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What are allergies?
- An allergy is a reaction of the body’s immune system to a substance that is usually harmless; one that does not bother most people.
- Frequently the people who have allergies are sensitive to more than one substance.
- Some people’s allergies will trigger episodes of asthma
- Substances that are frequent causes of allergic reactions include:
- Cigarette smok
Signs and Symptoms
- Runny or clogged nose
- Post Nasal drip
- Itchy eyes, nose and/or throat
- Watery eyes
- “Allergic Pink Eye”
- Dark circles under your eyes
- Some people are able to deduce what substance triggers a response. Other times it is more difficult to figure out.
- There is a blood test that is done in some cases. This is usually done in the Allergist’s office.
- The most sensitive test involves skin testing. This is always done by an Allergist’s office.
- If it is possible to avoid the substance, such as cigarette smoke, it is most helpful to do so.
- There are medicines that can help
- There are over the counter medications that can be tried
- Benedryl is frequently used, but often causes severe drowsiness.
- Claritin is available in the brand name form or generic and does not cause the drowsiness associated with Benedryl.
- Other over the counter antihistamines include medicines such as Dimetapp and Chlo-Trimeton.
- There are many combination drugs that are available, such as Tylenol Cold and Allergy that may be helpful.
- There are also medicines that can be prescribed such as Allegra or Zyrtec.
- Nasal Steroids, such as Flonase or Nasonex, can be prescribed
- Chromolyn is a medicine that comes in an over the counter nasal spray. The brand name for this is NasalCrom.
- Decongestants can help relieve the swelling and congestion in the nasal and sinus passages. They also decrease excess secretions.
- Decongestants are frequently found in combination medicines, including Nyquil and Tylenol Cold and Allergy.
- These can be purchased separately or in combinations over the counter.
- Untreated allergies may resolve on their own. In some cases, they may cause other
problems such as
- Sinus infections
Is it a Cold or Allergies?
|General Aches, Pains||Mild||Never|
|Duration||3 – 14 days||Weeks|