Nose Blocked by Allergies
Allergies are becoming more and more common as our environment becomes more and more polluted and our world becomes more crowded. It seems there is no limit to the amount of allergens that surround us. There are many common names for the symptoms caused by allergies, such as hay fever, rose fever, grass fever, or the summertime cold, but all of these terms relate to similar symptoms.
These symptoms can include itchy, watery eyes, a blocked nose, a sore throat, and headaches. If you are allergic to indoor allergens, such as dust, pet dander, and mold, your symptoms may become worse if you spend a day or two in the house. If you are allergic to outdoor allergens, such as pollen, grass, or substances that exist in urban pollution, your symptoms may become worse if you are out and about during the day. There are many ways that a nose that is blocked due to allergies can be treated.
The first thing you will want to do is visit your doctor to determine if allergies are the cause of your stuffed nose. If this is the case, the doctor may send you to an allergist, a specialist who may test to see what you are allergic to and know more about how your allergies can be treated. Depending on your symptoms and their severity, there are many different things that your doctor may do for you.
Antihistamines for Allergy Treatment
One of the most common treatments for allergies is the antihistamine. Allergies are caused when your body reacts to something that may be normal, such as pet hair and dander, and attacks it as if it were a dangerous germ or virus. Histamines are what attack these 'triggers', and the antihistamine is what helps to reduce the effect that the 'overreaction' of the histamine has on you. There are over the counter antihistamines such as Benadryl, but some prescription antihistamines that are often used are Allegra, Zyrtec, and Clairnex. Some of these are also available over the counter, but in smaller doses. Some possible side effects of antihistamines are elevated blood pressure (hypertension), drowsiness, and dizziness.
Pseudoephedrine for Allergy Treatment
Pseudoephedrine tablets are another type of medication that may be used to alleviate blocked nose due to allergies. It is in a class of medications called sympathomimetic agents that are used as nasal decongestants. They work by contracting the blood vessels in the nasal passage. As a result, the swelling in the membranes goes down and allows the mucus in the nose to drain away. Some of the possible side effects are upset stomach and restlessness. A smaller dosage, available in tablet and liquid form, is also available over the counter and is called Sudafed.
Allergy Treatment with Injections
Those who suffer chronically from allergies and have particularly debilitating symptoms may have to have regular allergy injections. These allergy shots work much like immunizations against diseases such as chicken pox. The injections give the patient a higher dose of the thing that "triggers" his/her allergy symptoms and, as a result, the histamines in the body stop "overreacting" to the allergen, and the symptoms are greatly reduced or cease altogether. These injections have to be given regularly (once a week) for a period of about six months, and are given less and less often after that.
Most patients have to have injections about once a month for several years. This procedure is relatively safe but side effects such as rash, itching, and hives can occur.
Rarely, a severe allergic reaction can occur, which is why patients must generally stay at the office where they received the shot for 20-30 minutes to be monitored for such a reaction.
Preventative Measures for Allergy Sufferers
There are also some simple steps that allergy sufferers can take to relieve their symptoms. Try to remove yourself from the allergen as much as possible. If your family pet is the culprit, forbid (FORBID!) them to sleep in your bed, or to enter your bedroom. Regular bathing and grooming of pets can also help alleviate symptoms. Many websites and news channels give allergy reports for the day. If your city is having a particularly bad day for allergens, you may consider staying indoors or wearing a medical mask when going outside. Home remedies such as humidifiers, steam therapies, and the use of Neti Pot can all help ease the painful symptoms of allergy sufferers.