How Are Allergies Diagnosed and Treated?
What Works Best for Specific Allergies? continued...
Respiratory allergies: Doctors treat allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, with corticosteroid sprays. They work well over the long term, but you have to take them regularly. Two kinds, triamcinolone and fluticasone, are available over the counter.
Pills like over-the-counter loratadine work, but might make you drowsy. You can also take a once-a-day med called a leukotriene receptor antagonist.
Allergy shots work well after the first year. Another treatment that gives you a bit of the allergen is available in tablets that dissolve under your tongue.
: Your best bet is to stay away from the problem food. If your reaction is mild -- the food makes you itch or makes your eyes water -- antihistamines or topical creams might be all you need. If you’re highly allergic and likely to go into anaphylactic shock, your doctor will prescribe an emergency kit and show you how to use it. Keep two with you at all times if your doctor prescribes them. It contains a preloaded epinephrine shot. If you think you're having an emergency, don’t wait to take it. Then call 911.
Drug allergies: If you’re allergic to medications, wear a MedicAlert bracelet. Always discuss this allergy with doctors when they give you a new prescription. Some skin rashes caused by drug allergies respond to antihistamines. Others require steroids you take by mouth or rub onto your skin. An allergy specialist can help you get used to some antibiotics.
Insect sting allergies
: Again, the best thing is to do what you can to avoid getting stung. But allergy shots can make a reaction less severe. If you’re highly allergic and anaphylaxis is a possibility, your doctor will prescribe an emergency kit with an epinephrine shot. Carry two with you at all times if your doctor prescribes them. Use one in case of an emergency, then call 911.