When Over the Counter Medicine Doesn’t Resolve Allergy Symptoms
No matter when they strike, allergies and their subsequent symptoms are an annoyance that can have serious impacts on day-to-day life. Whether they force the sufferer indoors during nice weather, or irritate constantly with a runny nose, itchy eyes or scratchy throat, allergies are a nuisance.
An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from nasal allergies. For those 50 million people, over the counter medicine can help alleviate symptoms, but because they aren’t a cure, these medicines sometimes fail, leaving the sufferer in discomfort.
When allergy rhinitis, the most common chronic disease in children and adults, is left untreated or undertreated, it can develop into something far worse than allergies. Sinus infections, conjunctivis, ear infections, asthma or even bronchitis, eczema and sleep apnea can all develop. Not only does that result in weakened health, but it can have an overall negative impact on the individual’s life, including school or work.
The first line of defense against symptoms is usually an over the counter medication, whether it’s a decongestant, which works by decreasing the amount of fluid that leaks into the lining of the nasal passages, causing runny noses; antihistamines, which prevent the release of a bodily chemical caused by an allergic reaction; or nasal steroids, which are among the most popular medications for allergy rhinitis.
While each of those methods can be effective at treating allergy symptoms, they also have negative side effects, which can worsen symptoms or create new ones altogether. Some over the counter medicines can’t be used long term, making them little more than a band-aid for allergies.
To combat symptoms on a more permanent basis, with far fewer side effects, the board certified allergist at Allergy & Asthma Specialists can identify the causes of allergies by skin testing for allergens, ranging from several types of grass, tree and weed pollens to pet dander to mold and everything in between. Once the allergens are identified, an allergist can prescribe a customized treatment plan, including environmental control, more targeted medicine, and possibly a personalized prescription for immunotherapy for the most effective relief. By customizing treatment, the allergist is able to tailor medication specifically to the patient, unlike over the counters, which are one-size-fits-all.
In doing so, patients are able to get back to their busy lives and be more productive, with minimal allergic symptoms.
To schedule a visit with the board certified allergists/immunologists of A&AS at one of the eight convenient locations, call 1-800-86COUGH, extension 2.