The Season for Sneezing

It's that time of year all over again. The pollen count is high and the winds are changing daily. The cool air is starting to stay longer, but we have yet to have a good freeze.

Allergy sufferers dread this time of the year! The itchy eyes, runny nose, cough, congestion, drainage, fatigue are just some of the symptoms people are complaining of and I should know because I have allergies too.

Fortunately, there are many treatments available over the counter. The non-sedating antihistamines such as Claritin, Allegra, and Zyrtec were at one time available by prescription only. They now are OTC and have generic equivalents available for a fraction of the cost. Many people can treat their symptoms with these medications and do well. Others need more help and recently two of the prescription nasal steroids went OTC, Nasocort and Flonase. They do not have generics but are usually available for around 20 dollars a month. They do have competitors that are available with a prescription, but they do not offer any tremendous advantages over what you can purchase OTC.

I often recommend saline nasal sprays to help clean out your sinuses. It is especially useful if used right after coming in from being outdoors. Some patients use colloidal silver rinses and report good results.

Benadryl has been the gold standard and is what most things are compared to. One of the main problems with Benadryl is that it is sedating. It is what is in several OTC sleep aids.

Hang in there, all those who are suffering with allergies! We are going to have freeze soon and the pollen counts and other allergens will start to decline. Now if you suffer from allergies year around, you might consider getting skin testing to see what it is you are allergic to. The best treatment is to avoid those things.