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Summer Allergies


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.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on October 31, 2012
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