It’s the dreaded allergy season. Everyone in my family has been sneezing for weeks! So I thought it would be a good time to look into what are some of the best-selling over-the-counter meds, as well as give you some tips to minimize the suffering.
Top 10 OTC brands for cough, cold, allergy and sinus in the U.S., by revenue in 2014.
- Alka Seltzer Plus
- Vicks NyQuil
- Mucinex DM
- Claritin D
Here are some tips that might help with allergies, from mayoclinic.org:
Reduce Your Exposure To Allergy Triggers
- Stay indoors on dry, windy days. The best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
- Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
- Remove clothes you’ve worn outside and shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
- Don’t hang laundry outside — pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
- Wear a pollen mask if you do outside chores.
Take Extra Steps When Pollen Counts Are High
- Check your local TV or radio station, your local newspaper, or the Internet for pollen forecasts and current pollen levels.
- If high pollen counts are forecasted, start taking allergy medications before your symptoms start.
- Close doors and windows at night or any other time when pollen counts are high.
- Avoid outdoor activity in the early morning when pollen counts are highest.
Keep Your Indoor Air Clean
- Use the air conditioning in your house and car.
- If you have forced air heating or air conditioning in your house, use high-efficiency filters and follow regular maintenance schedules.
- Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier.
- Use a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your bedroom.
- Clean floors often with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter
Try An Over-The-Counter Remedy
- Oral antihistamines. Antihistamines can help relieve sneezing, itching, a runny nose and watery eyes.
- Decongestants. Oral decongestants can provide temporary relief from nasal stuffiness. Only use nasal decongestants for a few days in a row. Longer-term use of decongestant nasal sprays can actually worsen symptoms (rebound congestion).
- Nasal spray. Cromolyn sodium nasal spray can ease allergy symptoms and doesn’t have serious side effects, though it’s most effective when you begin using it before your symptoms start.
- Combination medications. Some allergy medications combine an antihistamine with a decongestant.
Rinse Your Sinuses
- Rinsing your nasal passages with saline solution (nasal irrigation) is a quick, inexpensive and effective way to relieve nasal congestion. Rinsing directly flushes out mucus and allergens from your nose.
I hope that helps. I’ve used some of these tips with my own family.
I also wanted to mention that we had our first live Facebook chat this past Tuesday. Unfortunately, we may not have picked the best time for it. We’ll have some news on other things we’ll be trying in the very near future. Stay tuned!
Have a great day.