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    Allergies Health Center

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    9 FAQs About Allergy Relief

    1. What will my doctor do to help my allergies?

    First she'll figure out what you’re allergic to.

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    She'll examine you and ask for your medical history and your family’s allergy history. Then she may do a series of skin or blood tests to see what you have a reaction to. That’ll help decide which treatment you should take.

    Or she may suggest a medicine that can help no matter what you're allergic to. They can often help with reactions to pollen, dust, perfumes, plants, or animal dander.

    2. How do steroid nasal sprays work?

    With allergies, your nasal passages and sinuses get inflamed when you come in contact with things like pollen, animal dander, or dust mites. These sprays can make you start to feel better and are often the first treatment recommended by doctors.

    Nasal steroid sprays start working within a few hours but may take several days or weeks to take full effect. Make sure you use it every day.

    3. Do allergy shots work?

    Yes, over time. They help if you’re allergic to pet dander, pollen, dust mites, certain molds, and bee stings. They work by injecting a tiny amount of what you’re allergic to under your skin.

    At first, you’ll get shots once or twice a week. That will change to about once a month for some time. Gradually, your body gets used to what you’re allergic to and you start to feel better.

    The FDA has also approved three under-the-tongue tablets you can take at home. The prescription tablets, called Grastek, Oralair, and Ragwitek, help with hay fever. They work the same way as shots -- by boosting your tolerance of what you’re allergic to.

    4. What other medicines help?

    Antihistamines and decongestants can make you less stuffy.

    Antihistamines help sneezing, itching, congestion, and runny nose. Decongestants shrink blood vessels and keep fluid from leaking into the lining of your nose.

    Some medicines combine both types. Read the label to understand the side effects. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns.

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