26 doctors weighed in:

How can I treat my allergies?

26 doctors weighed in
Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine
9 doctors agree

In brief: Nasal sprays not OTC

For seasonal allergies, the most effective options are the steroid or antihistamine nasal sprays, available by prescription.
Not only do they work the best, but they are technically local therapy as negligible amounts enter the bloodstream. The OTC nasal sprays can cause rebound symptoms, which the prescription versions do not.

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In brief: Nasal sprays not OTC

For seasonal allergies, the most effective options are the steroid or antihistamine nasal sprays, available by prescription.
Not only do they work the best, but they are technically local therapy as negligible amounts enter the bloodstream. The OTC nasal sprays can cause rebound symptoms, which the prescription versions do not. Speak to Dr. Dean Giannone now ›
3 comments
Dr. Jason Campbell
Excellent recommendation! While OTC oral antihistamines are cheaper and do not require prescription, nasal corticosteroid sprays are really optimum treatment when used regularly and correctly. I personally have used Flonase and others over the past 16 years with great success. For Flonase, approximately 2% bioavailability for the 4 x 50mcg sprays per day leaves an almost negligible systemic effect. Thanks - Great Answer!
Dr. Kathy Robinson
I agree, but nasal saline which is an over the counter spray has no side effects and can be very helpful when added to the other medications.
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Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine , 17 years in practice
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: Avoidance & Meds

The most common nasal allergies are best treated by avoiding the trigger, and using prescription antihistamine or steroid nasal spray when needed.
Over the counter allergy pills (allegra, zyrtec) can be helpful too. Avoid afrin (metolazone) decongestant spray (stops working and causes rebound after 2 days). Ongoing bothersome allergies can be treated with a long series of desensitization shots.

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In brief: Avoidance & Meds

The most common nasal allergies are best treated by avoiding the trigger, and using prescription antihistamine or steroid nasal spray when needed.
Over the counter allergy pills (allegra, zyrtec) can be helpful too. Avoid afrin (metolazone) decongestant spray (stops working and causes rebound after 2 days). Ongoing bothersome allergies can be treated with a long series of desensitization shots. Would you like to talk to Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge now? ›
1 comment
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
The desensitization shots for chronic allergies are typically once or twice a week for a yr or more.
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Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine , 33 years in practice
Dr. Tasleyma Sattar
Family Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: Avoidance/Medication

When targeting allergies, it is important to know what allergens are causing your symptoms.
One of the first steps is to get tested. Treatment is based on two principles: 1. Avoidance - if you are allergic to molds, dust mites, etc then thorough cleaning, pillow/mattress covers, vacuuming regularly, changing air filters, etc 2. Medication - nasal saline, antihistamines or prescribed nasal steroids.

See Dr. Tasleyma Sattar now ›

In brief: Avoidance/Medication

When targeting allergies, it is important to know what allergens are causing your symptoms.
One of the first steps is to get tested. Treatment is based on two principles: 1. Avoidance - if you are allergic to molds, dust mites, etc then thorough cleaning, pillow/mattress covers, vacuuming regularly, changing air filters, etc 2. Medication - nasal saline, antihistamines or prescribed nasal steroids. See Dr. Tasleyma Sattar now ›
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Dr. Tasleyma Sattar
Family Medicine
Dr. Steven Machtinger
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
3 doctors agree

In brief: OTC antihistamines

Otc antihistamines (fexofenadine, loratidine, cetirizine) give the most bang for the buck.
Reasonably effective, quite safe, not too costly. For eyes ketotifen is best otc choice. Keep it cool in frig for comfort. Dust mite allergy - encase pillow, mattress & comforter. Remove carpeting. Molds - control indoor moisture. Pollen - close windows, do outdoor stuff in am. Exile pets & smokers.

