Spring Allergy Relief Can Be Hard to Find
Survey Shows Most Americans Have Limited Success From Common Treatments
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Looking for Allergy Relief
The results showed avoidance was the most popular type of treatment tried
(74%), followed by over-the-counter medicines (70%) and prescription drugs
Avoiding pollen and other allergens isn't always easy though. Researchers
found only one in five respondents was highly satisfied with the avoidance
measures they tried, such as staying inside with the air conditioner on and
doing outdoor activities on low-pollen days. But when these tactics worked,
they were more effective than taking over-the-counter medications.
Researchers say staying inside is most important between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.,
when allergen levels are highest. If the air conditioner is on, it should be
set to recirculate to reduce the amount of allergens entering the system.
The average number of allergy medicines used by the participants was three;
26% of respondents said they took five or more medications to treat their
Nearly two-thirds who used prescription or over-the-counter medicines
reported at least one side effect, such as drowsiness and dry mouth. Side
effect frequency was similar among the two groups -- 64% of those using
over-the counter medications and 65% of those taking prescription medication
experienced side effects.
Those who had discussed their seasonal allergies with a doctor were much
more likely to have taken a prescription allergy medication (84% vs. 48%). They
were also more likely to have found a highly satisfactory prescription
medication or avoidance measure to relieve their allergy symptoms.
The most popular prescription medications mentioned in the survey were
steroid nasal sprays, such as Flonase and Nasonex, and the
The over-the-counter allergy medications taken most often by people with
spring allergies were the antihistamines Benadryl Allergy, Claritin, and
Zyrtec, and the decongestant Sudafed.