Your allergy treatment is personalized to your specific medical history, the results of your allergy tests and how severe your symptoms are. Solutions can include three treatment types:
- avoiding allergens
- medicine options
- immunotherapy (allergens given as a shot or placed under the tongue).
How Do I Avoid Allergens?
The best way to prevent allergy symptoms from happening is to avoid the specific allergens that are causing your reactions. This includes eliminating the source of allergens from your home or work. You can also lessen your symptoms to airborne allergens by cleaning out your nose daily by using a nasal saline rinse using a squeeze bottle or a Neti pot.
What Medicines Can I Take for Allergies?
Some patients don’t believe that their symptoms are serious enough to necessitate allergy medicines, however, this logic can result in painful sinus or ear infections. If you suffer from allergies here is a short list of allergy prescription and over-the-counter medicines:
- Nasal corticosteroids
- Mast cell stabilizers
- Corticosteroid creams or ointments
- Oral corticosteroids
What Immunotherapy Treatments Are Available?
There are two common types of Immunotherapy treatments, allergy shots and sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT).
Allergy shots involve giving injections of allergens in an increasing dose over time, helping the person to become progressively less sensitive to that allergen. Allergy shots may work well for people who are allergic to pollen, pets, dust, bees or other stinging insects, as well as asthma. Allergy shots do not usually work well for allergies to food, medicines, feathers, or for hives or eczema.
Sublingual immunotherapy is another way to treat certain allergies without injections. Patients are given small doses of an allergen under the tongue. This exposure improves tolerance to the substance and reduces symptoms. SLIT is fairly safe and effective for the treatment of nasal allergies and asthma. SLIT tablets are currently available for dust mites, grass and ragweed.