cologne that you are now reacting too. As changes occur in your environment (inside and outside) your treatments will need to be adjusted.
Natural Allergy Relief
Two popular natural relief remedies are the European herb butterbur (Petasites hybridus) and freeze-dried nettles which and a tonic made from the herb goldenseal and the ever-popular saline (salt water) nasal spray.
Popular names such as Dimetapp, Chlor-Trimeton, Benadryl and Claritin and also common prescription antihistamines such as Zyrtec, Clarinex, Allegra and loratadine. These medications need to be taken continuously throughout the allergy season.
Popular names like Sudafed, 4-Way Fast-Acting Nasal Spray or Afrin Nasal Spray are examples of decongestants that most people are familiar with. These drugs help to decrease the nasal congestion by making the blood vessels constrict (narrow) and to reduce the flow of blood to the nasal passage.
Ask your doctor about anticholinergic nasal allergy sprays, steroid nasal sprays, allergy eye drops, leukotriene inhibitors and also mast cell inhibitors.