If you are allergic, you are in lots of company. Approximately 55% of Americans test positive for one or more allergens. Unfortunately, there is no cure that will eradicate allergies.
The number of individuals who suffer from allergies only continues to grow. These allergies can also result from pollens plus artificial additives or synthetic triggers. The incidental allergens or irrtants usually may come from a processed food you have eaten or a cosmetic product ingredient that was not suitable for your skin.
Pollen, dust, and mold allergies can be caused by anything from certain flowers to a few grains of pollen, a dusty attic, or a damp or flooded basement. In order to be able to counter all types of allergies, especially seasonal allergies, it is imperative that you know what the best medications for allergies are that are currently available on the market.
You may choose to go with natural remedies for allergies like quercetin – but arm yourself with as much information on all of your options as possible.
Suffering an allergic reaction is far from fun. In most instances, it is painful and irritating. The most common symptoms include migraines, coughing, swelling of a particular area in the body, and sneezing. It’s essential that you understand every allergy is different and frequently require different allergy medicines and tests.
You have to determine what anti-allergy medication is the best treatment for your allergies. The easiest way to do this is by consulting a doctor or allergist for skin (prick tests or patch tests) and/or blood testing. There is a simple reason for this. Most people do not know what actually causes their allergies. Most allergists will test you for a wide variety of allergens.
Testing for Allergies
Ordinary allergy testing requires that a doctor expose you to tiny amounts of many substances in or on the skin. There is seemingly no end to what you can be injected with, such as eggs, dust, grass, or even protein supplements. If you are allergic to a substance, the injection site will become inflamed and red. It may be very itchy. This is one of the best methods of testing for conventional allergies.
After your doctor has identified what substances trigger your allergies, he or she may also prescribe the best medication for controlling the symptoms. If you want to get at root causes, then you may have to do a lot more with avoidance of specific potential allergens to see if you get better. This is called elimination and avoidance, and it helps keep you from setting off your allergies in the first place.
Best Allergy Medicine for Ragweed
Even with your best efforts to stay away from your allergens, pollens tend to creep into your airspace. Most often found in the eastern and mid-western part of the US, ragweed is a type of weeds that are only in the air during one season of the year. However, over 1 billion pollen grains are able to fly through the air during this time, easily triggering allergies in susceptible people.
Individuals with ragweed allergies can pick up the allergen anywhere. Common symptoms include runny nose, constant sneezing, itchy throat, eye inflammation, and even a fever.
It is important to verify that you have a ragweed allergy. If so, medications such as antihistamines can help reduce the severity of your symptoms.
These types of drugs shut down symptoms that result from excess release of histamine in your body when the ragweed antibodies trigger its activation. You may also opt for nasal drops or anti-inflammatory eye drops after speaking with your physician.
Common over the counter antihistamine allergy medicines include:
•Benadryl contains the chemical, diphenhydramine, that works by blocking the effects of the histamine (a compound released by cells in the body in response to allergic and inflammatory reactions) produced during an allergic reaction.
Benadryl most often causes drowsiness because of its sedative effects. Other side effects of this medicine include coordination problems, falls, dizziness, and indigestion. Be careful about driving a car when you are taking this drug.
•Zyrtec also works by blocking the action of histamine within the body using the chemical, cetirizine. Common side effects include drying of the mouth, nose, and throat, headaches, drowsiness, and blurred vision.
•Allegra contains fexofenadine, another chemical that blocks the action of histamine. Common side effects include headaches, dry mouth, and anxiety. It does not have the sedating side effects that are common with many other types of antihistamines, making it ideal for use during the day.
•Claritin utilizes the chemical, loratadine, to block histamine. Side effects include headaches, dry mouth, and fatigue, though it too does not have a sedating effect. Thus this drug is another best option for daytime use.
Many people take a version of a medicine that contains a decongestant drug that shrinks down the swollen nasal passages and improves air flow. However, it is important to take precautions when using decongestant nasal sprays and medications. Use these forms of the medications sparingly and carefully.
Many contain pseudoephedrine, an adrenaline-like substance, which has been shown to increase blood pressure and cause serious side effects in individuals with the eye disease glaucoma. Additionally, these medications may result in trouble sleeping. These decongestant drugs can also interact with other drugs and may even increase the risk of stroke in some people.
Best Allergy Medicine for Dust
Dust is the second to ragweed as the most common allergen that people all over the world suffer from. These allergies are typically triggered by the presence of dust mites, which congregate in dusty areas. They thrive on dust and dead skin cells that are found in most homes, including your own bedding.
To decrease the likelihood that your family is exposed to dust mites, it is important to regularly wash carpets, curtains, feather pillows, mattresses, and soft toys using hot water. Allergists typically recommend that you get an allergen-proof zippered cover for your bed mattress and similar types of zippered allergy covers for your pillows.
The most effective dust allergy treatment with medications again includes taking decongestants and/or antihistamines. Doctors may also prescribe routine allergy shots containing dust mites that increase your ability to tolerate these hard-to-avoid allergens.
Best Allergy Medicine for Children
An estimated 40% of children suffer from one or more allergies. In response, there has been an increase in the number of more effective allergy medicines on the market designed specifically for kids. Many parents choose to use over the counter medications.
While they can work well, the medications should not be used frequently because they tend to make children very sleepy. Of course, a doctor should be consulted prior to giving your child this type of medication.
•For children over the age of 6 months, Zyrtec and Clarinex are good options. Children taking Zyrtec may experience nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, fatigue, and dry mouth. Side effects commonly experienced with Clarinex include nausea, sore throat, and fatigue.
•Children over the age of 2 may experience a significant decrease in symptoms with the use of Claritin. Claritin may cause headache, heartburn, nausea, fatigue, and nervousness or restlessness in children. Claritin RediTab is available for children over the age of six that have difficulty swallowing pills. Common side effects with Claritin RediTab include hyperactivity, stomach aches, and nausea.
•Allegra is another good option and can be purchased in liquid form. It can cause headaches as well as behavioral disturbances including unusual thoughts, confusion, hallucinations, and aggressiveness. It is best used for seasonal allergies and is specifically prescribed for children suffering from hives.
It is important that you understand the underlying cause of an allergy prior to searching for the best allergy medicine. Acupuncture may sometimes help as well, at least for children with asthma. For children (or adults) afraid of needles, there are needle-free types of acupuncture that use special lasers to try for bronchial asthma. While acupuncture may not be as cost effective in some situations as conventional drugs, it can improve quality of life in adults with seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever).
Many people also opt to use natural herbal or homeopathic remedies for allergies. Homeopathy is controversial to conventional doctors, but a widely-used 200-year-old system of care whose medicines are generally non-toxic and safe for use in all ages. Unlike conventional allergy medicines or natural herbal products, homeopathic remedies usually do not have any adverse interactions with other drugs you may need to take at the same time.
The most vital component of finding the best allergy medicine begins with visiting your primary care doctor for a referral to an allergy specialist. The allergist has the knowledge and experience to order tests and diagnose the cause,as well as recommend proper treatment options for your particular case.