How to Best Address Allergic Rhinitis

Katarzyna Lalicata, MSN, FNP-C, FNP-BC, CVS MinuteClinic, discusses treatments for allergic rhinitis.

Katarzyna Lalicata, MSN, FNP-C, FNP-BC:Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include coughing; an itchy, runny, or stuffy nose; itchy or watery eyes; a scratchy or sore throat; and sneezing, especially when exposed to the allergen, whether it be dust mites, mold, or pollen from grass and trees. Cold symptoms are similar, but they come on gradually and usually last 7 to 10 days. A fever may also accompany a cold. Fatigue, headaches, or sinus pain and pressure may indicate other underlying conditions.

Treatment for allergic rhinitis can include avoiding being outdoors if pollen is the trigger, dusting and vacuuming regularly with a high-efficiency HEPA filter while wearing a mask, and. removing items that collect dust, such as curtains and stuffed animals. When coming in from outside, change clothes and remove shoes so as to not track pollen into the house.

Medications for allergic rhinitis include OTC antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal steroid or saline sprays. The best choice depends on the individual. Some people should not take decongestants, including those with benign prostatic hyperplasia, coronary heart disease, hypertension, or who are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors.

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