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Allergic Rhinitis - Home Treatment

Allergic rhinitis is a long-term problem. It takes time and effort to control allergies through home treatment. But home treatment is one of the best things you can do to help your allergies.

Avoid allergens

If you can avoid or reduce your contact with allergens, you may be able to reduce your allergy symptoms and manage them without medicine or with fewer medicines. Controlling your contact with allergens and reducing your symptoms may also make it less likely you will develop complications such as sinusitis. You do this by:

For more information, see:

actionset.gif Allergies: Avoiding Indoor Triggers.
actionset.gif Allergies: Avoiding Outdoor Triggers.

Manage symptoms

If avoiding allergens doesn't help your symptoms or is not possible:

  • You may try taking over-the-counter allergy medicines to relieve symptoms. These medicines include chlorpheniramine (such as Chlor-Trimeton), diphenhydramine (such as Benadryl), and loratadine (such as Claritin). Don't give antihistamines to your child unless you've checked with the doctor first.
  • You can treat a stuffy nose by using decongestants or cleaning your nasal passages with saline solution (salt water). Before you give a decongestant to a child, check the label. These medicines may not be safe for young children or for people who have certain health problems.
  • You may be able to prevent or manage mild sinus infections by using a humidifier in your home, drinking plenty of liquids, and avoiding tobacco smoke.

It is helpful to track your symptoms and how they affect you. For example, do your symptoms keep you from sleeping, make it hard to concentrate, or make you sleepy? Also track your allergens and how long after exposure to them you start to have symptoms. This information will help your doctor prevent and treat the problem. You can keep a symptom diary(What is a PDF document?) to track this information.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 30, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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