Spring is here, and with it comes the beautiful blossoms, warmer weather, and, unfortunately, seasonal allergies. As flowers and trees release pollen into the air, millions of people experience itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, congestion, and other symptoms that make allergy season a misery. If you're one of the many seasonal allergy sufferers, you'll be glad to know that there are various remedies available to alleviate your symptoms. At Drug Mart Pharmacy, we offer both natural and pharmaceutical options to help you breathe easier and enjoy the season.
Understanding Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, are caused by an overreaction of the immune system to pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. When the pollen enters your body, your immune system mistakenly identifies it as a harmful substance and produces antibodies to combat it. This reaction causes the release of histamine and other chemicals, which lead to inflammation and the unpleasant symptoms associated with allergies.
Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies
Quercetin is a natural antioxidant found in various fruits, vegetables, and grains. Research suggests that quercetin may help stabilize mast cells, which release histamine in response to allergens. By stabilizing these cells, quercetin can potentially reduce the severity of allergy symptoms.
While you can purchase quercetin capsules at the pharmacy, you may incorporate fruits and vegetables in your diet that are high in quercetin.
Apples: Apples, especially the skins, are a great source of quercetin. Red apples typically have higher levels of quercetin than green apples.
Onions: Onions, particularly red onions, are rich in quercetin. The outer layers of the onion contain higher concentrations of quercetin.
Berries: Berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, contain significant amounts of quercetin.
Grapes: Red and black grapes contain quercetin, with higher concentrations in the skin of the grapes.
Cherries: Both sweet and tart cherries are good sources of quercetin.
Broccoli: Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that contains a moderate amount of quercetin.
Kale: Kale, another cruciferous vegetable, is a good source of quercetin.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes, particularly the skin, contain a moderate amount of quercetin.
Asparagus: Asparagus is another vegetable that contains quercetin.
Spinach: Spinach, a leafy green vegetable, also has quercetin.
Peppers: Bell peppers, especially red and yellow varieties, contain some quercetin.
Capers: Capers, a Mediterranean condiment, are high in quercetin.
Including these fruits and vegetables in your diet can help you increase your quercetin intake, which may offer potential health benefits due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Antihistamines: Antihistamines are the most commonly used medications for seasonal allergies. They work by blocking the action of histamine, a chemical released during an allergic reaction that causes inflammation and symptoms. Some popular over-the-counter antihistamines include:
Benadryl (diphenhydramine): A well-known, first-generation antihistamine that provides fast relief but may cause drowsiness.
Claritin (loratadine): A second-generation antihistamine that is less likely to cause drowsiness and offers 24-hour relief.
Zyrtec (cetirizine): Another second-generation antihistamine that is effective in providing 24-hour relief and can be taken at night or in the morning.
Allegra (fexofenadine): A newer, second-generation antihistamine that offers 24-hour relief and is less likely to cause drowsiness.
Nasal Sprays: Nasal sprays can help relieve congestion and other nasal symptoms. Flonase (fluticasone) is an over-the-counter corticosteroid nasal spray that reduces inflammation and provides relief from seasonal allergy symptoms.
Eye Drops: For itchy, watery eyes, over-the-counter eye drops such as Zaditor (ketotifen), Patanol (olopatadine), and Pataday (olopatadine) can provide relief by reducing inflammation and redness.
Prescription Medications for Seasonal Allergies
In addition to over-the-counter options, there are prescription medications available to treat seasonal allergies. If your symptoms are severe or persistent, talk to your healthcare provider about the best course of action.
FAQs about Allergy Treatments
We understand that you might have many questions about allergy treatments. That's why we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you find the best solution for your seasonal allergies.
1. What medicine is best for seasonal allergies?
The best medicine for seasonal allergies depends on the individual's specific symptoms and needs. Options include antihistamines like Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra, as well as nasal corticosteroids like Flonase and eye drops like Zaditor, Patanol, and Pataday.
2. Is Zyrtec or Claritin better for seasonal allergies?
Both Zyrtec and Claritin are effective antihistamines. Zyrtec tends to work faster and may be more potent, but Claritin has a longer-lasting effect and is less likely to cause drowsiness. The best option depends on your specific symptoms and needs.
3. Is Benadryl or Zyrtec better for seasonal allergies?
Benadryl is a first-generation antihistamine and can cause drowsiness, making it less suitable for daytime use. Zyrtec is a second-generation antihistamine and is generally more effective with fewer side effects. However, Benadryl may be helpful for severe allergic reactions or as a short-term solution for nighttime relief.
4. Is Zyrtec or Allegra better?
Both Zyrtec and Allegra are effective antihistamines, but they have different active ingredients and may work better for different people. Zyrtec may be more potent and work faster, while Allegra has a longer-lasting effect and is less likely to cause drowsiness.
