Allergic rhinitis is a common condition that occurs when an allergen causes inflammation inside the nose. It can cause cold-like symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, and sore throat.
Although non-fatal, allergic rhinitis can lead to other complications, such as sinusitis and sleep apnea, when left untreated. Fortunately, there are several treatment options that you can consider.
An ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor can prescribe different medications to improve your symptoms. These may include:
Corticosteroids are typically the first type of drug that your doctor will prescribe for your allergic rhinitis. Often used in nasal spray and inhaler form, this drug prevents nasal inflammation and a runny nose. This medicine is also generally safe for both adults and children.
Some common examples of corticosteroids for allergic rhinitis include:
- Mometasone (Nasonex) – prescription
- Budesonide (Rhinocort) – prescription
- Triamcinolone (Nasacort Allergy 24 Hour) – over-the-counter
- Fluticasone (Flonase Allergy Relief) – over-the-counter
- Budesonide (Rhinocort Allergy) – over-the-counter
Antihistamines also come in nasal sprays, but they can be taken as pills or eye drops, as well. This medication may also be bought over-the-counter or with a prescription. They work by blocking histamine – the chemical released by your immune system that triggers the symptoms of your condition.
The over-the-counter variants include:
Take note that you should not drink alcoholic beverages when taking antihistamines. Also, avoid driving, since some antihistamines can cause drowsiness.
Decongestants are medications that relieve stuffy noses and congested sinuses. These come in liquid, tablet, and nasal spray forms. Your ENT doctor may prescribe decongestants, but you can also get them in over-the-counter forms.
Some common decongestants for allergic rhinitis include:
- Phenylephrine hydrochloride
Decongestants can be addictive, so it is not advised to use them for more than five days. They can also cause other side effects such as increased blood pressure, headaches, and irritability.
Leukotriene inhibitors are prescription medications that block the release of leukotriene. This chemical is released by the body during an allergic reaction. The most common variant is montelukast (Singulair).
When medications don’t improve your allergic rhinitis symptoms, your doctor may recommend immunotherapy. During this process, they will inject small amounts of an allergen into your body over a period of time. Its primary goal is to let your immune system get used to your triggers and reduce the severity of your symptoms. It can also decrease your need for medications.
Another allergic rhinitis treatment is nasal irrigation. This procedure involves rinsing your nasal canal with distilled, sterile saline to flush out mucus and allergens. It is a quick and inexpensive method of relieving nasal congestion.
You can buy the saline solution over-the-counter and use a squeeze bottle to rinse your nose. Always remember to rinse and air-dry your irrigation device after every use.
You may also adopt some lifestyle changes to prevent the occurrence and recurrence of allergic rhinitis. These practices can also help you live better despite your condition.
First, you will need to avoid allergens, such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. You can also improve your indoor environment by installing air filters and ventilators.
Allergic Rhinitis Treatment in Georgetown, Texas
Allergic rhinitis can make it hard to function, disrupt sleep, and increase your risk for ear and sinus infections. So, even when it is not life-threatening, you should not take it lightly. Consult with an ENT doctor to find the best allergic rhinitis treatment in Georgetown, Texas.
Dr. Scott Franklin is our board-certified ENT doctor at Georgetown ENT. He is one of the few specialists also qualified to deal with allergies. Before visiting our clinic, you can request an appointment online. You may also reach us at (512) 869-0604 to know more about our services.
We look forward to helping you take control of your allergies!