Patients in St. Charles, IL ask about medications for the treatment of Hay Fever Allergy
Hay fever, or seasonal allergic rhinitis, is a common condition that is often triggered by pollen in the air. Other forms of rhinitis exist and they can be caused by indoor allergens. In a normal immune system, there is no response to the allergen. For sufferers of allergenic rhinitis, the immune system responds to the allergen (pollen) by releasing histamine and other chemicals that cause allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, coughing, or itchy and watery eyes.
Hay fever symptoms can range in severity from annoying, to grossly affecting daily life. During the spring, hay fever is most commonly caused by tree pollen. In the late spring or summer, grass is often the main trigger. During the fall and winter, hay fever is most often triggered by weeds.
One of the best forms of treatment for hay fever is avoidance of the trigger. Unfortunately, this can be hard for many to do, which is why you may also be prescribed allergy medications.
The main types of medication used to treat hay fever include corticosteroid sprays, antihistamines, or decongestants.
Antihistamines – Antihistamines are the most prescribed treatment for seasonal allergic rhinitis. They work by preventing the symptoms of the body’s histamine release that occurs during an allergic reaction. Antihistamines are available in a variety of forms including liquid, nasal spray, or pill. There are some available over the counter and others require a physician prescription.
Corticosteroid Sprays – These work to relieve symptoms by reducing swelling and inflammation in the nose. When taken before the start of pollen season, they can help reduce symptoms throughout the season. It can sometimes take a few weeks before patients feel the full effects of the medicated spray.
Decongestants – Some oral decongestants can help reduce or eliminate nasal congestion. A popular one is pseudoephedrine, although this can often cause trouble sleeping.
In general, any medication used to treat hay fever is most effective if started before pollen season causes allergy symptoms to appear. This is because the medication can prevent the release of histamine and lessen the severity of symptoms.
St. Charles, IL residents: If you are tired of suffering every year from hay fever, call us today to find out what treatment options may be best for you.