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Allergies Health Center

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Fall Allergies

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How Can I Treat My Allergies?

There are many medications you can use:

  • Steroid nasal sprays – reduce inflammation in your nose
  • Antihistamines – help stop sneezing, sniffling, and itching
  • Decongestants – help relieve stuffiness and dry up the mucus in of your nose
  • Antihistamine eye drops
  • Immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots or oral tablets or drops

You can buy some allergy medications without a prescription, but it's a good idea to talk to your doctor to make sure you choose the right one. Decongestant nasal sprays, for example, should only be used for three days. If you use them longer, you may actually get more congested. And if you have high blood pressure, some allergy drugs may not be right for you.

Tips to Manage Symptoms

  • Stay indoors with the doors and windows closed when pollen is at its peak (usually in the late morning or midday). Check pollen counts in your area.
  • Before you turn on your heat for the first time, clean your heating vents and change the filter. Bits of mold and other allergens can get trapped in the vents over the summer and will fill the air as soon as you start the furnace.
  • Use a HEPA filter in your heating system to remove pollen, mold, and other particles from the air.
  • Use a dehumidifier if you need to, to keep your air at between 35% and 50% humidity.
  • Wear a mask when you rake leaves so you don't breathe in mold spores.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on December 02, 2014
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