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Therapeutic methods for allergic illnesses

An allergic cold is most commonly caused by so called aero-allergenic agents present in the air. The most common and most severe allergic cold is provoked by ragweed pollens. The number of patients affected has doubled in the past one and a half to two decades, reaching about two million ragweed allergy patients in our country.

Symptoms and diagnosis

Symptoms are usually very typical (sneezing, snuffles, runny nose, nose and eye itching, etc.), with a skin test further specifying the diagnosis. This consists of the application of the allergen containing solution onto the underarms, followed by the superficial scratching of the skin in the same area. The patient may be examined for up to 15-20 allergens. Results can be determined after 15 minutes: the diameter of the appeared hives is examined. Results are considered exact, if the patient is not taking any anti-allergy medication at the time of examination. Thus, the skin test is recommended to be performed outside the pollen season, when the patient is relatively symptom-free.

Antihistamines

Histamine plays the major role in the development of allergic cold symptoms, thus, the so called antihistamine agents constitute one fundamental line of treatment. These are available in form of pills, as well as nasal sprays. Antihistamine agents are also available prescription free in pharmacies, thus, under certain circumstances, you don’t even have to wait in line at your general practitioner.

Side-effect of older generation antihistamines may be drowsiness, this is tried to be eliminated in the case of newer agents.

  • Another useful recommendation for allergy patients is the creation of a preferably allergen-free surrounding.
  • Wash your hair and pillow-case more often than usually
  • procuring a good quality air filter may be useful
  • plan your vacation to allergen-free areas
  • those suffering from dust mite allergy should keep as few carpets as possible in their homes
  • check the condition of pollen filters in your car

Steroids as allergy treatment

Steroids block several steps of allergic inflammation, being extremely effective, but in consequence a double-edged sword. Steroid agents applied into the nose are locally effective, basically with no systemic side effect at all.

Nasal sprays containing steroid are not similar to nose-drops applied for snuffles “unclogging” in a common cold, meaning they don’t act immediately, and it’s not necessary to apply them 3-4 times a day. The effect of nasal sprays with steroid starts only after hours, reaching their maximum effect after two weeks, thus one needs to begin with their administration before season starts, and a constant usage is recommended. However, most of them have the advantage of a high enough dosage of one spraying per day.

Injections containing steroid, the popular they are becoming, are not considered part of the allergic cold treatment!