Allergies Information & Discounts
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Allergies occur due to a hypersensitivity of the immune system to a particular substance. Allergies may be seasonal, short-term or long-term. Allergies may be treated with allergy medications or immunotherapy. Claim your free coupons for allergy medicine below and receive them via print, e-mail or text message, or continue to read about allergies and allergy management below.
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Allergies Information & Discounts
What are allergies?
To have allergies or an allergy is to have a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. Allergies occur when a person’s immune system has a fighting response to a normally harmless substance in the environment. There are different types of allergies, such as seasonal allergies, food allergies, skin allergies and allergies to other things in the environment such as plants or insects. An allergic reaction manifests itself in different ways and can be mild or severe. Allergies can affect the skin, digestive system, respiratory system and the circulatory system. Severe allergic reactions can even cause anaphylactic shock. The best allergy medication for you really depends on preference and type of allergies. Someone with long-term allergy problems probably won’t want to take the same allergy medications as someone with seasonal allergies.
What causes allergies?
Causes of allergies cannot yet be fully explained, but research suggests that causes are both genetically and environmentally related. Allergies are much more common in industrialized nations. Immigrants to industrialized nations from the developing world have an increasing rate of allergies in relation to the time spent in the industrialized world. This suggests that environments that are overly sterile can cause allergies to develop in humans. Because the immune system has nothing to react to, it becomes hypersensitive over time. Allergies may also develop from exposure to pollution. Genetic and dietary factors may also play a role, but are not yet fully understood.
How can I manage allergies?
Allergy medications are often used to manage the symptoms of allergies. Allergy medications include corticosteroids, antihistamines, leukotriene receptor antagonists, and epinephrine. The best allergy medicine depends on the individual’s preferences and type of allergy. Some allergy medications may make the patient sleepy or cause changes in mood. Prescription and non-prescription allergy medications are available. Read about types of allergy medications in the “Types of Medication” section.
Immunotherapy is a more natural way to try to deal with allergies. Immunotherapy may even cure some allergies while allergy medication will not. Immunotherapy attempts to desensitize the body’s immune system to whatever substance is causing it to overreact by introducing it to the body little by little until it becomes accustomed to the substance. One way to do this is to receive vaccinations of the allergen over time. The doses of the allergen progressively grow larger until sensitivity is reduced or eliminated. Another type of immunotherapy is called sublingual immunotherapy. This involves putting drops or tablets of allergens under the tongue. It works in the same way as the injections, building tolerance over time. Sublingual immunotherapy is very popular and successful in most of Europe, Australia, South American and some Asian countries. People taking honey for allergies would be a form of immunotherapy. However, this is usually ineffective due to the fact that it is difficult to find and guarantee that a jar of honey contains the pollens that the individual is actually allergic to.
Allergy prevention is still not certain, especially for adults. Studies have shown that pregnant women who have large amounts of antioxidants, zinc and selenium in their diets will help prevent allergies in infants. This also allows for a reduced risk of asthma, wheezing and eczema. Probiotic supplements may also help. Further research is needed. Introducing solid food and a high variety of food before an infant is 17 weeks old could increase the child’s risk for allergies.
What are the different types of allergy medications?
Antihistamines are the most common type of allergy medicine. They block histamines that are released into the body when a person experiences an allergic reaction. Histamines cause inflammation in the body and lead to classic allergy symptoms including runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes and congestion. There are first-generation and second-generation antihistamines. First-generation antihistamines like Benadryl usually cause greater side-effects like drowsiness while second-generation antihistamines can be taken around the clock on a regular basis. First-generation antihistamines might be the best allergy medicine for those who have trouble sleeping due to allergies.
If traditional allergy treatments fail, an individual may consider the use of corticosteroids injections to decrease inflammation and control asthma for 2-4 weeks. Corticosteroids stop symptoms but do not cure allergies. There are also some side effects involved in the use of corticosteroids including decreased bone density over prolonged use, a decrease in the body’s ability to fight infection on its own, and possible but uncommon skin atrophy.
Leukotriene Receptor Antagonists
Leukotriene receptor antagonists are a type of allergy medication that blocks leukotrienes in the body. Leukotrienes are produced during allergic reactions and cause inflammation. Leukotriene receptor antagonist drugs are used to treat allergies and asthma, though corticosteroids are said to be more effective in the treatment of asthma.
Epinephrine or adrenaline is a hormone and neurotransmitter. Epinephrine is injected in cases of severe allergic reaction to stop anaphylactic shock.
What are the symptoms of allergies?
Symptoms of allergies or allergic reaction include:
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Coughing or wheezing
- Swelling and inflammation
Symptoms of food allergies may also include severe abdominal pain and cramping, bloating, and diarrhea.
Allergic reactions may cause anaphylactic shock in severe cases. Signs of anaphylactic shock include severe hives, swelling of the throat or bronchial tissue causing a decreasing ability to breathe, and in some cases, coronary artery spasms. Anaphylaxis can set in over minutes or slowly over hours. If a victim is experiencing signs of anaphylactic shock and has no epinephrine to treat it, they should be brought to the hospital immediately. Anaphylactic shock can be fatal.
Allergies Drug Information
Claritin is a non-prescription allergy medication it is an antihistamine that is usually used to control seasonal allergy symptoms. Read about antihistamines in our “Types of Medication” section. Claritin, Claritin-D, and Claritin-D 12 hour or 24 hour medicine can be bought over the counter at your local pharmacy or drugstore. The difference between Claritin and Claritin-D is that Claritin-D also contains a decongestant. Claim your Claritin coupon on our site for up to 75% off the retail price of Claritin or search our site for other allergy medicine coupons.
Singulair is a leukotriene receptor antagonist prescription allergy medication. Read about leukotriene receptor antagonists in our “Types of Medication” section. Singulair is used to control allergy symptoms such as runny or stuffy nose and sneezing. Singulair is also used to prevent asthma attacks. Singulair is available as a generic drug called montelukast. These allergy medications are available in tablet or chewable tablet form. Claim your coupon for up to 90% off on some Singulair medications or search our site for other allergy medicine coupons.
Promethegan is a first-generation antihistamine and a prescription allergy medication. Read about antihistamines in the “Types of Medication” section. This medication is not recommended for children under 6 years of age nor for the elderly as side effects can be potentially fatal for this age group. Promethegan is often prescribed as a suppository but it may also be found as a tablet, injection or syrup in its generic for or under other brand names. Promethazine is the generic form of Promethegan. Claim your free coupon for up to 86% off on Promethegan or search our site for other allergy medicine coupons.