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How to Beat Hay Fever, for Kids and Adults

Spring is here. For those with allergies, the warm weather and flowers are a sign of allergy symptoms to come.

Here are some tips that will help you lessen the symptoms of hay fever.

For the Itchy Eyes:

  1. Try anover-the-counter antihistamine eye drop like Zaditor or Alaway.
  2. See your doctor about prescription antihistamine eye drops like Pataday, Azelastine, or Patanol.
  3. See your doctor about a script for Singular, see #5 below.

For the Runny Nose, follow these steps:

  • Start with a Nose spray like Flonase, Nasacort or Rhinocort.
    • These actually do work better than over the counter allergy pills.
    • In ages 3-12 years old you can do one squirt in each nostril daily
    • In a person 12 and older do 2 squirts in each nostril daily
    • It will take 1-2 weeks before you start to see results, so hang in there.
  • Add on Allegra 180mg, or its generic Fexofenadine over the counter.
    • This is the best over the counter antihistamine allergy pill, non-drowsy.
    • If you take it long-term (more than a few months) it can lose its effectiveness, and if this happens try switching to another allergy pill instead (see #3)
    • They have an over the counter formulation for kids 2-11
  • Try Zyrtec (Cetirizine), Claritin (Loratadine), Xyzal, Benadryl, or their generics
    • Zyrtec and Claritin have formulations for children over the counter
    • Despite what the package says, you can take up to 4 tablets of Zyrtec and Claritin if one tab does not work, although you risk getting side effects of headache and drowsiness
    • If you take it long-term (more than a few months) it can lose its effectiveness, and if this happens try switching to another allergy pill instead.
    • Zyrtec and Benadryl may make you drowsy.
  • You can try buying Allegra, Zyrtec, Claritin combined with a decongestant in them. These are behind the counter at the pharmacy.  Don’t take these if you have high blood pressure.
  • See your doctor about a script for Singular, a prescription pill that blocks the allergy pathway through a different mechanism than the over the counter antihistamines. When this medicine is combined with the above meds, you can get even more relief from the allergies.
  • There is a cure for your allergies. Come see Dr. Beckstead for allergy skin tests to find out what you are allergic to. Once we find out what you are allergic to we can discuss either allergy shots or allergy drops under the tongue to cure you of your allergies for life.

Getting Relief From Allergies – Allergy Testing and Treatment

Allergy testing and allergy injections/drops (Immunotherapy) are great options for people who have allergies difficult to treat with pills, nasal sprays, and/or eye drops.

One of the best ways to see what you are allergic to is through skin testing.

Skin testing involves placing on the skin tiny amounts of common substances that cause allergies. These substances are call Allergens. In about 20 minutes, if you are allergic to them, your skin will become red and swollen where the Allergen(s) were placed. In this way, we can tell what you are allergic to.

Skin testing is for children greater than age 6 months.

After having skin testing, we can tailor allergy injections or drops to match what you are allergic to.

The injections and sublingual drops/tablets are given for 3-5 years. After this period 85-90% of people are either cured of their allergies or they only need an over the counter allergy medicine to get the relief they need. Rarely though, some people do find that they need to be on the injections/drops lifelong in order to be free from allergy symptoms.

Allergy injections involve injecting tiny amounts of the Allergen(s) you are allergic too just under the skin of your upper arm. The injections are first given once a week for a year and then after that, they are given every 2 weeks for the next 2-4 years.

The Allergy drops involve placing liquid drops of the Allergen(s) under your tongue, once daily. This can be done at home, rather than at the clinic. There are also once-daily tablets that dissolve under the tongue for people allergic to grass and ragweed.

The amount of the Allergen injected in the arm or placed under the tongue is at first very tiny, and then it is progressively increased with subsequent doses. By starting with a small amount, and then increasing it, your body becomes immune to the Allergen and no longer reacts to it with allergic symptoms.

Some people start to notice an improvement in their allergies right away, but the majority of people start to see an improvement in 2-3 months. Therefore, it is wise to start the allergy injections 2-3 months before the worst season of the year for your allergies.

Allergy injections work best for the following allergy symptoms:

-Runny/Stuffy Nose

-Itchy Red Eyes

-Allergy Induced Asthma

-Allergic, Life-threatening reactions to bees and wasps

Allergy injections or drops can be given to children older than 5.

Allergy injections/drops cannot be given for food allergies.

Injections vs Sublingual Drops:

-Insurance should cover Allergy injections and sublingual tablets, but not Allergy liquid drops.

-There is more inconvenience with the allergy injections, which require regular visits to the doctor’s office.

-Sublingual drops can be done at home. However, drops must be taken daily, and they are less effective if doses are frequently missed.

-Severe adverse reactions to Allergy injections are very rare, but they are even rarer with Sublingual drops.

If you are suffering from allergies contact our office to schedule an appointment.

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