When you have gone your entire life without suffering from the stresses and discomfort of allergies, you likely assume that you will continue to live allergy-free indefinitely. However, the reality is that you can develop allergies at any time in your life, including during adulthood. If you have recently begun to suffer from the sniffling, coughing, and overall discomfort that allergies bring, and you went to your doctor, you may find yourself looking at the possibility of having allergies after all.
In order to start feeling better again as soon as possible, get to know some of the treatment options available to you for your adult-onset allergies and begin your treatments as soon as possible.
Daily Antihistamines and Decongestants
One of the primary treatments recommended to most people with allergies is to take antihistamine medications on a regular or daily basis. Allergies are essentially a overreaction by your immune system against a microscopic substance that enters the body. Normally, the immune system would not react to that substance, but if you develop an allergy to it your body releases histamines to attack and fight that substance.
The purpose of an antihistamine is to suppress this immune system response so that you do not experience as much of the itching nose, eyes, throat, and so that other associated symptoms are minimized. Antihistamines work to varying degrees depending on the severity of the symptoms as well as the quantity of the allergen encountered.
Decongestants like pseudoephedrine can also help to relieve the sinus pain and pressure that also accompany your allergies. These can also be taken on a daily basis as needed when your symptoms are at their worst.
If your allergies are severe enough or you have a large number of substances that you are allergic to, then you may need stronger treatments than over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants. Immunotherapy is one of the options in such a situation.
Immunotherapy is another term for allergy shots. These shots are developed by an allergy specialist and are customized to the specific substances that you are allergic to. A very small amount of each allergen is mixed into a solution for the shot which is then injected into your body.
Over time, your doctor will have the amounts of the substances increased. The purpose of this treatment is build up your body's tolerance to the substances you are allergic to so that your immune system does not continue to react as strongly against them. This is a more permanent solution than the antihistamines you can take, and in combination with those medications, you can have more symptom-free days than you would otherwise.
Now that you know a few of the treatment options for your adult-onset allergies, you can schedule your appointment with an allergy specialist as soon as possible.