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Allergies Health Center

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4 Reasons Your Allergies Aren't Improving

Hounded by allergies? Find out what the problem might be.

Reason #2: Medication Mistakes

One of the biggest mistakes people make with their allergy medicine is simply forgetting to take it. To prevent this common problem, Zitt simplifies medication therapy when possible and has his patients link the time they take it to another activity to help them remember. For instance, he tells the patient to take a nighttime dose before brushing their teeth and put a morning medication by their alarm clock.

Taking medicine properly is another challenge. And even little mistakes can make a difference.

For example, the most potent medications used for nasal allergies are intranasal steroid sprays, Zitt says. If used incorrectly or sprayed at the wrong angle, however, they can be rendered ineffective. The same goes for inhalers, which have to be activated and used properly.

The fix: Take all medicines exactly as directed. Some must be taken daily or they aren't effective. Others should be used regularly when exposure to an allergen becomes chronic, like visiting a relative with a cat, and allergy shots must be received as scheduled.

Read the directions carefully before use. If a medication doesn't work like it is supposed to, or if you're experiencing side effects, tell your doctor exactly how you are using it and what you're experiencing. Also, make sure you can tolerate the results and have appropriate expectations. Some patients will take an intranasal steroid for two or three days, get no relief, and stop usage even though it may take up to two weeks to reduce symptoms, Zitt says.

If cost keeps you from taking your medicine promptly, talk with your doctor about it. Samples, lower-cost medications, and sticking with the drugs covered by your insurance may help.

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