Allergies affect more than 50 million people in the United States -- the poor souls who sniffle, sneeze, and get all clogged up when face to face with the allergen (or allergens) that set them off.
For many, allergies are seasonal and mild, requiring nothing more than getting extra tissue or taking a decongestant occasionally. For others, the allergy is to a known food, and as long as they avoid the food, no problem.
But for legions of others adults, allergies are so severe it interferes with...
These rarely have side effects except for maybe an irritated nose or a bitter taste in your mouth. You can try a moisturizing nasal gel after you use the spray or switch to a different type if your nose gets irritated. Talk to your doctor if they bother you.
Saline spray. Salt water sprays can ease stuffiness and loosen mucus. You can buy them over-the-counter. They don't have medication in them, just water and salt.
They may start to work right away. But for some people, it can take 1-2 weeks before they help you feel better. To help them work their best, use them every day.
Antihistamine spray. These prescription sprays usually work within minutes and can ease postnasal drip, congestion, and sneezing. You can use them every day or just when you have symptoms.
Decongestant spray. These prescription and nonprescription sprays can help unclog stuffy noses. Don't use them for more than 3 days or your stuffiness could get worse.
Cromolyn sodium spray. These nonprescription sprays (such as Nasalcrom) help prevent allergy symptoms. They calm some of the body's reaction to allergens. You usually have to use them for a few days before they start to work.
Anticholinergic spray. Often used together with antihistamines, this spray (Atrovent) is used to treat clear, runny noses.
You may want to try these on their own or with a nasal spray to get allergy relief.
Antihistamines. Prescription and nonprescription antihistamines can help if you sneeze, itch, and have a runny nose. But they don't ease congestion. Newer prescription antihistamines are less likely to make you drowsy. Sometimes your doctor will suggest these together with a decongestant and maybe a steroid nasal spray.
Decongestants. They shrink swollen nasal tissues and relieve stuffy noses. Decongestants don't usually work as quickly in pill form as they do in sprays.