There are many different kinds of allergy medicine. The most commonly used allergy medicine are antihistamines. These are available over-the-counter and great for a surprise allergy attack. Oral antihistamines help reduce all mild to moderate allergy symptoms including a rash or hives. One of the most popular OTC antihistamine is Benadryl, but it may cause drowsiness. Other antihistamines, like Zyrtec and Claritin, will help with symptoms and also won’t give you the drowsiness that Benadryl does. This type of allergy medicine can also be taken on a daily basis to help prevent allergy symptoms altogether. Antihistamines are also available in nasal sprays and eye drops to help with localized symptoms.
Another common form of allergy medication is corticosteroids. This type of allergy medication usually requires a prescription and work in a different way. The corticosteroids work with your body to block the reaction altogether. They send a signal to your immune system that the allergen is not harmful and therefore there is no form of attack. Corticosteroids are available in oral form, nasal spray and eye drops. Some people may benefit from taking all three forms of this allergy medication. Prednisone is the most common oral corticosteroids and it helps reduce inflammation as well as stop the allergy symptoms. It should only be taken for a short time and can cause some mild side effects. Some nasal forms are Flonase, Nasonex and Nasocort. The nasal spray helps reduce the swelling in the nasal cavity to eliminate congestion. It also helps open airways and decrease the allergy symptoms. Eye drops especially help with seasonal allergies. Many people experience severe itchy, watery eyes with seasonal allergies and the eye drops will relieve the pain and discomfort immediately.
Finally, decongestants are a great form of allergy medicine. They are available over-the-counter and help with the sudden onset of allergy congestion. They will also help with itchy eyes and mild sinus pressure. Although decongestants work well, they are only good for people with mild to moderate symptoms and those that don’t get them often.
If you suffer from occasional allergies or you get them on a daily basis it is important to know what type of allergy medication is available to you. If you have mild symptoms a simple OTC decongestant might work, or for more severe problems you may need a corticosteroid. So be sure to speak with your doctor about which allergy medication is the right choice for you.