Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"What remedies are there for my allergies?"
I am a twenty eight year old male in decent shape and each year I suffer from allergies in the spring. My nose is runny, I develop a cough, and sometimes my eyes are itchy. Over the counter medication doesn't seem to work or the side effects make it not worth it. I would prefer not to use prescription medicine, because I don't like unnecessary medication. Regular outdoor exercise seems to help with the symptoms, but it doesn't eliminate the need.
Allergies are the unfortunate bane of the welcome spring. Just as we start to want to go outside more often, we are welcomed with the runny nose, itching eyes, and miserable cough that seem to last through all of the beautiful days. Fortunately, there are many excellent treatment options available, some of which are available over the counter. As you mention that some of these have not worked for you in the past, we will assume that the antihistamines cetirizine and loratadine (two of the most commonly used and most effective at treating allergic symptoms) are off the table. Also off is benadryl, another anti-histamine which is especially well noted for causing drowsiness. Other, even more simple, options that should help your symptoms include showering in the evening and changing your bedding frequently, both of which should help to reduce the allergen load that collects in your bed every day. Nasal saline irrigation also helps to improve the symptoms of many people, and is available without a prescription as well. Finally, most people love the addition of an intranasal steroid, which is very well tolerated and improves symptoms immensely. This would require a visit to your primary care doctor, allergist, or ear-nose and throat surgeon (aka otolaryngologist), however, but it might be worth it.
Need more info?See a primary care-doctor today
Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.