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Doctors share allergy relief secrets for spring

Woman sneezing into a Kleenex.

(Photo: Flickr/mcfarlandmo)

Doctors share allergy relief secrets for spring

Tom Musbach

By Tom Musbach on March 05, 2013

Spring is near -- are you sneezing more?

Sometimes the most noticeable change from winter to spring is the onset of allergy symptoms, including sneezing, nasal congestion, and watery eyes. Seeking relief becomes a major preoccupation of the season.

If you're looking for ways to ease some of the common allergy troubles that come with spring, try these tips from health Experts on JustAnswer.

Start with an antihistamine

"The newer antihistamines are best," said Dr. Phil MD, "and most doctors suggest Zyrtec, also known as cetirizine."

Dr. Anthony Bray preferred a similar over-the-counter solution: "I tend to recommend Zyrtec 10mg in the morning, and Benedryl 25mg at bedtime."

Relief for itchy eyes

Oral antihistamines can also help with itchy, irritated eyes. Dr. Manju recommended Levocetirizine (5mg), which is available without a prescription.

"Bathe your eyes with plain eye washes; it will help in reducing the irritation," he added. You many also want to avoid wearing contact lenses or ask your doctor for a prescription for antihistamine eye drops.

Should you use a neti pot?

For the sinus congestion that many allergy sufferers experience, Dr. Hasan suggested a tab of Sudafed twice daily. If symptoms persist, he recommended trying a neti pot.

"The neti pot has a role in flushing out of nasal mucus and allergens," he said. "Using it during [allergy or hay fever] attacks is very beneficial."

If you are not familiar with the neti pot and its use, watch this demonstration video

Home remedy you can try

Dr. Hasan also offered a home remedy that has worked for several of his patients. Mix the following ingredients in a bottle:

  • 250 ml of honey (or approximately 1 cup)
  • 1 tbsp of ginger extract
  • 1 tbsp of black pepper

Consume 1 tablespoon of the mixture twice daily.

Final note: "If you are not getting adequate control with oral antihistamines and allergen avoidance, it's time to see your doctor," said Dr. Phil MD. Your physician may add a nasal spray, such as fluticasone, or other medications that will help you breathe better this spring.

If you have questions about your allergies, you can speak with a health Expert right now on JustAnswer.