Identifying Allergy Symptoms and Choosing Allergy Medicine
We all have an immune system. When you experience the unpleasantness of allergic reactions – any allergic reaction - it’s a direct result of your immune system going to work. And as unpleasant as all those allergy symptoms may be, you wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s because your immune system is doing its job, and it follows the same response protocol when defending against infectious diseases, common colds, and other maladies. It may be mistakenly identifying the risk posed by that pollen fiber, for example, but again it’s doing its job and that’s a good thing.
Some people will have allergies they’re born with, while others will develop allergies later in life. In either case, sufferers will quickly learn to identify the allergy symptoms that come with allergic reactions to whatever their trigger is. Finding an allergy medicine that relieves these symptoms becomes a priority as often the symptoms can be debilitating. Naming one best allergy medicine can be difficult depending on the type of allergy you have.
Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
Take seasonal allergies for example. Every year spring rolls around, and when it does plants and flowers bloom. They release pollen into the airstream, and if pollen is an allergen for you then you’ll likely experience the following seasonal allergies symptoms; incessant sneezing, watery mucus in sinuses, watery and itchy eyes, and throat and sinus inflammation. These allergy symptoms are near universal for anyone who has pollen or other seasonal allergies.
The best allergy medicine for seasonal allergies symptoms is an antihistamine. Histamines are organic nitrogenous compounds that are produced by the immune system to attack foreign pathogens in the body, and antihistamines work to block their production and lessen the severity of seasonal allergies symptoms. Most antihistamine allergy medicine is OTC (over the counter), meaning you don’t need a prescription to buy any of the popular ones like Reactine, Claritin, Aerius, Allegra, or Chlor-Tripolon.
Just as the name suggests, allergic asthma is the onset of asthma symptoms as the result of exposure to an allergen. The most prominent of the allergy symptoms associated with it is a swelling of the airway that makes it difficult to breathe. Chest tightness, wheezing, and shortness breath are also symptoms. Common allergens that will trigger allergic asthma in people who are prone to it include:
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
- Tobacco smoke
- Air pollution
- Powerful scents or odors like scented lotions, perfumes, etc.
- Chemical fumes
The best allergy medicine for allergic asthma is some type of immediate relief anti-inflammatory medication that is inhaled and provides fast-acting relief of the symptoms. The best of them contain albuterol and examples include ProAir HFA, Ventolin HFA, and Proventil HFA. Daily inhalers like Pulmicort, Asmanex, and Serevent are good choices too if you have allergic asthma reactions frequently.
Itchy eyes are one of the staple allergy symptoms people experience when they’re exposed to something they’re allergic to – from a pollen fibre to a strand of cat hair to a speck of dust, whatever it may be. The word conjunctivitis in allergic conjunctivitis is the clinical equivalent of ‘itching’. One of the things people who’ve experienced it will know is that if you rub your eyes to find relief from it, the itchiness only becomes worse.
The allergens above will result in acute allergic conjunctivitis, but there’s also another type – chronic allergic conjunctivitis – and people with it will experience itchy eyes year-round. Chronic allergic conjunctivitis can also cause sensitivity to light. In severe cases of either type of conjunctivitis can actually result in a burning sensation in the eyes.
The best allergy medicine for allergic conjunctivitis is the same type of antihistamines listed above for seasonal allergies symptoms. Pairing one of them with medicated anti-inflammatory eye drops like Patanol, Livostin, Alomide, and Cromolyn is often a very effective combination for people, but these eye drops will require a physician’s prescription. Alternately, you could try a natural anti-inflammatory eye drop that contains chamomile.
Hay fever is the more everyday term used to describe allergic rhinitis, and again it’s pollen that’s the most common allergen behind people suffering from seasonal allergic rhinitis. It’s common too, as it’s been reported that nearly 8% of adults in the US experience allergic rhinitis of some sort throughout the year.
Allergy symptoms for this type of allergic reaction include:
Your physician will most likely suggest a pharmaceutical course of action to reduce your acne. You can expect the medication or prescription medicated product to contain one or more of the following ingredients:
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
- Itchy nose
- Sore or scratchy throat
- Itchy and / or watery eyes
The best allergy medicine for allergic rhinitis will be dependent on which of your symptoms is the strongest. OTC Antihistamines like the ones mentioned above will be your best bet if your most pronounced allergy symptoms are sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, and a sore or scratchy throat.
A decongestant will be a better choice if you have a stuffy nose and sinus pressure, but only if you use them for a limited amount of time. Anything more than 3 days and the product may result in your allergy symptoms becoming worse whenever you eventually stop taking it. Well-known effective decongestants include Afrin (oxymetazoline), Sudafed (pseudoephedrine), and Zyrtec-D (cetirizine).
Allergic Skin Reactions
An allergic reaction on your skin is also called allergic contact dermatitis, and in the same way it involves the immune system sending out histamines to defend against perceived ‘invaders’. You’ll develop a rash, and the red area will be itchy and / or hot. There are allergens that ALL people are allergic too, like poison ivy for example, and then some people will have their own individual allergies to substances they come in to contact with.
Allergic skin reactions most often result in the person developing a rash on the affected area, and in severe reaction instances they might develop hives or a deep swelling condition called angioedema or Giant Hives.