Years ago, when I first started treating allergies, almost all the medications that we used were only available by prescription. Now that has dramatically changed.
Antihistamines such as Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra and Xyzal are all otc (over the counter) and readily available in generic forms. Intra corticosteroid nasal sprays such as Flonse, Nasacort and Rhinocort are also all available otc. Really the only medication that remains by prescription is Singular (montelukast). This medication was originally approved for asthma and is now available in a generic form with an indication for allergies.
When people come to see me, they have almost always “tried everything” otc before doing so. This has narrowed down the time frame of getting allergy symptoms under control as the “trial and error” of using the medications above has already been done. What people sometimes forget is how important environmental control is in helping their allergy symptoms.
I always discuss with my client’s mattress and pillow encasements with dust mite allergy. This single, cheap, easy task can dramatically improve morning symptoms of congestion, headache etc. These encasements can be found at any home goods store as well as on the internet on multiple sites. There have been times where the ONLY thing that a client has done is put these encasements on their pillows and mattresses/box springs and their symptoms are eliminated.
For pollen, keeping windows down at home and up while you are in the car prevents a lot of pollen spores in the air. Using a HEPA filter in the bedroom is another way to decrease irritants in the air. Don’t forget that while we want everyone to enjoy being outdoors as much as possible, when you come back inside immediately shower, wash your hair and change your clothes. Leave your shoes outside in the garage and always wash your hands after putting your shoes on before touching your face/eyes.
Nasal washing also is a cheap and easy way to eliminate irritants that lead to allergy symptoms.