5. Is Allegra or Claritin better?
Both Allegra and Claritin are effective antihistamines, and the best option depends on your specific needs and symptoms. Claritin has a longer-lasting effect, while Allegra may be faster acting. Neither is likely to cause drowsiness.
6. What is stronger than Zyrtec for seasonal allergies?
If Zyrtec is not providing adequate relief, you may need to try a prescription-strength antihistamine, such as levocetirizine (Xyzal) or discuss other treatment options with your healthcare provider.
7. Is it better to take Zyrtec at night or in the morning?
Zyrtec can be taken at any time of day, but some people may experience drowsiness. If this is the case, it may be better to take it at night.
8. Which is better for nasal congestion, Zyrtec or Claritin?
Both Zyrtec and Claritin can help with nasal congestion, but Zyrtec may be slightly more effective. If congestion is your primary concern, a nasal corticosteroid like Flonase may be a better option.
9. Can I take Zyrtec every day during allergy season?
Yes, Zyrtec can be taken daily during allergy season. However, it is essential to follow the recommended dosage and consult your healthcare provider if your symptoms do not improve.
10. What should you not take with Zyrtec?
Avoid taking Zyrtec with other sedating medications or alcohol, as it may increase drowsiness. Also, check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist for potential drug interactions.
11. Does Zyrtec only work on seasonal allergies?
No, Zyrtec is effective for various allergies, including seasonal allergies, perennial allergies (like pet dander and dust mites), and allergic skin conditions such as hives and itching.
12. What is more effective than Zyrtec?
The effectiveness of allergy medications varies from person to person. While Zyrtec is generally effective for many people, some may find other antihistamines like Allegra, Claritin, or prescription-strength options like levocetirizine (Xyzal) more effective.
13. When is the best time to take Zyrtec?
You can take Zyrtec at any time of day. However, if you experience drowsiness, taking it in the evening may be a better option.
14. Is Zyrtec for allergies or sinuses?
Zyrtec is primarily used for allergy relief, but it can also help alleviate sinus congestion due to allergies.
15. What happens if Zyrtec doesn't work?
If Zyrtec doesn't work for you, consider trying a different antihistamine, such as Claritin, Allegra, or a prescription-strength option like levocetirizine (Xyzal). Consult your healthcare provider to discuss alternative treatment options.
16. Does Zyrtec help with mucus?
Zyrtec can help reduce mucus production and nasal congestion due to allergies. However, if mucus and congestion are your primary concerns, a nasal corticosteroid like Flonase may be more effective.
17. Can I take Zyrtec 10 mg twice a day?
The recommended dosage for Zyrtec is 10 mg once daily. Do not exceed the recommended dosage without consulting your healthcare provider.
18. Can you take Zyrtec and Flonase together?
Yes, you can take Zyrtec and Flonase together, as they work differently to alleviate allergy symptoms. Zyrtec is an antihistamine, while Flonase is a nasal corticosteroid.
19. What is the best medicine for allergies and sinus?
The best medicine for allergies and sinus depends on the specific symptoms and individual needs. A combination of antihistamines (like Zyrtec, Claritin, or Allegra) and nasal corticosteroids (like Flonase) may provide the most comprehensive relief.
20. Why is my nose still stuffy after taking allergy medicine?
If your nose remains stuffy after taking allergy medicine, it could be due to the medicine not being effective for you, or it could be caused by non-allergic factors such as a cold or sinus infection. Consult your healthcare provider for further evaluation and guidance.
21. Is Sudafed or Zyrtec better for allergies?
Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) is a decongestant, while Zyrtec is an antihistamine. They work differently to alleviate allergy symptoms. Zyrtec is typically better for addressing a broader range of allergy symptoms, while Sudafed is more focused on relieving nasal congestion. Consult your healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate medication for your specific symptoms.
22. How long does it take Zyrtec to relieve allergy symptoms?
Zyrtec usually starts to work within an hour of taking the medication, with peak effects occurring within 1-2 hours.
23. How long does it take for Zyrtec to work?
Zyrtec begins to work within an hour of taking the medication, and its effects can last up to 24 hours.
24. What drinks help allergies?
Certain drinks, such as green tea, ginger tea, and peppermint tea, may help alleviate allergy symptoms due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Staying well-hydrated can also help thin mucus and improve overall health.
25. Does Zyrtec raise blood pressure?
Zyrtec is not known to significantly affect blood pressure. However, if you have concerns about blood pressure, consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medications.
26. Why is my Claritin not working?
If Claritin is not working for you, it may be that your body does not respond well to this specific antihistamine. You may find relief by trying a different antihistamine, such as Zyrtec or Allegra, or by consulting your healthcare provider for alternative treatment options.
27. What not to take with Claritin?
Avoid taking Claritin with other medications that may cause drowsiness, such as sedatives, muscle relaxants, or sleeping pills. Always consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist before combining medications.
