Best Allergy Relief Nasal Spray: What Is It?
The Best Allergy Relief Nasal Spray is a nasal spray containing ingredients such as caffeine, caffeine sulfate, cetyl alcohol, methylparaben, propylene glycol and salicylic acid. These are all natural substances which have been shown to relieve symptoms of allergy. There are many different types of these sprays available on the market today. Some of them contain only one ingredient while others have several. They vary in their effectiveness and cost.
Allergic reactions are caused by the immune system reacting to allergens (allergen) present in our environment. When these allergens react with your body’s immune system, it causes inflammation or swelling of various parts of the body including the airways, lungs, sinuses and eyes. The most common type of allergic reaction is asthma. Other types include hay fever, seasonal allergies and food allergies.
Nasal sprays are used to treat allergic reactions. The main reason why they are prescribed is because there is no other treatment available at the moment. If not treated properly, these allergic reactions can lead to severe health problems like asthma attacks or even death.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Nasal Spray For Asthma?
There are many benefits associated with using nasal sprays for asthma. The following are just a few of them.
They Help Prevent Asthma Attacks: Asthma attacks can lead to death. In fact, asthma is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. It is a chronic disease which affects the lungs and breathing passages. It is usually triggered by external agents such as dust, mold, smoke, pollen, animal dander and other irritants. There is no permanent cure for asthma.
The only way to treat it is by preventing its attacks. This is exactly what nasal sprays do. They prevent the onset of further allergic reactions which causes the airways to narrow. By relaxing and opening up the airways, they help prevent asthmatic episodes such as shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing.
They Are Not Expensive: Over the counter medications are always a lot cheaper than prescription drugs. The active ingredients in most over the counter drugs are also found in prescription drugs. This is why many people prefer to buy them instead of their prescription alternatives.
They Can Be Used By Anyone: Whether you suffer from mild, moderate or severe asthma, nasal sprays can help you prevent attacks. They are very safe to use and can even be used by children.
Allergic rhinitis is the name of the disease which affects the nose’s mucous membranes. It is triggered by allergens such as dust, smoke, pet dander, pollen and mold among others. These allergen enter the body through the nose and cause it to start releasing a lot of fluid. This leads to the swelling up and inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the inside of the nose. Allergic rhinitis is also known as hay fever.
It is very common and affects a lot of people all over the world.
The nasal congestion caused by allergic rhinitis is very uncomfortable. It can make it hard to breath through the nose which greatly affects a person’s quality of life. This is why many people look for medications to relieve their symptoms.
Most medicines used to treat allergic rhinitis are available over the counter. However, some of them are only available via a prescription from your doctor. Hay fever tablets are probably the most commonly used OTC medication for treating allergic rhinitis.
Some of the other drugs which can be bought without a prescription include decongestants, antihistamines and corticosteroids. Let’s take a look at these drugs in more detail.
Antihistamines: Antihistamines are available via prescription and over the counter. They work by blocking the effects of histamine. This relieves nasal congestion by lessening the inflammation of the nasal passages caused by allergic reactions.
Decongestants: A decongestant is a type of medicine which narrows the blood vessels of the mucous membranes lining the inside of the nose. This reduces mucus production and nasal congestion. As you might expect, these types of OTC drugs should not be taken for a long period of time as they can lead to rebound congestion.
Corticosteroids: These drugs are used in the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions. Corticosteroids have many effects on the body but the one which we are concerned with here is that it helps to reduce inflammation. Patients with allergic rhinitis often benefit greatly from taking these types of drugs.
As you can see there are many different types of OTC medication available for treating the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. It really is worth consulting your doctor before you decide on which one is best for you as the choice will depend on a number of factors including your age and medical history.
Hayfever Tablets: These tablets contain a combination of three active ingredients; they are usually taken once or twice a day. They work by reducing the actions of your bodies chemicals, specifically the chemical histamine. When you suffer from hayfever your body starts to produce too much of this chemical which causes the chain reaction of events that lead to symptoms such as runny nose and itchy eyes. By taking hay fever tablets you can help to reduce the amount of histamine that your body produces therefore reducing your symptoms.
The main types of active ingredients that are combined in these types of pills are called antihistamines, steroids and montelukast.
