Allergy Shots And Allergy Medications: What’s The Difference?
Perhaps you’ve already been diagnosed with allergies at First Med Urgent Care or you’ve just been aware of having allergies your whole life. If you suffer from springtime allergies, as a lot of people do, then you know the misery that comes along with the watery eyes and, seemingly, uninterrupted sneezing. You should also know that there are a lot of different ways to prevent those pesky allergy symptoms. Depending on the level of severity you may be given a choice to have an allergy shot or to take allergy medication.
What’s the difference between an allergy shot and allergy medication?
There are 4 basic types of allergy medications and they include:
- Antihistamines: These work to help your body’s immune system fight off the histamine that is released during your allergy attack. This is why the antihistamine can help to prevent stuffiness, congestion and itching. They do not help with symptoms you already have and should be taken up to 2 weeks prior to allergy problems occurring.
- Decongestants: Decongestants are used to cure the symptoms you already have and cannot be used as a preventative method, so if you are prone to having congestion during your allergies, you will need to take a decongestant in order to alleviate your symptoms.
- Nasal Sprays: As the name suggests, they are used to treat nasal congestion, stuffiness and redness during your allergies.
- Steroids: These are stronger than antihistamines, but they are used much in the same way. They are best used as a preventative, taken at least 2 weeks in advance. This method works to prevent against allergies and combat stuffiness, redness and itching.
Allergy shots are a stronger treatment method, generally, used to treat more severe cases of allergies in which people suffer from things like:
- Intense rashes
- Shortness of breath
- And if you suffer from allergies at least 3 months out of the year
As you may find on WebMD, allergy medications or shots may be more risky for people with heart or lung disease, or who take certain medications. Always be certain to tell your doctor about all health conditions and any medicines you take, so that you can decide if allergy medications or shots are right for you.