HOW TO TREAT ALLERGIES THE PHYSICIAN’S WAY
Hopefully your physician will have pinpointed what you are specifically allergic to, which can help you take measures to avoid the allergen such as dust, mold or whatever. These environmental control measures are explained within this site. This can help but sometimes you cannot totally eliminate these allergens Also, pollen from plants, trees, weeds are all pervasive in the outdoors and it is difficult avoid these allergens, unless you stay in a controlled environment indoors. Consequently, in most cases, you will probably need treatment from your physician.
Each person’s allergy is different depending upon the type, intensity and patient sensitivity. The physician also has to consider possible adverse effects of treatment, possible patient inconvenience, discomfort and cost.
How to Treat Allergies with Three Major Treatment Options
Avoidance of allergens and irritants
Much of the information needed about environmental control can be found in our book Allergy Avoidance in the Home.
Commonly known as “allergy shots”, immunotherapy is a series of increasing doses (by injection) of the offending allergen (e.g. house dust, pollen or whatever) to increase resistance to these allergens. Immunotherapy is rather like being vaccinated for polio or chicken pox.
Use of medication, the most common being oral antihistamines which effectively reduce allergy symptoms caused by pollens, molds, house dust or other allergens. They work by blocking the action of excess histamine produced by the body’s immune system, which is trying to fight off these invading allergens. In our book Treating Your Allergies, we discuss the different treatment options at length.
These products have been approved and used for quite some time and there have been significant advances over the years. For example, the first antihistamines introduced, such as Chlor-tripolon® and Benadryl®, only brought up to six hours of relief and often caused undesirable side effects like drowsiness. The more recent antihistamines like Claritin, Reactine, Allegra, Aerius, are more convenient to use and have less sedating side effects. During the summer season these medications can dramatically improve an allergy sufferer’s quality of life and are available now from pharmacies without a prescription.
The brand leader of antihistamines, Claritin® is now available as a more economical private label brand in pharmacy chains, saving you money without taking away the quality and effectiveness of the medication.
There are other medication options like nasal decongestants (oral and topical) and nasal sprays (antihistamines and steroids). You should always check with your pharmacist or physician to determine what is right for you.
Alternative Allergy Treatment Methods
There are natural medicines that can help prevent histamine release and complement your medication. Your pharmacist can advise you on how to mix these safely.
Freeze dried, showed effectiveness in relieving allergy symptoms like itching, watery eyes and runny nose.
Grape Seed Extract
Studies report this prevents the release of histamine.
Known to block the release of antihistamine, reducing the need for high doses of antihistamine.
Vitamins C and E
Allergies stress the immune system and an extra intake of these vitamins can help.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Use of antihistamines can deplete Vitamin B2 and cause a sore mouth and tongue. Vitamin B2 supplements can help.
Herbs to avoid
The following have been known to provoke an allergic reaction: Aniseed, Apricot, Amica, Artichoke, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Cornsilk, Cowslip, Dandelion, Feverfew, Garlic, Hops, Hydrangea and Meadowsweet.
Finally: consider palliative, salt based, nasal rinses which can wash away mucus, allergy-causing particles and irritants, thereby reducing the inflammation of the mucous membrane. This helps fight allergies and reduces symptoms.