If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from allergies, you know how miserable they can be. Sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes – not to mention the fatigue that often comes with them. Fortunately, there are a number of over-the-counter medications available to help ease your symptoms.
From the perspective of the top drugstore in Lexington, SC, in this blog post, we’ll discuss what you need to know about allergies and over-the-counter medications. We’ll also provide a list of our most popular allergy medications and offer tips for choosing the right medication for your needs.
What Exactly Are Allergies and What Are the Most Common Symptoms?
Allergies are an overreaction of the body’s immune system when it is exposed to a particular substance, known as an allergen. This results in a whole range of reactions including physical (such as sneezing and skin irritation) as well as psychological symptoms like mood swings, irritability and anxiety.
The most common symptoms associated with allergies include coughing, itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, hives and swelling. Allergies can either be triggered by environmental factors or agents in food or medicine; the primary symptom being an inflammatory process that produces mucus. Other symptoms may include asthma-like attacks caused by inflammation of the airways during an allergic reaction.
Some people find that certain activities such as exercise can also trigger off an allergic reaction in them. Any reaction brought on by allergies can cause a lot of discomfort for sufferers, so it’s important to take steps to reduce your exposure to allergens if you have recurring allergy symptoms.
How Can You Tell if You Have a Cold or Allergies?
Differentiating between a cold and allergies can be tricky as the symptoms of each type of illness are similar. To determine whether you have a cold or allergies, think about how quickly your symptoms appeared. If the onset was abrupt and accompanied with a fever, it is most likely a cold.
For allergies, the symptoms typically appear gradually over an extended period of time and are not accompanied by a fever. Additionally, typical cold symptom like aches and pains will generally not occur during an allergic reaction. Over-the-counter medications can treat both illnesses but many of the treatments vary in their ingredients.
Colds often yield to decongestants or acetaminophen while hay fever or allergic rhinitis may require antihistamines to alleviate symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes. As always, it is best to consult your doctor before beginning any sort of treatment regimen for colds or allergies.
What Are The Best Over-The-Counter Allergy Medications?
Over-the-counter allergy medications are a great way to combat the pesky symptoms associated with allergies. Antihistamines block histamine, which is released when your body perceives an allergen, causing sneezing, itchy eyes and congestion. Decongestants reduce swelling in the nasal passage, relieving stuffiness caused by seasonal allergies.
Low-dose corticosteroids provide relief from nasal congestion and itching of the throat, nose and sinuses. Lastly, cromolyn sodium is a nasal spray that may help prevent flare-ups of allergic rhinitis before they start by blocking the release of histamine and other allergic chemicals in your body.
These medications can help provide relief without having to visit your healthcare professional and can be purchased at just about any pharmacy in Lexington, SC, or a local grocery store.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Taking Over-the-Counter Allergy Medications?
Although generally safe and effective, taking over-the-counter allergy medications for a prolonged period of time can lead to serious health complications. Side effects may include drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea so it is important to follow the directions on the drug label.
Additionally, certain antihistamines may interact with other drugs or supplements so it is important to consult your doctor before taking any new medication. Lastly, drug labels should be read carefully and any questions you might have regarding the drug’s use or potential side effects should be addressed with a qualified healthcare professional.
Allergies can cause a lot of discomfort and distress. Thankfully, there are over-the-counter medications available to help alleviate the symptoms associated with allergies. Before taking any drug for allergies, be sure to read the drug labels carefully and consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about potential side effects or drug interactions.
As the top drugstore in Lexington, SC, our knowledgeable pharmacists can help answer any questions you may have and find the best drug treatment for your allergies.
If you’re suffering from seasonal allergies, contact us today and let us help you get the relief you need.