Did you know? The end of summer doesn’t mean the end of allergy season. Depending on your allergy triggers, you may experience symptoms well into the autumn months. If Fall brings allergy symptoms right along with all those beautifully colored leaves and pumpkin spiced beverages, have no fear! CVS has you covered with allergy and sinus medications to help control your symptoms so you can enjoy the season without all the sniffles, headaches, and watery eyes. Or maybe you have indoor allergies that worsen as the weather gets colder and you find yourself spending more time indoors with the heat on. Don’t worry - we have plenty of allergy medications to help you be your best self during the holidays and feel more comfortable all winter long! Read on to learn more about the different types of allergies, what causes them, and what you can do to stop the symptoms from controlling your life.
The most common outdoor seasonal allergens are tree pollen, weeds, and grass. The levels and types of pollen in the air vary by time of year, with tree pollen peaking in the early spring, grass pollen peaking around the height of summer, and weed pollen peaking around late summer and lasting well into autumn. When you talk to your doctor about your allergy symptoms, mention what time of year you experience these symptoms, as it may help narrow down the causes. He or she can give you more information about allergens and provide guidance about the best treatment options for your needs.
Dealing with seasonal allergies can be overwhelming at times, but it is possible to control your allergies – rather than letting them control you. When outdoor allergens are at their peak, watch the weather reports to find out if the pollen count is extra high. On those days, do your best to limit your time outdoors, and consider wearing a dust mask if you do have to venture outside. Keep your windows closed and consider using an air filter in your home that is equipped with a HEPA filter to keep out allergen particles.
But what if you can’t stay inside? That’s where allergy medication comes in. Look for non-drowsy allergy medicine like Claritin Non-Drowsy so that you can stay alert while performing your daily activities. If you prefer not to take a pill, try an allergy nasal spray like Nasacort. Your body responds to allergens by releasing chemicals, and these chemicals then cause reactions in your body that result in the allergy symptoms you experience. A nasal spray for allergies typically targets multiple inflammatory chemicals, whereas antihistamines like Benadryl only target the histamine response. Because of this, some people may find nasal sprays to be a better choice for controlling their allergy symptoms. If you’ve tried antihistamines and found that they didn’t work as well as you’d like, it may be worth picking up an allergy nasal spray. An additional benefit of nasal sprays is that most will not cause drowsiness. nasal strips are also an option.
There are many sources of indoor allergens, but the biggest culprits tend to be dust, mold, and pet dander. Indoor allergens are not seasonal and can be bothersome at any time of the year, although many people find their indoor allergies to be the worst in winter because they spend more time indoors. The best way to deal with indoor allergies is to keep your home as free of allergens such as possible. Limit the amount of carpets, upholstered furniture, and drapes in your home, as these are difficult to remove allergens from. Try to avoid spending time in your basement or any other damp spaces where mold is common. Be sure to keep wet spaces like the bathroom dry, and clean up any water spills or damage promptly to prevent mold from growing in the dampness. A dehumidifier can further help to reduce excess moisture in your home.
In your bedroom, use an allergen-proof mattress cover to keep out dust mites and wash your linens in hot water that is over 130 degrees Fahrenheit to kill dust mites. Finally, using an air purifier with a HEPA filter can significantly reduce the amount allergens floating in the air, helping you stay symptom-free. On days when those allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, and itching of the throat or nose are still getting the best of you, use an OTC allergy medicine with cetirizine hydrochloride indicated as the active ingredient; it is approved for the treatment of both indoor and outdoor allergy symptoms. Zyrtec Allergy is a strong antihistamine that handles a variety of allergy symptoms caused by both indoor and outdoor allergens. Another product you can try is Allegra if you're looking for all day relief. If your symptoms worsen or don’t go away within a normal amount of time, make an appointment with your doctor.
If you suspect that you are allergic to pets, it is best to talk to your doctor. He or she may recommend allergy testing to confirm whether you are allergic to pet dander or another allergen. If you are allergic to your pet’s dander, there are steps you can take. While many people think pet allergies have to do with pet fur, what you are actually allergic to is your pet’s dander, or the dead skin cells that get trapped in their fur. These skin cells contain proteins that cause an allergic reaction in some people. Finding out that you have an allergy to pets doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy animals on occasion or that you won’t be able to keep a pet of your own! If you know you’re allergic to certain animals and don’t yet have a pet of your own, consider getting a fish, hermit crab, iguana, or snake, as these are generally safe for allergy sufferers. If you already have a beloved pet, don’t worry – chances are, you can still give your cat or dog a loving home without suffering needlessly yourself. Bathing your pet regularly can help to reduce the allergen count found in your pet’s fur. You may also want to consider restricting your pet to certain areas of the house and making your bedroom a pet-free zone. After touching your pet, keep your hands away from your eyes and face until you’ve had a chance to wash them. When occasional symptoms occur, reach for OTC allergy relief like Claritin RediTabs.
The best allergy medicine for you depends on a variety of factors. You will need to consider the specific allergy symptoms you are experiencing and what is triggering them. Then, select an over the counter allergy medicine that addresses those causes and symptoms. Not all allergy medications are created equal, and some are better suited to address certain allergy triggers and symptoms than others. For example, if you deal with both indoor and outdoor allergies, you should consider an allergy medication that contains cetirizine hydrochloride, since the ingredient is approved to treat both indoor and outdoor allergy symptoms. Your needs for the day also matter. If you have to give a big presentation, you’re better off reaching for a non-drowsy allergy relief option such as a nasal spray rather than a first-generation antihistamine, such as Benadryl, which contains diphenhydramine and is known for causing drowsiness. If you aren’t sure which allergy medicine is best for you, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor or pharmacist. He or she can offer you individualized advice and help you formulate a plan for controlling your allergy symptoms that works with – not against – your lifestyle.
Many people who have allergies also deal with sinus congestion and pressure. This can be painful at times, but there’s no need to suffer! CVS carries a wide selection of sinus medicine to help relieve your symptoms fast. Look for sinus medication that combines a pain reliever with a decongestant. Tylenol Sinus Congestion and Pain is a good choice and is available in a non-drowsy daytime formula. In addition, you may want to try a nighttime formula if sinus congestion and pain is getting in the way of a good night’s sleep. If your nighttime symptoms are more closely aligned with allergies, such as itching, sneezing, and watery eyes, consider an antihistamine instead. Benadryl is a good choice because in addition to controlling your symptoms, it can make you feel drowsy and more susceptible to sleep.
By now, you may be feeling overwhelmed by all of the possible causes of your allergy symptoms and the sheer number of pollen allergy relief options out there. We’re here to help. Stop by your local CVS MinuteClinic to get professional, personalized recommendations for OTC allergy medicine or, if needed, prescription allergy medication. You don’t need to call or make an appointment beforehand. Our nurse practitioners and physician assistants are highly trained to help you get on your way to feeling better fast, so stop suffering and come visit us today!
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