BY: y. sMITTY
The air is cooler and crisp. The leaves are changing and the time will be changing soon as well. With the pleasant relief from the summer heat we are now in the season of the dreadful weed allergies - ragweed, tumbleweed and pigweed. If you find you are one of the millions of people in America who suffer from allergies to pollen this time of year could make you miserable. There are OTC (over the counter) relief aids that could help get through the season.
Types of OTC relief aids for colds & allergies
Antihistamines - Look for active ingredients like cetirizine (found in Zyretec), loratadine (Claritin), fexofenadine (Allegra) are meds you can take that will not make you drowsy. If you are able to get some sleep you can consider Benadryl (diphenhydramine) or chlorpheniramine which is found in Chlor-Trimeton.
Antihistamines block the histamine in the body, which is what makes you have the stuffy or runny nose, itchy, watery, scratchy eyes.
Decongestants - If you find you are congested look for allergy medications that have a “D” following the name such as Allegra D or Zyrtec D. The D is pseudoephedrine, used to treat congestion.
Decongestants shrink the blood vessels in the lining of the nose which are swollen when you are congested. If you have high blood pressure pseudoephedrine can raise your blood pressure, as well as give you a rapid heartbeat. As with any medication, always consult your physician before taking medications especially if you suffer from other medical conditions.
Nasal sprays - a steroid nasal spray is a defense against allergies. They decrease the inflammation that underlies all allergy symptoms. Sprays such as Nasonex and Flonase are only by prescription, although you can get sprays like Nasacort OTC.
Nasal sprays should be taken prior to the start of allergy season. Typically you spray it once per day but it is slow to act. It might take a few days to feel better.
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