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Allergic Rhinitis Treatment: Medicine

Overview

The most effective way to treat allergic rhinitis is to avoid the allergen(s) responsible for triggering the symptoms. Since this can be difficult or impossible, other treatments are available.

Conventional medicine offers several approaches to treating allergic rhinitis:

  • Corticosteroids, which can be sprayed directly into the nasal passages, reduce the inflammation associated with allergic rhinitis. They are the first line of treatment for allergic rhinitis.
  • Immunotherapy, known more commonly as allergy shots, is used to retrain the immune system to react less dramatically to specific allergens. Immunotherapy is recommended for people who develop strong side effects to allergy medicines, don't respond to allergy medicines, and/or can't avoid frequent exposure to allergens.
  • Antihistamines, mast cell stabilizers, and leukotriene inhibitors come in pill, syrup, or topical (nasal spray) forms, and block the release of histamine and other chemicals that trigger some of the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
  • Decongestants can be taken in pill or nasal spray form to reduce or eliminate the congestion associated with allergic rhinitis. Saline nasal sprays are low-tech decongestants.
  • Antihistamine/decongestant combinations are available by prescription.

Treatments

Effect of Topical Corticosteroids on Allergic Rhinitis

Nasal corticosteroids are sprayed or inhaled into the nose to help relieve the stuffy nose and discomfort of allergies.

Read more about Allergic Rhinitis and Topical Corticosteroids.

Effect of Mast Cell Inhibitors on Allergic Rhinitis

Cromolyn changes the body's immunological response to allergens, possibly preventing the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

Read more about Allergic Rhinitis and Mast Cell Stabilizer.

Effect of Antihistamines on Allergic Rhinitis

Antihistamines help reduce or block the action of histamine, a chemical that is released when the immune system reacts to an allergen. The release of histamine leads to the symptoms of allergic...

Read more about Allergic Rhinitis and Antihistamines.

Effect of Allergy Shots on Allergic Rhinitis

The purpose of immunotherapy is to decrease or eliminate your response to a particular allergen or group of allergens. This is done by injecting a very tiny extract of the allergen into the skin, and...

Read more about Allergic Rhinitis and Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots).

Effect of Nasal Decongestant Sprays on Allergic Rhinitis

The mucus that produces congestion is part of the immune system's inflammatory response to allergens. Decongestants work by shrinking the tissues and blood vessels that have become inflamed.

Read more about Allergic Rhinitis and Nasal Decongestant Sprays.

Effect of Oral Decongestants on Allergic Rhinitis

The mucus that produces congestion is part of the immune system's inflammatory response to allergens. Decongestants work by shrinking the tissues and blood vessels that have become inflamed, thereby...

Read more about Allergic Rhinitis and Oral Decongestants.

Effect of Oral Decongestant and Antihistamine Combinations on Allergic Rhinitis

Decongestants help to narrow the blood vessels, which results in a clearing of nasal congestion. Antihistamines help stop or reduce the production of histamine, a chemical that is released when the...

Read more about Allergic Rhinitis and Oral Decongestant and Antihistamine Combinations.

Effect of Leukotriene Inhibitors on Allergic Rhinitis

Singulair works by decreasing how many leukotrienes (chemicals) the body creates in response to an allergen, thereby preventing symptoms from developing.

Read more about Allergic Rhinitis and Leukotriene Inhibitors.

Effect of Saline Nasal Spray on Allergic Rhinitis

Read more about Allergic Rhinitis and Saline Nasal Spray.

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