Allergy treatment options

There are a wide variety of allergy treatments. Everything from home remedies to regular allergy shots. Here are some of the more common ways people control their allergies.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines are often the first line of defense. They can be pill, liquid, nasal spray or even eye drops. The eye drops can relieve itchy eyes. Nasal sprays can help with seasonal environmental allergies. This type of medicine includes brand names Allegra, Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec and Tavist. Prescription antihistamines include Clarinex and Xyzal. When the body has an allergic response it over reacts and starts producing histamines. The antihistamine will bock the histamine and keep it from binding to receptors thereby preventing the common symptoms of allergy.

Inhalers

A bronchodilator is a potent drug used to relax the muscle bands that tighten airways during an asthma attack. They also help clear mucus from the lungs. A few puffs on an inhaler will relieve wheezing and chest tightening caused by an allergic response during a mild attack. Ventolin, Proventil, Xopenix and Maxair are examples.

Allergy shots

Also referred to as immunotherapy, allergy shots may be the most effective form of treatment if you suffer from environmental allergies more than three months during the year. Shots expose the body to gradually increasing levels of the offending allergen helping the body to increase its own natural resistance. Immunotherapy is being experimented with more frequently for food allergies. There are also some under the tongue tablets which have the same purpose: to boost tolerance.

Leukotriene Inhibitors

Leukotriene modifiers block the chemicals produced in the body’s reaction to an allergen. They are usually used to treat asthma and nasal allergy symptoms. Accolate, Singulair and Zyflo are examples.

Auto-Injector

Auto-injectors like EpiPen, Twinject and Auvi-Q can be used for rapid treatment of a severe allergic response. These injectors deliver a quick, lifesaving dose of epinephrine directing into the blood stream. Epinephrine is adrenaline, a hormone produced naturally by the body. It can help improve breathing, raise blood pressure and reduce swelling. Injectors should be readily available, kept on the person or in a backpack or purse.

Source: WebMD

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