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The Treatments For Indoor Allergies

Jul 24, 2008
The single best thing you can do is remove the allergen from your environment. A variety of medications can be used to treat hay fever, eye symptoms, and asthma.

Nonprescription antihistamine medication such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) by mouth reduces the itch and watery eyes. Caution - these medications may make you too drowsy to drive or operate machinery safely. They can interfere with concentration or with children's learning at school. They are to be used for a few days only. If symptoms do not improve, your physician may prescribe one or more medications. The medications do not cure the allergy, but relieve symptoms.

Antihistamines include older antihistamines, also called first-generation antihistamines, and newer second-generation antihistamines.

First-generation antihistamines most of these antihistamines are available without a prescription, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), clemastine (Tavist), and chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton Allergy). These older antihistamines are more likely to cause drowsiness. Depending on the product, the duration of action is often shorter than newer antihistamines and may necessitate taking the drug 3-4 times each day. These older antihistamines are more likely to cause dry mouth, urinary retention, constipation, and blurred vision.

Second-generation antihistamines, these antihistamines are also referred to as nonsedating antihistamines. Most are only available by prescription, such as cetirizine (Zyrtec), desloratadine (Clarinex), and fexofenadine (Allergra). The original second-generation antihistamines are now becoming available without a prescription (over the counter [OTC]), such as loratadine (Claritin).

They can be taken over the long term with minimal side effects and are unlikely to cause sleepiness. The nonsedating antihistamines are convenient to take since they are taken once or twice daily. They may allow you to carry on with your normal activities more easily than older first-generation antihistamines.

Decongestants are also available to decongest the nose when it is stuffy. Do not use decongestant nose sprays (such as Afrin) for more than 3 days, otherwise nasal congestion will reoccur. Antiallergy eye drops: These may relieve severe itching, tearing, redness, or swelling of the eyes.

Corticosteroid nasal spray usually works better than do antihistamines. Corticosteroid nasal sprays relieve the congestion and swelling of the lining of the nose. These sprays take a few days to work and are best used every day to be most effective. They are safe to use because so little medicine is necessary for relief. Corticosteroids (such as prednisone, methylprednisolone) are prescription medications taken by injection or by mouth that reduce inflammation and symptoms such as swelling.
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