Pre-empting or anticipatory
action by taking medication before you're exposed to allergens helps
reduce allergy symptoms before they strike.
It is also important
to be aware of what triggers your allergies to pre-empt the symptoms
before they strike. The medication has to be appropriate.
In most cases of allergy,
over-the-counter medications can be used as needed and will work
better if taken as a prophylactic.
Prescription or over-the-counter
medications can control most allergy symptoms. Depending on the
symptoms, antihistamines, decongestants and nasal sprays, alone
or in combination, often provide relief.
One should be aware
that unlike many over-the-counter versions, there are many new prescription
antihistamines that effectively block watery eyes and sneezing without
allergy medications address symptoms only. Eye drops, for example,
soothe mild itching and tearing but will not block a true allergic
reaction. Decongestants help shrink swollen membranes of the eyes
and nose, allowing sinuses to drain, but can also act as a stimulant.
Nasal sprays clear blocked sinuses, but should only be used for
a few days.
A report cautions about
using combination medications that contain aspirin. In about 10
percent of people with respiratory allergies, aspirin actually worsened
Choices of cold and
allergy medications are often confusing. Cold symptoms may be similar
to allergy symptoms. It may be difficult for you to choose the right