In the previous Allergy Respiratory & Sleep Medicine blog, you learned a little about the difference between treating your Northeast Ohio seasonal allergies with over the counter medications versus allergy shots. Now, it’s time to explore other treatment options, such as corticosteroid therapy, and their pros and cons.
You know from the last blog that use of over the counter antihistamines and decongestants can be beneficial because they begin to work relatively quickly, as opposed to long-term treatment programs like allergy shots. The end goal with allergy shots is to treat the underlying cause of your seasonal allergies, not the symptoms. When administered by professionals like those at Allergy Respiratory & Sleep Medicine, an allergy shot program can actually lead to several seasons where you will be virtually allergy free. The same cannot be said for other medicines, particularly those that can be purchased over the counter. In fact, long term use of some of these medicines can actually be harmful. For example, extended use of decongestant nasal spray will eventually damage the nasal membranes causing new problems to arise, and making treatment more difficult.
Besides allergy shots, a relatively common treatment practice among allergists is corticosteroid therapy. However, because this practice is not widely understood, some patients are reluctant to participate due to misinformation and anecdotal evidence. Dr. Given has found, in his many years of experience, that most patients are able to tolerate medium to low doses for short periods of time, such as five to seven days.
If a doctor has suggested this treatment for you, but you are uncertain about how to proceed, here is some information that Dr. Given and his staff at Allergy Respiratory & Sleep Medicine in Canton feel may be beneficial to you.
- Corticosteroid medications, like Prednisone and Medrol, are actually modeled after cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that is naturally found in the body and is essential to normal health.
- While there are a vast number of anti-inflammatory medications on the market, those in the corticosteroid family are hands down the most effective at treating inflammation in the body. Allergic reactions are inflammations within the body.
- Commonly prescribed Prednisone was the first medication of its kind, and has been in use for over sixty years!
- These medications can be used safely and effectively with no lasting ill-effects through careful dosing and instructions.
It is important that, should Dr. Given or any other medical professional suggest corticosteroid therapy, you are completely open with them about your concerns, your medical history, past experiences, and any other pertinent information. Your prescription will be tailored to your needs, and the best way to accomplish that is to provide them with as much information as possible.
There are also topical or systemic nasal sprays. These sprays are not as fast-acting as over the counter decongestants and antihistamines, nor are they as powerful as corticosteroid shots or pills. However, they are safe for daily use and an effective treatment tool throughout allergy season in Northeast Ohio and elsewhere.
If you have tried over the counter medications, but are still suffering from seasonal allergy symptoms, give Allergy Respiratory & Sleep Medicine in Canton a call at 330.479.3333. Let this caring staff of professionals evaluate your needs, and relieve your suffering today!