Asthma and Allergies

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions on asthma and allergies.

What are the different treatment options for spring allergies?

Dr. Alappatt discusses different treatment options for spring allergies. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

   

Spring allergies can be treated by a variety of over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, and immunotherapy options. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), those options include:

  • Allergy shots – Also known as subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT), these have been used for more than 100 years to give people allergy relief. They work by using a series of shots to build up a resistance to the allergen and then to maintain that resistance.
  • Antihistamines – These can be taken by mouth or in a nasal spray. They help reduce itchy eyes, itchy nose, runny nose, sneezing, and nasal stuffiness.
  • Cromolyn sodium – This is a nasal spray that helps to block chemicals that cause allergy symptoms, which include histamine and leukotrienes.
  • Decongestants – These can be taken by mouth or as a nasal spray. They help shrink the lining within the nasal passages, which helps to reduce nasal stuffiness. These are to be used for short-term help, and can cause more problems when used for too long.
  • Leukotriene receptor antagonists – The prescription medication montelukast is an example of these. They block chemical messengers (not including histamine) that lead to allergic reactions.
  • Nasal corticosteroids – These sprays help block allergic reactions. They contain anti-inflammatory medicines and are often thought to be the most effective medication for allergic rhinitis and nasal congestion.
  • Sublingual immunotherapy – There are three types of these under-the-tongue tablets used to treat grass and ragweed allergies with sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). These can be used as an alternative to allergy shots.

Making small lifestyle changes also can help manage springtime allergies, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Some of those changes could include:

  • Avoid mowing the lawn and raking leaves, which can stir up pollen and mold
  • Change your clothes once you come inside from spending time outside
  • Don’t hang linens or clothing outside to dry
  • Keep windows and doors closed in the house and car
  • Limit time outside when allergen counts – such as pollen or ragweed – are high
  • Use the air conditioner in your home and car because it filters the air before putting it into your breathing space
  • wash your face and hair after being outside

For more information about spring allergy treatments, talk with your doctor.

Learn more:

Source: Anessa Alappatt, MD, Fairborn Medical Center; J. Douglas Aldstadt, MD, Family Physicians of Englewood; Joseph Allen, MD, Family Medicine of Vandalia; Michael Chunn, MD, Michael A. Chunn, MD, Family Practice; Chandan Gupta, MD, Monroe Medical Center; Joseph Leithold, MD, Woodcroft Family Practice; Anne Reitz, MD, Centerville Family Medicine; Grenetta Ritenour, CNP, Jamestown Family Medicine; Melinda Ruff, MD, Centerville Family Medicine; Marcus Washington, MD, Premier Health Family Medicine; Mark Williams, MD, Beavercreek Family Medicine