When allergies strike, an antihistamine can help one to ease their discomfort. This is because certain individuals have bodies that misidentify harmless environmental substances as being detrimental to their immune systems. When this happens, the chemical called histamine causes bodies to manifest an allergic reaction, which can take on a variety of forms. An antihistamine is useful in that it combats this histamine chemical and prevents it from acting upon one's system. While an antihistamine can be prescribed by a doctor in the event of severe allergic reactions, the majority of allergies can be treated with a simple over-the-counter antihistamine, the type of which will be determined by a person's specific needs.
Airborne particles such as dust and pollen can cause allergic reactions, as can foods, insect stings, and materials such as latex. Reactions can take on the form of itchy, red eyes, hives, mouth and eye swelling, as well as wheezing and eczema reactions. Gastrointestinal reactions are also possible, such as diarrhea, vomiting, upset stomachs, and nausea. An over-the-counter antihistamine can prove effective in treating all of these ailments, provided that they are not too extreme. If one's entire face is swelling up to cartoon-like proportions, or if they are finding it hard to breathe and swallow, then they might want to ask a doctor if a prescription antihistamine might better serve their needs.
Choosing an Over-The-Counter Antihistamine
Choosing the right over-the-counter antihistamine for one's allergies is crucial. An over-the-counter antihistamine can take the form of a pill, a liquid, a nasal spray, or eye drops, with each of these options having their uses. Pills and liquids can help relieve swelling, excess mucus, and eye irritation, while nasal sprays are good for relieving runny noses, sneezing, and sinus congestion. An eye drop antihistamine can be used to treat eye irritations such as swelling, redness, and itching. One should always purchase an over-the-counter antihistamine based on their symptoms.
Individuals might also consider choosing an antihistamine with a decongestant in it, as this will help to avoid the drowsiness associated with some antihistamine use. A decongestant antihistamine will be labeled as such and can be purchased over the counter.
Over-The-Counter vs Prescription Antihistamines
An over-the-counter antihistamine differs from a prescription antihistamine mainly due to the severity of one's allergic reactions. Most allergies can be both treated and prevented with an over-the-counter antihistamine, saving individuals both the cost and the hassle of a doctor visit. Oftentimes, consumers go to their doctors and end up with an over-the-counter antihistamine recommendation anyway, which means that they wasted their time and money for no reason. Only extreme allergic reactions warrant a prescription antihistamine, which consumers should always keep in mind.
Allergies and Antihistamines
Allergies are a discomfort to everyone they afflict, and most of them can be treated with an antihistamine. Whether a person is dealing with itchy eyes, wheezing, swelling, rashes, or gastrointestinal reactions, an over-the-counter antihistamine can be used to both prevent and soothe their ailments. With so many options to choose from, antihistamine purchases have never been simpler.