Antihistamines: Antihistamines block the effects of the chemical histamine in your body. You may be more familiar with antihistamines if you suffer from allergies as these are also available over the counter in the form of tablets and syrups and can be taken to relieve the symptoms of hayfever and other allergies. Hay fever tablets combine antihistamines in a larger dose, which means that you should see an improvement in your symptoms much quicker.
Steroids: These drugs have many different effects on the body including reducing inflammation and suppressing your immune system. It is this last effect that means steroids are effective at relieving the symptoms of allergic rhinitis as they stop your immune system from producing the chemicals which cause hay fever in the first place.
Montelukast: Montelukast is the newest type of drug available for treating hayfever. It works by stopping inflammation in the body, it also helps to suppress your immune system. This type of drug is preferred by some patients as it has minimal effects on other parts of the body in contrast to steroids which can have more serious side effects.
Hayfever pills can be very effective at treating the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, however there are a few things that you should be aware of before you start taking them. If you are planning on driving or operating machinery then you should avoid taking these pills as they can have an effect on your concentration. These drugs can also sometimes cause drowsiness and affect your sleep so you should take this into account before you decide when to take them. Finally these tablets can have an effect on young children and babies so should never be given to them unless advised to by a doctor.
Decongestants: These drugs are used to relieve your symptoms by reducing the swelling in the tissues of your nose. The main type of drug found in these types of pills is called a phenylephrine. This ‘mimics’ a natural chemical (acetylcholine) that constricts blood vessels, reducing the swelling in your sinuses and relieving your blocked nose. Other decongestants such as pseudoephedrine are sometimes found in these tablets but they are becoming less common due to their links to drug abuse.
Decongestants can be very effective at relieving your blocked nose however there are a few things that you should be aware of before you start taking them. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US have asked that all over the counter decongestants carry a warning stating that ‘if you are pregnant or breastfeeding you should consult a doctor before taking this medicine’. This is because some studies have suggested that prolonged use of these drugs can lead to low birth weight, shorter pregnancies and even premature births. However other studies have not found this effect so it is still unclear as to whether this is a serious risk.
Another potential risk with taking decongestants is that they can produce a significant ‘high’ if taken in large quantities. This effect has led to the drugs being abused, sometimes even mis-sold as cocaine. The dangers of this were brought into the public eye in 2005 when a star collegiate American football player died from cardiac arrest after taking a decongestant pill containing large amounts of pseudoephedrine (a common decongestant).
If you find that your symptoms are not relieved by over the counter decongestants then you should consult a doctor who may prescribe a different medicine such as a corticosteroid nasal spray or an intranasal antihistamine.
There are a number of natural treatments that you can try to help relieve your allergic rhinitis symptoms.
Hydration: If you find that your symptoms of allergic rhinitis are triggered by flying or other changes in air pressure (such as diving or taking an elevator) then drinking plenty of water can help to reduce the discomfort. This is because dehydration can cause your blood vessels to shrink which reduces the amount of space in your nose for blood flow. As your blood vessels are already narrowed due to your inflammation this can make your symptoms worse.
Hydration also helps to thin out your mucus, making it easier to blow your nose and clear your airways. It also has a minor anti-inflammatory effect which can reduce some of your symptoms. The simplest way to hydrate is to drink ordinary tap water or bottled water. If you do not want to drink large quantities of liquid you can add a pinch of salt to a small amount of water as this will help to hydrate you without filling your stomach. You should still try to drink some water though as salt on its own is not particularly good for your body.
In addition, some doctors now recommend that people with allergic rhinitis take supplements of vitamin C and zinc. These vitamins occur naturally in many fresh fruits and vegetables. While taking these in supplement form does not guarantee that you will get enough to see benefit it can’t hurt and there are no side effects to taking them.
Allergies and Diet
Some people find that their symptoms of allergic rhinitis are made worse or better by certain foods. It is not uncommon for food to have an effect on your nasal passages. This is because your nose and gastrointestinal system are connected. In some cases eating a food to which you are allergic can cause your nose to become blocked, other times the connection is less clear.
There have been some studies investigating whether elimination of certain foods from your diet can reduce your symptoms of allergic rhinitis. While some of these studies have shown positive effects others have not. This could be for a number of reasons including the difficulty in keeping subjects to a restricted diet over a prolonged period.
