It’s spring-time again and all across the country, people with allergies are sniffling, sneezing, and generally suffering from a surfeit of spring allergies. This year, Michael W. Smith, MD, chief medical editor at WebMD, sat down with nationally acclaimed allergist Jordan S. Josephson, MD, to get the latest news on causes, treatments, and home remedies for allergic reactions. Josephson, author of the recently published Sinus Relief Now: The Groundbreaking 5-Step Program for Sinus, Allergy, and Asthma...
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.
It takes a while, though. Things will probably get better within a week or two. But 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.