Medical Report: How to treat allergies - New York News

Medical Report: How to treat allergies

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Are you sniffling and sneezing and wondering what the problem is? It could very well be allergies.

Figuring out how to treat your symptoms can get overwhelming when you're in the drug store.  

The first step is to figure out whether it's a cold or allergies. The biggest clue: allergies normally are not accompanied by a fever.       

If your symptoms come back at the same time every year, it's probably allergies.   

How do you treat those miserable symptoms?

Experts say the first thing you should do is try a nasal saline rinse.

There's no medication in it and it could clear up your symptoms.            

However, if your sniffles and itchy, watery eyes are still too much to bear, an allergist explains how the many medications on your drug store shelves can help.  

"As far as over the counter antihistamines, things like Allegra, Zyrtec, and Claritin are available - Benedryl as well. Those take more immediate effect, but they only address itchiness," said Dr. Christian Nageotte, with Allergy & Immunology at Henry Ford Hospital.

"There are some eye drops which are available like Zatator, and that's very effective in treating itchy, watery eyes."

Antihistamines come with an option of having a decongestant added.

Decongestants help many people, but they can have side-effects like insomnia, appetite-suppression, and  jitteriness or drowsiness.

When is it time to get your allergies treated by a doctor?

When over-the-counter drugs aren't helping, if your symptoms, like runny nose, cough or watery eyes, last for more than two weeks, when your symptoms get in the way of your life, if you can't sleep well or can't function at work or school or if you have serious symptoms like wheezing, shortness of breath, or tightness in your chest.

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