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In brief: OTC antihistamines

Otc antihistamines (fexofenadine, loratidine, cetirizine) give the most bang for the buck.
Reasonably effective, quite safe, not too costly. For eyes ketotifen is best otc choice. Keep it cool in frig for comfort. Dust mite allergy - encase pillow, mattress & comforter. Remove carpeting. Molds - control indoor moisture. Pollen - close windows, do outdoor stuff in am. Exile pets & smokers. Chat with a doctor now ›
1 comment
Dr. Jason Campbell
Thanks - great recommendations! The newer pillow case enclosures are both cheaper and much more fabric-like than those of the past. I remember taking my vinyl-like pillow case cover off every night growing up - to my mom's frustration.
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Dr. Steven Machtinger
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology , 36 years in practice
Dr. Michael Carson
Internal Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: Over the counter

Avoidance is important, but common spring/fall allergies it's reasonable to try medications available at your pharmacy and reserve major testing and weekly treatments for patients who don't respond to these simple measures.
Fexofenadine (allegra), loratidine (claritin), and cetrizine (zyrtec) are good choices. Nasal saline spray can help. Avoid decongestants (neo-synephrine and afrin).

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In brief: Over the counter

Avoidance is important, but common spring/fall allergies it's reasonable to try medications available at your pharmacy and reserve major testing and weekly treatments for patients who don't respond to these simple measures.
Fexofenadine (allegra), loratidine (claritin), and cetrizine (zyrtec) are good choices. Nasal saline spray can help. Avoid decongestants (neo-synephrine and afrin). Would you like a more personalized answer to your question? ›
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Dr. Michael Carson
Internal Medicine , 21 years in practice
Dr. Yoram Padeh
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Allergy shots

Allergy shots build a tolerance in the body to the allergens so that they no longer cause allergy symptoms in about 85% of patients, and the effect can last up to 20 years or longer. Shots must be taken for a total of 3-5 years or the effects may fade after only 1 or 2 years.
Shots have a small risk of allergic reactions and therefore must be given and monitored by a physician.

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In brief: Allergy shots

Allergy shots build a tolerance in the body to the allergens so that they no longer cause allergy symptoms in about 85% of patients, and the effect can last up to 20 years or longer. Shots must be taken for a total of 3-5 years or the effects may fade after only 1 or 2 years.
Shots have a small risk of allergic reactions and therefore must be given and monitored by a physician. Talk to a doctor for a more personalized answer ›
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Dr. Yoram Padeh
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology , 14 years in practice
Dr. Kenneth Cheng
Family Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Dust mite pillowcase

Over 95% of my allergy patients find benefit by using a dust mite (plastic or vinyl) pillow case.
This is placed between your pillow and your cloth pillow case. Add additional cloth pillow cases if you find it uncomfortable with just one pillow case. This will help you avoid one of the most common allergens that humans are exposed to.

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In brief: Dust mite pillowcase

Over 95% of my allergy patients find benefit by using a dust mite (plastic or vinyl) pillow case.
This is placed between your pillow and your cloth pillow case. Add additional cloth pillow cases if you find it uncomfortable with just one pillow case. This will help you avoid one of the most common allergens that humans are exposed to. Get an answer that is personalized to you ›
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Dr. Kenneth Cheng
Family Medicine , 23 years in practice
Dr. Cynthia Point
Internal Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: It depends

It depends on what is causing the allergies.
It you are allergic to airborne pollens, like grass and trees, try to avoid spending a lot of time outdoors when the counts are high. If you are allergic to cats, avoid having one in your home. If the allergy is to foods, don't eat them. Antihistamines which you can buy over the counter help with itchy eyes and runny noses, as well as sneezing.

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In brief: It depends

It depends on what is causing the allergies.
It you are allergic to airborne pollens, like grass and trees, try to avoid spending a lot of time outdoors when the counts are high. If you are allergic to cats, avoid having one in your home. If the allergy is to foods, don't eat them. Antihistamines which you can buy over the counter help with itchy eyes and runny noses, as well as sneezing. Connect with a doctor for a more personalized answer ›
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Dr. Cynthia Point
Internal Medicine
Dr. Andrew Carroll
Family Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Over the counter

Try the over the counter medications first.
Cetirizine and Loratadine are two of the most commonly used, and fexofenadine is the newest on the over the counter market. These do not tend to cause drowsiness. The best treatment is the avoidance of the allergen.