28. Is Flonase good for allergies?
Yes, Flonase is effective for treating allergies, particularly nasal congestion and inflammation. It is a nasal corticosteroid that works by reducing inflammation in the nasal passages.
29. Which OTC allergy med is strongest?
The "strongest" OTC allergy medication depends on individual responses and specific symptoms. Common OTC antihistamines include Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra, while Flonase is an effective OTC nasal corticosteroid. Consult your healthcare provider to determine the best medication for your needs.
30. Is there a way to get rid of seasonal allergies for good?
While there is no cure for seasonal allergies, you can effectively manage symptoms with a combination of medications and lifestyle adjustments, such as avoiding allergens, using air purifiers, and maintaining a clean living environment. Allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots) may also provide long-term relief for some individuals.
31. Why are my allergies so bad all of a sudden?
Allergies can worsen suddenly due to changes in your environment, exposure to new allergens, or increased allergen levels. Additionally, stress, illness, or hormonal changes can make your immune system more sensitive, leading to exacerbated allergy symptoms.
32. Can I take 20 mg of Zyrtec a day?
The standard adult dosage of Zyrtec is 10 mg per day. It is crucial to follow the recommended dosage unless directed otherwise by a healthcare provider.
33. Can I take 2 Zyrtec within 12 hours?
Taking 2 Zyrtec within 12 hours is not recommended, as it exceeds the standard daily dosage. Consult your healthcare provider if you feel the need to take more than the recommended dose.
34. Is it better to use Flonase at night or in the morning?
You can use Flonase either in the morning or at night, depending on personal preference and when your symptoms are most bothersome. However, some people find that using it in the morning provides all-day relief.
35. Can I take Zyrtec at night and Flonase in the morning?
Yes, you can take Zyrtec at night and Flonase in the morning. This regimen may provide comprehensive relief from allergy symptoms throughout the day and night.
36. Is Zaditor good for allergy eyes?
Zaditor is an effective over-the-counter eye drop for relieving allergy eye symptoms such as itching, redness, and swelling.
37. How long does it take for Zaditor to work?
Zaditor typically provides relief within minutes of application, with effects lasting up to 12 hours.
38. Can you use Zaditor everyday?
Yes, Zaditor can be used daily, up to twice a day, to relieve allergy eye symptoms. Follow the instructions on the product packaging or consult your healthcare provider for specific usage guidelines.
39. What is the best anti-allergy eye drops?
Zaditor, Pataday, and Patanol are all effective anti-allergy eye drops. The best choice for you will depend on individual preferences, symptoms, and response to the medication.
40. What are the side effects of Zaditor?
Potential side effects of Zaditor include mild burning, stinging, or irritation in the eyes. If you experience severe or ongoing side effects, discontinue use and consult your healthcare provider.
41. What is the difference between Pataday and Zaditor?
Both Pataday and Zaditor are over-the-counter eye drops for allergy relief. The primary difference is the active ingredient: Pataday contains olopatadine, while Zaditor contains ketotifen. The choice between these medications may depend on individual response and preferences.
42. What is better than Zaditor?
Whether a different allergy eye drop is better than Zaditor depends on individual response and preferences. Some people may find relief with Pataday or Patanol, while others may prefer Zaditor.
43. Can you take Zyrtec and Zaditor together?
Yes, you can take Zyrtec and use Zaditor together. Using both medications may provide comprehensive relief from allergy symptoms, both systemic and ocular.
44. Can you take Claritin and Zaditor together?
Yes, you can take Claritin and use Zaditor together. This combination may provide comprehensive relief from allergy symptoms.
Seasonal allergies can be a real challenge, but with the right remedies, you can find relief and enjoy the beauty of spring. At Drug Mart Pharmacy, our knowledgeable and caring staff is here to help you navigate the wide range of allergy treatments available. From natural remedies like quercetin to over-the-counter and prescription medications, we're dedicated to helping you find the best solution for your needs.
Whether you're trying a new medication or adjusting your current treatment plan, it's essential to consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist to ensure you're using the most effective and safe option for your unique situation. Remember, everyone's experience with allergies is different, and what works for one person may not be the best choice for another.
We hope this article has provided you with valuable information to help you find the best allergy relief options, including both natural and pharmaceutical remedies. As a bonus, we are offering a FREE printable Allergy Log for you to download. This log will help you keep track of your or your family's allergies, symptoms, and medications, making it easier to manage and understand your allergies. Simply store this log in a medical binder for easy access and organization.
By staying informed about the various allergy treatment options and working closely with your local pharmacist at Drug Mart Pharmacy, you can take control of your seasonal allergies and enjoy the great outdoors once again.
Don't let allergies hold you back this spring. Visit Drug Mart Pharmacy today and let our expert team guide you on your journey to allergy relief.