A physical exam is not necessary if you have minor allergies. Your doctor might perform some tests to determine the best treatment or prevention plan.
A skin prick test is one of the most common. To see how your body reacts, your doctor may place several substances on your skin. Usually, a small red bump appears if you’re allergic to a substance.
A blood test, or radioallergosorbent test (RAST), is also common. The RAST is a test that measures your antibody levels to specific allergens.
There are many ways to treat allergic rhinitis. There are many options. These include medication, home remedies, and alternative medications. Before you try any new treatment for allergic rhinitis, talk to your doctor.
To treat allergies, you can use antihistamines. These medications work by stopping the body from producing histamine.
Some popular over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines include:
- fexofenadine (Allegra)
- diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- desloratadine (Clarinex)
- loratadine (Claritin)
- levocetirizine (Xyzal)
- cetirizine (Zyrtec)
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Before you start a new medication, talk to your doctor. You should ensure that the new medication will not interfere with any other medications or medical conditions.
You can use decongestants over a short period, usually no longer than three days, to relieve a stuffy nose and sinus pressure. You should not use them for longer than three days to relieve symptoms. OTC decongestants that are popular include:
- oxymetazoline (Afrin nasal spray)
- pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)
- phenylephrine (Sudafed PE)
- Cetirizine and pseudoephedrine (Zyrtec D)
Before you use a decongestant, consult your doctor if you have a heart rhythm problem, a history of stroke, anxiety, sleep disorder, high blood pressure, or bladder problems.
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