If you think that certain foods are contributing to your symptoms of allergic rhinitis you may want to try an elimination diet under the guidance of your doctor. This involves keeping a food diary and then eliminating common offenders such as dairy, wheat and shellfish from your diet. Your doctor may also perform allergy tests to determine more specifically what you should eliminate.
If you do notice an improvement in your symptoms it is important to remember that you will eventually have to reintroduce the foods that you have eliminated in order to ensure that you do not develop a deficiency. This is especially important if you have eliminated groups of food that are rich in important nutrients such as the group of foods known as the grains (for example rice, wheat or oats).
Antihistamines are a group of drugs that were originally developed to treat allergies. They work by binding to histamine receptors and blocking the effect of histamine (this is why they are termed antihistamines). They also have a number of other effects on the body.
There are a number of different antihistamines that can be used to treat allergic rhinitis. They can be classified by the way they work or by their strength. They can also be combined with decongestants and/or nasally administered steroid preparations.
The older types of the older type of antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) cause drowsiness. They also have a number of other side effects. They are therefore not generally recommended for long-term use. Their effect normally only lasts a few hours and they do not work immediately.
The newer group of antihistamines (categorized as the second-generation antihistamines) work very quickly, and you will notice their effects within 10 minutes. They also help with sleep, but tend to have a lot of side effects such as dry mouth, dizziness, and confusion. These side effects typically wear off after a few hours. The newer generation of antihistamines do not have the negative effects on memory and cognition that the older generation has, but this needs to be studied further.
The following table compares the different classes of antihistamines and their relative strengths.
Drug Strength (Approximate) Frequency/Administered Side Effects Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton®) 4 Not immediately effective Drowsiness Clemastine (Tavist) 2.4 Immediately effective Dry Mouth, dizziness Promethazine (Phenergan®) 4.4 Not immediately effective Drowsiness, confusion, urinary retention, blurred vision
Decongestants can either be taken orally or used as a nasal spray. They work by shrinking the blood vessels in the lining of the nostrils, shrink edema and reduce mucus secretions. They are effective at treating rhinitis but should not be used for long periods of time due to their potential negative side effects.
Drug Strength (Approximate) Frequency/Administered Side Effects Oxymetazoline (Afrin®, Dristan®) 2 Immediate Dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, Headache Phenylephrine (Neo-Synephrine®, Neo-Synephrine® MP) 3 Not immediately effective Dryness of mucous membrane, bitter taste, sore throat Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed®, Sudafed® 12 Hour) 3.5 Immediately effective Headache, nervousness, anxiety
Nasal Steroid Sprays
Nasal steroids can be used to treat allergic and non-allergic rhinitis. They work by preventing the migration of inflammatory cells to the nose and decreasing swelling. They do not have any negative side effects when administered intranasally. They are very effective but take up to a week before you start seeing an effect. They should not be used long-term or without a decongestant as they can lead to rebound inflammation and cause rhinitis medicamentosa, a condition where the nasal passages become so accustomed to the steroid that they become unable to function without it.
Drug Strength (Approximate) Frequency/Administered Side Effects Beclomethasone (Beconase AQ®) 2.5 Inhaled 6x daily None Flumethasone (Veramyst®) 2 Inhaled 6x daily None Mometasone (Nasonex®) 5 Inhaled 2-3x daily None Triamcinolone (Azmacort®) 4 Inhaled 3-4x daily None
Allergies and Infections
Some of the symptoms of allergies and colds are similar, so it can be hard to tell whether you have an infection or an allergy. The best way to differentiate between the two is to keep and eye on how long your symptoms last and what you were doing before you got sick.
For instance, if you are experiencing runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes, you could have allergies or a cold. If you find that you have not been around any potential allergens and suddenly develop these symptoms, it is more likely to be an infection.
If you experience vomiting, diarrhea, and fever, it is likely that you have a viral infection. Many infections come on quickly with symptoms that severely affect your quality of life. These symptoms are not relieved with over-the-counter drugs. If you suspect you have an infection, it is advised that you contact your medical professional immediately.
Many people believe they have an infection, but actually have allergies. Allergies can cause the same symptoms as an infection.
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