MPH Blog

Common Allergy Treatments

Symptoms & Causes of Allergies

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergy is the fifth leading chronic disease in the U.S. with as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children affected. Allergies are your immune system’s response to substances that are foreign, but not necessarily harmful. When your allergies are triggered, your body produces histamines or the chemicals that try to fight off the allergens and result in a variety of symptoms.

Depending on your allergy trigger, symptoms usually include:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Itchy nose and throat
  • Cough
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Watery, red, swollen eyes
  • Skin rash and hives
  • Blisters or even skin peeling
  • Headache and overall fatigue

There are several things that can trigger your allergy and these may differ from person to person. During spring, the usual culprits are pollens and molds. Many individuals also suffer from a variety of food allergies with peanut and shellfish as the most common. Other allergy triggers include dust mites, insect stings, animal dander, and even medicines.

Common Allergy Medications

If you have been a long-time allergy sufferer, you may be familiar with the different treatments for allergies. Medications usually vary as well depending on how severe the symptoms are.

The most common medications include:

  • Antihistamines: This type of medication is usually available over the counter in pill, capsule or liquid form. They act as a blocker to the histamines produced by your body, reducing symptoms.
  • Corticosteroids: An anti-inflammatory medication that is used as a cream or ointment for allergy skin symptoms such as rashes and hives.
  • Decongestants: When you have allergies, the lining of your nose usually swell, making it feel stuffy. Decongestants help shrink swollen blood vessels and relieves congestion.
  • Epinephrine: For severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis, epinephrine is the best medication. It relaxes the muscles in the lungs to improve breathing, stimulates the heart, as well as reduces hives and other swelling around the face and lips.

There are also some preemptive measures that you can take to prevent future allergic attacks such as closely reading the labels of your food if you have food allergies, regularly cleaning your air filters, frequently changing your bed covers, vacuuming the carpet, and more. Just make sure to always be mindful of your allergy triggers and do everything you can to try avoiding them at all cost.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.