Allergy Medication Can Provide Relief from Symptoms

Allergy symptoms can range from bothersome nuisances to significant medical concerns. If your symptoms are seasonal or less severe, they may be able to be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications and nasal sprays. Whether you manage your allergies with medication or have more severe symptoms that require immunotherapy, our team at Charleston ENT & Allergy is here to ensure that you receive the best treatment possible.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines, frequently the go-to drug for treating allergies, work by blocking the chemical produced by the immune system that causes symptoms like sneezing, stuffy nose and itchy, watery eyes. They are available in tablets, capsules, liquids, nasal sprays and eye drops. Certain formulas may cause side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness and nausea.

Popular antihistamines include:

  • Allegra
  • Benadryl
  • Claritin
  • Chlor-Trimeton
  • Tavist
  • Zyrtec
  • Clarinex
  • Xyzal
A blurry background of a drugstore shelf. Two hands are in frame and in focus. One hand holds two packets of green and blue pills while the other hand holds a nasal spray bottle.

Decongestants

Decongestants are often ideal for stuffy noses caused by allergies. They work by shrinking swollen blood vessels and tissues that line the nose and are available in pills, liquids, nasal sprays and nose drops.

Decongestants may increase anxiety or cause sleeping difficulty. If you have a medical condition such as glaucoma, high blood pressure, heart disease, thyroid disorder, diabetes or enlarged prostate, consult with a doctor before using them.

Common decongestants include:

  • Afrin
  • Dristan
  • Sudafed
  • Suphedrin

Many allergy medications combine antihistamines with decongestants. These include:

  • Allegra-D
  • Claritin-D
  • Tavist-D

Nasal Corticosteroids

Nasal corticosteroids are nasal sprays that work by reducing inflammation of the nasal lining. Though they are effective at relieving symptoms like sneezing and congestion, they may cause nosebleeds, nasal dryness and sore throat. They are typically safe to use long-term and available by prescription only.

Common brands include:

  • Flonase
  • Nasonex
  • Nasacort
  • Rhinocort

Decongestant Nasal Sprays

Decongestant nasal sprays provide short-term relief from nasal allergy symptoms but wear off quickly. They help reduce congestion and sneezing. Though they are typically available over the counter, patients should not use them for more than three days.

Popular brands include:

  • Afrin
  • Dristan
  • Vicks Sinex

Allergy Eye Drops

Allergy eye drops are effective in relieving symptoms like itchy, watery or burning eyes. They are available via prescription or over the counter.

Popular brands include:

  • Clear eyes
  • Visine
  • Refresh
  • Claritin Eye
  • Alamast
  • Opcon-A

Mast Cell Inhibitors

Mast cell inhibitors prevent allergy symptoms by blocking the release of histamine when allergens are encountered. They should be taken a week or two before the start of allergy season and daily for its duration.

Mast cell inhibitors are available in the form of nasal sprays and eye drops. Options include:

  • Gastrocrom
  • Cromolyn Sodium
  • Alocril
  • Nasalcrom
  • Alomide

Which Allergy Medication Will Work Best for Me?

The most appropriate allergy medication will depend on factors like your symptoms and health history. Allergy care is not one-size-fits-all, and our team at Charleston ENT & Allergy can help determine what will work best for your unique needs. Whether you’re just developing allergies or are looking for a solution to worsening symptoms, we’re here to help.