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In brief: Over the counter

Try the over the counter medications first.
Cetirizine and Loratadine are two of the most commonly used, and fexofenadine is the newest on the over the counter market. These do not tend to cause drowsiness. The best treatment is the avoidance of the allergen. A doctor will see you now ›
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Dr. Andrew Carroll
Family Medicine , 17 years in practice
Dr. Seema Patel
Holistic Medicine

In brief: Depends

Over the counter you can use the antihistamines if that does not work you can get a prescription for nasal steroids or singular. Natural ways to try are using quercetin, probiotics and avoiding any food allergies.

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In brief: Depends

Over the counter you can use the antihistamines if that does not work you can get a prescription for nasal steroids or singular. Natural ways to try are using quercetin, probiotics and avoiding any food allergies. Talk to a doctor for a more personalized answer ›
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Dr. Seema Patel
Holistic Medicine , 19 years in practice
Dr. Jason Campbell
Family Medicine

In brief: Numerous Options

Since in broad terms an allergy is the body's response to something determined to be foreign or unwanted, treatment usually is divided into either 1) avoidance of allergen or 2) medications to limit the body's response (sneezing, cough, congestion, etc).
Options to limit response include antihistamines, nasal corticosteroid sprays, nasal saline rinse, singulair, (montelukast) and allergy shots.

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In brief: Numerous Options

Since in broad terms an allergy is the body's response to something determined to be foreign or unwanted, treatment usually is divided into either 1) avoidance of allergen or 2) medications to limit the body's response (sneezing, cough, congestion, etc).
Options to limit response include antihistamines, nasal corticosteroid sprays, nasal saline rinse, singulair, (montelukast) and allergy shots. Get help now ›
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Dr. Jason Campbell
Family Medicine , 8 years in practice
Dr. Eulogio Galvez
General Practice

In brief: Specify

Specify allergy from what.

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In brief: Specify

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Dr. Eulogio Galvez
General Practice
Dr. Theodore Cole
Family Medicine

In brief: Eliminate them

My focus is always on treating the cause.
I suggest two therapies to resolve allergies: lda (low dose antigen) and srt (sensitivity removal technique). Both have the ability to normalize the immune system to reverse allergies. They are effective for all allergens, including inhalants, chemicals and foods. In the meantime, OTC medications and herbal/homeopathic remedies can help control symptoms.

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In brief: Eliminate them

My focus is always on treating the cause.
I suggest two therapies to resolve allergies: lda (low dose antigen) and srt (sensitivity removal technique). Both have the ability to normalize the immune system to reverse allergies. They are effective for all allergens, including inhalants, chemicals and foods. In the meantime, OTC medications and herbal/homeopathic remedies can help control symptoms. Engage with a doctor for a more personalized answer ›
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Dr. Theodore Cole
Family Medicine
Dr. Latisha Smith
Wound care

In brief: Allergy shots

For allergy symptoms that do not improve with oral or nasal treatments then desensitization with allergy shots will resolve the condition.
Allergy shots contain dilute concentrations of the pollens causing the syptoms. They are given once or twice weekly for approximately 1 year.

Get an answer that is personalized to you ›

In brief: Allergy shots

For allergy symptoms that do not improve with oral or nasal treatments then desensitization with allergy shots will resolve the condition.
Allergy shots contain dilute concentrations of the pollens causing the syptoms. They are given once or twice weekly for approximately 1 year. Get an answer that is personalized to you ›
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Dr. Latisha Smith
Wound care , 30 years in practice
Dr. Latisha Smith
Wound care

In brief: Nasal antihistamine

When allergy symptoms are caused by various plant pollens, the most commom treatments are antihistamine pills, antihistamine nasal spray and corticosteroid nasal spray.
The antihistamine and corticosteroid sprays are by prescription only but tend to be more effective than the pills because the medicine is being put where the problem starts- right in the nose.

Talk to a real doctor now ›

In brief: Nasal antihistamine

When allergy symptoms are caused by various plant pollens, the most commom treatments are antihistamine pills, antihistamine nasal spray and corticosteroid nasal spray.
The antihistamine and corticosteroid sprays are by prescription only but tend to be more effective than the pills because the medicine is being put where the problem starts- right in the nose. Talk to a real doctor now ›
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Dr. Latisha Smith
Wound care , 30 years in practice
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Dr. Arnon Rubin
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
20 years in practice
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