There are several types of treatments for allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis that can utilize a combination of environmental control measures, medications and immune treatments. A board certified allergist can help identify what you are allergic to by a skin and / or blood testing. A tailored plan of how to reduce your exposure to these allergens is an important first step to reduce your symptoms. Anti-histamines are often first-line medication treatments. Eye drops are best at reducing itching of the eyes, while oral versions also help reduce sneezing and itching of the nose. Prescription nasal anti-histamines might target these symptoms even better. All forms of anti-histamines can start to improve your symptoms the day they are started. Nasal steroids are usually even more effective at treating nasal congestion, runny nose, and post-nasal drip, than anti-histamines alone. They are most effective if used for the duration of the season that triggered your symptoms and can take several days of regular use to improve your symptoms. Although over the counter preparations are available, they should be monitored by your physician. Allergy shots, also known as allergen immunotherapy, can be quite effective at controlling and preventing symptoms long-term. Allergy shots, or injections of the environmental allergy proteins you are allergic to, given to you over time in a shot with the goal of making your body less reactive to your allergies. This treatment should be overseen by a board certified allergist and immunologist. Several other over the counter and prescription treatments are available and can be discussed with your physician. Due to possible side effects, home remedies and nasal decongestants such as oxymetolazone and pseudoephedrine are not recommended for regular use to help control symptoms, unless under the guidance of a physician.
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