Ask Hitchcock's Pharmacists: Allergies
How do I know if I have allergies verses a cold? Allergies rarely cause a cough, secretions (runny nose) will be clear, and there will be no fever or achiness.
What over the counter remedies are there? 1) oral antihistamines, 2) antihistamine eye drops, 3) oral decongestants, 4) decongestant nasal sprays, 5) homeopathic and alternative therapy products and combinations of all of these.
Will it make me drowsy? Antihistimes, which are the primary focus of allergy treatment, can cause drowsiness. There are some newer types of antihistimes that are non-sedating. These are available in generic versions that are reasonably priced.
Is the Neti Pot a good solution? A Neti Pot, is an alternative to drug therapy. It is a good solution for a natural remedy that can be used alone or in combination with other remedies. It is a nasal saline (salt water) rinse that is safe and effective. It may help flush out and remove allergens and stimulate the cilia in the nasal passages to perform their natural cleansing function more effectively. Cost is around $10 and can be used over and over again.
When should I see my doctor? If there is a high fever or significant airflow or breathing restrictions. If the allergy symptoms are interfering with your normal daily activities or quality of life there are several options that your doctor can provide that go beyond what is available from OTC remedies.
How much knowledge does a Pharmacist have on allergies? Quite a lot, pharmacists typically have 6+ years of education in drug therapy and disease state management as well as continuous education throughout their career as part of their license requirements.
What should kids with allergies do? Children can benefit from some of the same remedies as adults at the correctly reduced dose. There are some OTC products specifically prepared for children at reduced doses. It is best that in children under the age of 6 years that you consult with the child’s physician or pediatrician before treating them yourself.
Allergies last all four seasons, so come is and we will help you get on the road to recovery!