There are many treatments for allergies: Antihistamines, Nose Sprays, Eye Drops, Allergy Shots.
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Host: What options are there for treating allergies? Dr. Michael Reder: There are lots of treatments for allergies. There's a whole variety of pills. The most common ones people hear about are anti-histamines. They block a chemical called histamine and histamine is what causes your nose to sneeze and run and itchy watery eyes. So anti-histamines are things like Benadryl, Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec, the things that you hear most commonly, a whole variety of them over-the-counter, that they mix together with different cold and sinus medicines. Those block that one chemical. There are other medicines that block other chemicals. There are nose sprays that are steroids like the asthma medicines. They only go to the nose, but they work really well for that inflammation. There are eye-drops for your itchy watery eyes. All of those medicines, what they do is they cover up your symptoms; they block the chemical so that you don't get the symptoms as much. Some people get by with one medicine, some people on four and five and are still miserable. Allergy shots are a way to fix your immune system, so you don't need medicine anymore. It literally changes the white blood cells in your body so that they tolerate pollen, grass pollen, or cat dander. It actually treats you and makes you not allergic whereas the medicines you take more or less for the rest of your life, the allergy shots you only do for few years.
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