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Self-Prescribing Allergy Meds Could Be a Mistake for Your Health & Wallet

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We’ve all been there – at the first sign of sniffles or itchy eyes you dash to the pharmacy in search of relief. But according to the physicians at Allergy & Asthma Specialists, that’s a big misstep. You can save yourself time, money and suffering this spring by not self-medicating with over-the-counter medications.

Here’s why you should think twice before self-prescribing and what you can do to find real relief:

Don’t generalize your symptoms

Medication isn’t a one size fits all fix. Just like any other medical condition, the best way to treat allergies is by consulting a board-certified allergist. Over the counter drugs aren’t targeted to treat specific allergens, they’re general anti-histamines or decongestants designed to lessen congestion, itchy eyes and runny noses. Plus, they’re sometimes accompanied by undesirable side effects like sleeplessness, nervousness, increased blood pressure, headaches, constipation and blurred vision. Certain nasal sprays can even cause rebound effects, making your nose even stuffier than before, and causing you to become dependent on the medication.

Identify your triggers

The first step to finding real relief is identifying your allergy triggers, and ways to control your environment. Schedule an appointment with one of the physicians at Allergy & Asthma Specialists for allergy skin testing. With access to over 100 allergen testing extracts, the allergist will determine which allergens you should be tested for. During the 20-minute test, a miniscule amount of different allergens is applied to your skin and monitored for a reaction, in the form of hives. The most common triggers are pollen, mold and animal dander. Once you know your results, the allergist will develop a treatment plan to avoid these triggers and alleviate your discomfort.

Seek expert advice

The allergists at Allergy & Asthma Specialists will determine the best treatment plan of action to conquer your sniffles, headaches, cough and itchy eyes, quickly and effectively. No more scanning the pharmacy aisle, trying to find the magic pill that combats the combination of symptoms you’re experiencing. They’ll prescribe the right medication for you and talk to you about the importance of timing. For instance, if pollen is the main culprit of your allergic reaction, you’ll want to start taking your treatment well before spring, when pollen starts to spread. The right medication will prevent the release of histamine and the allergic reaction should never occur.

Consider Immunotherapy

If your symptoms persist, season after season, year after year, you might want to consider Immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is one of the most effective means of treating allergies, often resulting in near-complete relief of symptoms. Immunotherapy as either injections, drops or tablets, treats the underlying cause of the allergic reaction, slowly allowing your body to naturally tolerate the allergens that trigger your symptoms. It also decreases the need for antihistamines and decongestants.

Feel better. Sleep better. Look better. See an allergist.

One visit with the allergist will identify your allergic triggers and develop a treatment plan.

All the physicians of Allergy & Asthma Specialists are board-certified in allergy and clinical immunology. You can easily schedule an appointment at one of eight convenient locations, and we can usually determine the source of your allergies in a single visit using skin testing without the use of needles. To learn more, contact us today at 1-800-86-COUGH, or click here to visit our website with information on the location closest to you.

*What’s this? This content is made possible by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the attitude, views, or opinions of the Main Line Today editorial staff.