The main treatments for allergic rhinitis are avoiding allergens, managing symptoms with medicine and other home treatment, and, in some cases, getting allergy shots (immunotherapy). How often you need treatment depends on how often you have symptoms.
It is important to avoid
allergens that are causing your symptoms. By doing this, you may be able to
reduce your allergy symptoms and manage them without medicine or with fewer
You may need to clean your house often to get rid of dust,
animal dander, or molds. Or you may need to stay indoors when pollen counts are
For more information on how to avoid and control allergens,
see Home Treatment.
Taking medicines and doing other home treatments can help you manage your symptoms. For example, you may start taking over-the-counter medicines. These include
decongestants, and eyedrops. Or your doctor may prescribe stronger types of these medicines. You can do other things at home to help your symptoms, such as cleaning your nasal passages.
To learn more about managing your symptoms, see Medications and Home Treatment.
Think about allergy shots
If medicines don't help your symptoms or if they cause bad
side effects, your doctor may suggest allergy shots (immunotherapy).
These are small doses of allergens that your doctor injects under your
skin. They help your body "get used to" the allergen, so you may have fewer or
less severe symptoms. For more information, see:
- Allergies: Should I Take Allergy Shots?
Know when surgery is or isn't needed
Sometimes people need surgery to fix a problem that makes treating allergies harder. You and your doctor should not consider
surgery unless other treatments have failed.
To learn when surgery may be needed, see Surgery.
Treatment for children
Treatment for children who have allergic rhinitis is
much the same as for adults who have allergies. Treating children with medicine
may be more difficult because of the possible side effects. Some medicines also
may not be approved to treat children.