Allergic rhinitis is a long-term problem. It takes time and effort to control
allergies through home treatment. But home treatment is one of the best things you can do to help your allergies.
If you can avoid or reduce your
allergens, you may be able to reduce your allergy
symptoms and manage them without medicine or with fewer medicines. Controlling
your contact with allergens and reducing your symptoms may also make it less
likely you will develop
complications such as
sinusitis. You do this by:
For more information, see:
- Allergies: Avoiding Indoor Triggers.
- Allergies: Avoiding Outdoor Triggers.
If avoiding allergens doesn't
help your symptoms or is not possible:
- You may try taking
over-the-counter allergy medicines to relieve symptoms. These medicines include
chlorpheniramine (such as Chlor-Trimeton), diphenhydramine (such as Benadryl), and loratadine (such as Claritin). Don't give
antihistamines to your child unless you've checked
with the doctor first.
- You can treat a stuffy nose by using
cleaning your nasal passages with saline solution
(salt water). Before you give a decongestant to a child, check the label. These medicines may not be safe for young children or for people who have certain health problems.
- You may be able to prevent or
manage mild sinus infections by using a humidifier in your home, drinking plenty of liquids, and avoiding tobacco smoke.
It is helpful to track your symptoms and how they
affect you. For example, do your symptoms keep you from sleeping, make it hard to
concentrate, or make you sleepy? Also track your allergens and how long after
exposure to them you start to have symptoms. This information will help your doctor
prevent and treat the problem. You can keep a
symptom diary (What is a PDF document?) to track this information.
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
June 30, 2011
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