Choosing the Right Over-the-Counter Allergy Medicines
There are many over-the-counter medicines available to provide relief for allergic reactions. What you need to know is what you are allergic to and how your body reacts to these allergens. Allergy testing can be done at home and once you get the results, you know what medicine to get.
Home allergen testing is also something that can be done to determine allergens in your surroundings. Detection of allergens is a step in providing relief to those who are suffering from allergic reactions. Avoiding allergens are the best way to prevent having symptoms.
Over-the Counter Allergy Medicines
Over-the-counter medicine does not need prescription from a physician. You can easily get them at your local pharmacy. There are a lot to choose from but the most common allergy relief medicines are antihistamines and decongestants. Allergy medicine comes in different forms like pills, eye drops, nasal spray, and topical creams and lotions.
Antihistamines – This medicine is for countering the chemical histamines which is released by the body when it detects an allergen. Histamines cause the body to fight off the allergens and as an effect, it causes irritation. If the allergens are inhaled, it causes the nose tissues to swell, itch, or cause a runny nose. This medicine stops the histamines from interacting with the tissues where allergens come in contact with.
Decongestants – This type of medicine works to unclog your airways. When an allergen gets in your nose tissues and cause difficulty in breathing, sinus problems, itching and runny nose, decongestants work to relieve the congestion in your nasal area.
Topical Corticosteroids – This medicine is used on the skin. When allergens come in contact with the skin, it may cause symptoms if the person is allergic to fragrances, lotion, or dust. The reaction causes the skin to itch, rash, swell, and redden. This medicine relieves itching, redness, and swelling.
These over-the-counter drugs are convenient for instant relief. However, there are hazards in getting over-the-counter medicines. One might pick up the wrong medicine and cause more irritation in the body. It might also cause adverse effects because every medicine reacts differently for everyone. Make sure to do an allergy test and consult with your doctor. Also, avoid medicines that contain Phenylpropanolamine as it was linked to significantly increase the risk of stroke, especially in women aged 18 to 49.