How Are Summer Allergies Treated? continued...
If over-the-counter remedies don’t help, your doctor may recommend a prescription medication:
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs) such as Singulair
- Atrovent (ipratropium bromide) nasal spray
- Immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots or oral tablets or drops
To treat insect stings or bites:
- For a severe allergic reaction, use an epinephrine injection kit if you have it, and call 911 immediately. Always carry two kits with you if you're at risk for a severe allergic reaction.
- For ordinary reactions, apply ice to the bite area to reduce swelling. For stings you should remove the stinger.
- Try a pain reliever, such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil, Motrin (ibuprofen).
- Use a topical cream, such as hydrocortisone, to ease pain and itching. Calamine creams also help with itching.
- Use oral antihistamines (Allegra, Benadryl, Claritin, or Zyrtec) for itching.
How to Deal With Summer Allergies
Here are tips to help you avoid summer allergy triggers.
- Try to stay indoors whenever the pollen count is high.
- Keep your doors and windows closed whenever possible to keep allergens out. Use an air purifier.
- Clean air filters in your home often. Clean bookshelves, vents, and other places where pollen can collect.
- Wash bedding and rugs in hot water to eliminate dust mites and other allergens.
- Wash your hair, shower, and change clothing after going outside to wash away pollen.
- Vacuum often. Wear a mask, because vacuuming can kick up pollen, mold, and dust trapped in your carpet. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
- Wear a mask when you mow your lawn to avoid grass pollen.
- Keep the humidity in your house between 30% and 50% to prevent the growth of dust mites.