Allergy medications can help alleviate symptoms if used regularly.
- Nasal Spray (such as Flonase/Flonase Sensimist, Rhinocort, Nasonex, or Nasacort): This should be used once a day in the morning (usually 1 spray in each nostril). It takes 2 weeks for this medicine to become optimally effective. Nasal sprays can be very helpful if used daily during YOUR allergy season (regardless of symptoms). Think of it as sunblock for your nose against your allergies! There are over-the-counter brands called Flonase and Nasacort (see below for dosing).
- Antihistamine (such as Claritin, Zyrtec, Xyzal, or Allegra): There are many different brands available, but most of them work the same and are non-drowsy. Take these in the morning as prescribed during your allergy season or alternatively you can take them whenever your symptoms are flaring up as an add-on therapy to your daily nasal spray. See below for dosing.
- Allergy Eye Drops: Generally 1 drop in each eye 1 to 2 times a day is all that is needed for your eyes. These should be used as needed (when your eyes are red or itchy) and not on a daily basis. If you notice increasing discharge, swelling, redness, pain, or fever, then please contact our office. There are over-the-counter brands called olopatadine (Pataday or Patanol), ketotifen (Zaditor or Alaway) which are all effective.
22 things you can do to better your home environment:
- Get allergy specific bedding covers for pillows, mattresses, and box springs.
- Change regular air-conditioner filter monthly. Use the high efficiency filters.
- Do not purchase electronic air filters, as they are not proven to work.
- Do NOT SMOKE in the home.
- Wash bedding in hot water (>130° F) every 1-2 weeks.
- Avoid using fans in rooms you are occupying.
- Treat carpets with benzyl benzoate or tannic acid (see websites below).
- Remove carpeting and replace with hardwood, tile, or linoleum.
- Replace cloth window covering with wood, metal, or plastic blinds.
- Keep bedroom clutter free to allow for frequent cleaning.
- Remove/minimize stuffed animals from the bedroom.
- Wash washable stuffed animals/toys in hot water. Store in closed chest.
- Keep house humidity below 30-50%.
- Get a dehumidifier.
- Monitor for leaks in the roof, bathroom, sinks, or elsewhere.
- Remove houseplants from the bedroom.
- Clean bathroom, window seals, and sliding door tracks with bleach solution every 1-2 months.
- Have home sprayed regularly for insects.
- Keep pets (Cat/Dog) outdoors if you choose not to remove them from the home. Do not replace them in the future.
- Never let pets in the bedroom.
- Plan outdoor activities for afternoons or evenings of cooler or overcast days during your pollen season (Spring/Summer/Fall).
- Keep windows in car/home closed at all times and run the AC to minimize pollen exposure.
Allergy product resources
www.allergycontrol.com or 1-800-422-3878
www.allergyasthmatech.com or 1-800-621-5545
www.nationallergy.com or 1-800-522-1448
*USE OF DIPHENHYDRAMINE (BENADRYL) IS GENERALLY DISCOURAGED, unless otherwise directed by a physician. Newer allergy medications such as Cetirizine (Zyrtec), Loratadine (Claritin), and Fexofenadine (Allegra) are just as effective, work just as quickly, last longer with less frequent dosing, and are safer with far fewer side effects.