Imagine trying to catch your trophy while your fishing buddy is sneezing excessively. Goodbye, fish! Seasonal allergies can cause airway irritation that could be as minor as an occasional sneeze to a serious life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. It is estimated that one in four Americans suffer from allergies.
Fortunately, most of these people with allergies fall into the mild-to-moderate category which can easily be controlled with medications available over the counter. Some of these medications are called antihistamines--Claritin, Zyrtec and Allegra, to name a few. Another class of medications are topical steroid nasal sprays such as Flonase, Nasacort and Rhinocort.
While these medications help to minimize allergy symptoms, if a person with allergies becomes overloaded with allergy exposures, these medications may not be enough.
At Sinus and Allergy Wellness Center, we help our patients live their best life and provide alternative medications that you can easily obtain and use as needed in a boat, on a beach, or while wading in a stream!
When outdoor pollen levels are high, it is common for excessive mucous membrane irritation to occur. This extra allergy exposure can lead to eye tearing/itching, nasal congestion, watery drainage, headache, cough, and sneezing. It’s best for those with allergies to use a daily antihistamine and a nasal steroid spray during allergy season.
We recommend following these steps to feel better quickly.*
First, when allergy symptoms are present, it’s because there is added inflammation. Therefore, an anti-inflammatory medication like Ibuprofen can be helpful and will make you feel better quickly. This medication will help reduce all allergy symptoms.
Secondly, for nasal congestion, we recommend a fast-acting nasal decongestant spray called oxymetazoline, or Afrin. This spray cannot be used beyond 3-5 consecutive days, however.
Third, consider saline nasal spray. This spray will help to clean out your nose, removing excessive pollen before it adds to your allergy troubles.
The fourth option would be Benadryl (or Diphenhydramine.) This is a fast-acting antihistamine to help stop an allergy reaction. This medication will probably make you drowsy so be careful if you take it.
Finally, a cough medicine like Robitussin DM may be helpful. This medication will help quiet that cough.
Should you take all of these medications? That is usually not necessary. Most people will take a dose of Ibuprofen and use the saline nasal spray to rinse out the nose. The Ibuprofen will take 15-30 minutes to work.
If congestion is the problem, the Afrin nasal spray may be the only medication needed. If you begin coughing, use the Robitussin DM. Some healthcare providers might say Benadryl first, but because of the sedation potential, we typically recommend this last.
Don’t let allergies ruin your fishing trip, be prepared. Happy catching!
*If you have severe allergies or asthma, consult your health care provider for appropriate medications, guidance, and recommendations for outdoor activities. This blog is meant for non-urgent/non-emergency allergy situations and is to be used as a guide only.
If you suffer from allergies, call us at 480-498-8092. We have offices in Fountain Hills and Scottsdale, Arizona. Or, schedule an appointment online by visiting our Scottsdale Sinus and Allergy website at https://www.sinusandallergywellnesscenter.com/
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