Alternate Names : Allergic Rhinitis, Allergic Rhinosinusitis, Hay Fever
What are the treatments for the condition?
The key to allergy treatment is avoiding the allergen. This may be possible for people with pet allergies. It is less practical for those who are sensitive to pollens and molds.
Oral antihistamines are used for short-term allergic disease. Common antihistamines include diphenhydramine,
loratadine, and fexofenadine. They are very effective in controlling symptoms such as
sneezing and nasal discharge.
Antihistamines generally don't reduce nasal stuffiness. It is common to add a decongestant, such as pseudoephedrine, to an
antihistamine. For severe, acute flare-ups, oral steroids, such as
prednisone, are used. Steroids block the allergic response.
Nasal steroid sprays, such as beclomethasone and
mometasone, are used for prolonged allergies. These agents have been around for about 20 years, and very safe.
They control acute symptoms more effectively than antihistamines. Nasal steroids also block the late-phase reaction.
Air filters and frequent vacuuming are helpful. Salt water nasal sprays and mucus thinners, such as guaifenesin, can thin nasal secretions.
Allergy shots can be used in
people who have chronic or prolonged periods of allergic disease. The shots desensitize the person to the trigger. They may be given to individuals who are having complications, such as asthma or chronic sinusitis.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
Many over-the-counter antihistamines cause drowsiness and decreased mental alertness. These side effects are less common with newer prescription antihistamines. These include loratadine and certirizine.
Decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine, can cause elevation of blood pressure, fast heart rate, and difficulty sleeping.
Nasal steroids may cause nosebleeds and nasal crusts.
There are a few acute side effects from oral steroids, such as increased appetite, irritability, sleeplessness, weight gain, and stomach irritation. Chronic
steroid usage can cause bone thinning, predisposition to infection, diabetes, and cataracts.
Allergy shots may cause a severe allergic reaction or
anaphylaxis. They may also bring on an asthma
What happens after treatment for the condition?
With successful treatment of allergies, symptoms should improve.
How is the condition monitored?
Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.