My name is Ethan Hughes and I am a first year pharmacy student from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. Over the past month, the Save-Rite Family of Pharmacies has welcomed me into their businesses as I have spent the summer learning some of the “ins and outs” of pharmacy care. Before I finish up at the end of this month, I’d like to pass along some advice on how to best handle seasonal allergies. If you’re anything like me, this allergy season has played havoc with your plans of trying to enjoy some time outside with friends and family. Itchy/watering eyes, nasal congestion, runny nose, and feeling run down don’t have to control your plans!
So what can you do to ease the suffering of allergy season? Avoiding your allergy triggers is the best and also the most difficult way of controlling your allergy symptoms. Let’s face it, nobody wants to stay cooped up inside all day. That being said, you can avoid your triggers by doing things like keeping your windows closed, replacing home air-filters, and seizing opportunities to spend time outside when pollen counts are low. If avoidance just doesn’t fit into your schedule there are several over the counter products available.
Taking these products prior to exposure to allergens is the best way to soothe your allergy symptoms if avoidance of your triggers isn’t possible. Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra, which are called antihistamines, all offer once daily dosing that won’t leave you feeling sleepy and generic versions with the same active ingredients are also available. When more than an antihistamine is required there are many products that contain a combination of drugs to treat allergies, nasal congestion, cough and even headaches to treat your symptoms. If tablets aren’t for you, there are all natural saline sprays available such as Ayr and Simply Saline or nasal decongestants such as Afrin. Come on in and ask your pharmacist what will work best for you.
So with all of these options for treating your allergy symptoms, when should you contact your doctor? If your allergy symptoms occur with a persistent cough or discoloration of any drainage that you are experiencing it’s time to see your doctor. If you are experiencing a cough or discolored drainage you may have an infection that needs to be treated by a doctor. If your allergy symptoms disrupt your sleep or if you are treating your allergies and it just doesn’t seem to be working it may also be time to seek out your doctor.
As always, if you have any questions at all about allergies or any questions related to your medication plan in general, don’t hesitate to stop in and see us at any of locations!