Healthy Living: How to treat an allergic reaction | Health, Medicine and Fitness

Sneezing and watery eyes: These are common allergic reactions to pollen, dust or dander. Using an over-the-counter medication like Allegra, Claritin or Zyrtec can help manage symptoms. Each product contains a different active ingredient, so experiment to find the right medication for you. Talk to your doctor if you haven’t found the right combination after about two weeks and if your quality of life is suffering

Congestion: Congestion may accompany seasonal allergies, but typical allergy medications won’t help — and those with decongestants may leave you feeling groggy. Once you’ve worked with your health care provider to rule out another condition, I often recommend an over-the-counter intranasal steroid like Flonase or Nasacort. If you know your trigger it may help to begin using the product a few weeks before you encounter the allergen.

Anaphylaxis: Though not that common, anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can be life threatening and needs emergency medical care. Anaphylaxis will be apparent because it will affect multiple parts of the body. You might not experience them all, but a combination of a swollen throat, difficulty breathing, hives, vomiting, rapid heart beat or fainting shows that your whole body is in distress.

Call 911 and don’t try to drive to the hospital. Anaphylactic shock can escalate quickly and emergency responders can help you if you stop breathing or your heart stops. If you have been prescribed emergency injectable epinephrine like an EpiPen, use it as soon as possible while you wait for help. This medication will improve dangerous symptoms like difficulty breathing and low blood pressure.

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