Hay fever; Nasal congestion - allergies
If rhinitis symptoms are caused by non-allergic conditions, particularly if there are accompanying symptoms indicating a serious problem, the doctor should treat any underlying disorders. If rhinitis is caused by medications, such as decongestants, the patient may need to stop taking them or find alternatives.
A variety of items must be considered in selecting a treatment approach. These include:
Patients with allergic rhinitis have a variety of treatment options available to them:
All drug treatments have side effects, some very unpleasant and, in rare cases, serious. Patients may need to try different drugs until they find one that relieves symptoms without producing excessively distressing side effects.
Because seasonal allergies generally last only a few weeks, most doctors do not recommend the stronger prescription treatments for children.
Treating Mild Allergy Attacks. Treating mild allergy attacks usually involves little more than reducing exposure to allergens and using a nasal wash. Dozens of treatments are available for allergic rhinitis. Many are available over-the-counter, but some require a prescription. They include:
Treating Moderate-to-Severe Allergic Rhinitis. Patients with chronic allergic rhinitis or those who have bothersome symptoms that active during most of the year (particularly if they also have asthma) may require daily medications. These drugs include:
For mild allergic rhinitis, a nasal wash can be helpful for removing mucus from the nose. You can purchase a saline solution at a drug store or make one at home (2 cups of warm water, a teaspoon salt, pinch of baking soda). Over-the-counter saline nasal sprays that contain benzalkonium chloride as a preservative may actually worsen symptoms and infection.
Simple method for administering a nasal wash:
Neti pots have also become popular in recent years for prevention and treatment of allergic rhinitis. Nasal irrigation with a saline solution through a neti pot involves:
Itching and redness in the eyes sometimes respond to oral antihistamines. Eye drops, however, provide faster relief, and a combination of the two may be best. The following are eye drops for itchy eyes. Others are also available. Individual responses vary, and patients need to find which specific treatment works best for them.
General Side Effects and Warnings.
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