5 Allergy Medication Mistakes to Avoid

Allergies can take a toll on your overall quality of life. The good news is there are medications that can help you find relief. If you step into any drugstore or pharmacy, you're bound to find pills, sprays, and other medications that can combat the common symptoms of allergies.

It's important to understand that medications will only be effective if you use them properly. To make sure you do, keep these five allergy medication mistakes in mind:

1 - Using Medications in the AM

If you're living with allergies, you may find that your symptoms are at their worst in the early hours of the morning. So rather than taking meds when you first wake up, it's a good idea to take them before bed. This way you can keep early morning symptoms under control. Be sure to consult your doctor before you take any new medications to find out what they recommend.

2 - Ignoring Pollen Counts

High pollen counts can exacerbate allergy symptoms. Therefore, get into the habit of looking up pollen counts near you on a regular basis. If you they'll be high one day, take your medications beforehand. Better yet, stay inside if you can. You can go to Google and type in your location + pollen counts to find out what they may be.

3 - Forgetting About Medications Before Allergy Season

Most people take their allergy medications as soon as allergy season hits. What they don't realize, however, is that it's important to take them at least two weeks before pollen fills the air. Note that plants and trees often produce pollen in February so waiting until April or May before you take your meds can be a mistake.

4 - Overusing Medications

There are some allergy medications that are only intended to be used for a short period of time. This is particularly true with nasal sprays, which usually treat symptoms like sneezing, itching, and congestion. In most cases, nasal sprays should only be used for a few days. If you overuse them, you may face rebound congestion and worsen, rather than help your symptoms.

5 - Solely Depending on Over-the-Counter Medications

Contrary to popular belief, over-the-counter medications are not enough to provide you with complete allergy relief. They can reduce your symptoms but should be used alongside other therapies. These therapies include allergy shots and immunotherapies that must be prescribed by a doctor.

If you need help controlling your allergies, don't hesitate to contact your doctor. They may refer you to an allergy specialist who can design an individualized treatment plan.

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