Seasonal allergies can be a nuisance and interrupt your daily life without the proper knowledge to control them. The following information will help explain the different treatment options for seasonal allergies that are available over the counter.

Symptoms of seasonal allergies may include: itchy, watery, red eyes, runny nose, congestion, fatigue, sinus pressure, and sneezing. There are many triggers for allergies and everyone responds to them differently. Triggers for allergic symptoms include: tree pollen, grass pollen, ragweed pollen, dust mites, cockroaches, pet dander, and molds.

There are several treatment options available over the counter to help with allergy symptoms.  Nasal corticosteroids, like Flonase or Nasacort AQ, help prevent and treat nasal inflammation, nasal itching, and runny nose. Nasal corticosteroids are safe for long- term treatment and do not have many side effects. Antihistamines are another treatment option for itching, sneezing, and a runny nose. Antihistamines are available in tablets, eye drops, or nasal sprays. The tablet form of antihistamines are the most popular, examples are Claritin, Allegra, and Zyrtec. Each person is different, so the same one may not work for everyone. Decongestants are the last over the counter treatment class for allergies. Oral tablets such as Sudafed and nasal sprays such as Afrin or Neo- Synephrine are examples of over the counter decongestants. Decongestants are used to help symptoms related to sinus pressure and congestion. Another treatment for nasal congestion includes using a neti pot or a saline nasal rinse.

Before selecting an over the counter treatment for allergy symptoms, talk to your local pharmacist who can help select the best option for you.


Written by Courtney McBroom, Pharmacy Intern at Long’s on Kilbourne Road