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Ways to treat allergy symptoms

by Christian Bryant

The Big Three (Zyrtec, Claritin, Allegra-D) and Benadryl

When an allergic reaction occurs, histamines trigger an inflammatory response that results in coughing, sneezing, itching, swearing, watering eyes or any combination of those. Known as “Big Three,” Zyrtec, Claritin and Allegra reign as the most popular second-generation antihistamines (histamine blockers that do not cause drowsiness). “Zyrtec and Claritin are the top movers for seasonal relief,” remarks local pharmacist William Wicker. Consumers still consider Benadryl, a first-generation antihistamine, an effective agent but the drowsiness that follows consumption is debilitating. It relieves allergy symptoms while seamlessly segueing users into an REM sleep.

Staying indoors

If playing hooky from work and dodging other responsibilities aren’t an issue then just stay inside. A few months from now, the allergy season will subside and you can return to normalcy.

Steroids

This word exacts fear in the hearts of pollen producers as well as Barry Bonds’ lawyers.

Corticosteroids, which differ from anabolic steroids, mimic the effects of hormones that are produced in the adrenal gland. These hormones are used to treat anything from arthritis to allergies. Inhaler or intranasal sprays containing corticosteroids can help control inflammation that comes along with nasal allergies. Other forms include creams and injections.

Eye drops

I just recently began using eye drops and you can’t go wrong with them. There’s a delicate art to application but once you get it down, the itchy and scratchy eyes will be a thing of the past. The hardest part of this particular treatment is choosing one of 1,000,000 different makes of Clear Eyes.

Facemasks

Definitely the least effective way to treat allergies, facemasks are helpful in keeping copious amounts of pollen from entering two large orifices: the nose and mouth. These handy strap-ons work well for yard maintenance or just day-today operation for severe allergy sufferers. The surgical facemasks have proven to be helpful in keeping out viruses like the swine flu so pollen doesn’t stand a chance.

Bourbon remedies

It’s interesting to note that there are more online posts referring to alcohol allergies than allergy relief via alcohol consumption. Nevertheless, livestrong.com comes through with a list of bourbon remedies that can be used for scratchy, sore throats or incessant coughing. Pairing heated cider with bourbon makes for soothing relief. Another upside: Even if these remedies aren’t as effective as claims suggest, the bourbon acts as a well-trusted deneurolizer. You won’t remember what you were doing in the first place!

Local honey and horseradish

According to Jill Clarey, ND, a doctor of naturopathic medicine and wife of YES! Weekly Editor Brian Clarey, local honey “is like a homeopathic ‘hair of the dog that bit you.’” The honey contains some of the same things that trigger allergy symptoms but she contends that a teaspoon a day of is helpful for seasonal allergy sufferers. Horseradish is also a natural remedy that produces results. “The horseradish is in a blend for allergies called ALJ,” Clarey says. “It is my favorite remedy for allergies and sinus problems. Every four hours it will knock out allergy symptoms.” Allergy sufferers should stock up on to-go ramekins and head to the nearest eatery for these over-the-counter treatments.

Quercetin and nettles

Fruit lovers will find a pseudo-favorable remedy in a mixture of quercetin and stinging nettles. Quercetin can be found in strawberries, guava and acerola (also known as a Barbados cherry or a West Indian cherry). Nettles have stinging hairs on the leaves and stems that inject histamine when contacted. Luckily, extracts of the plant are used for medicinal purposes like treating hay fever.

Neti pots and nasal sprays

“Neti pots are helpful this time of year,” Clarey says. “I like to refer to them as a ‘nasal irrigation.’ For children that prefer not to do this, simply get a good nasal spray like XClear that clears out mucus.” Clarey continues that these treatments are helpful in removing bacteria. Saline sprays are suggested for best results.

Man up

We can’t rule out simply “growing a pair,” can we?

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