The “Anti’s” of Antihistamines


Last week we took a look at the downsides of decongestants, and this week we are going to focus on another medication frequently used to treat allergies: antihistamines.

Antihistamines prevent the effects of histamine, the substance your body releases when you are exposed to an allergen. The histamine is what causes you to sneeze as well as have a runny nose and itchy, watery eyes. Therefore, antihistamines are designed to give you relief from these symptoms.

Antihistamines are available over-the-counter and by prescription, and come in sedating (called first generation) and non-drowsy (called second generation) formulas. However, both the first and second generation medications have been known to have the opposite effects on users, meaning that a sedating brand may not make someone tired where a nonsedating one may put someone to sleep.

For a list of some of the more common types of antihistamines, click here.  

Like decongestants, antihistamines are expensive. And since allergy symptoms can appear year-round, if you’re constantly purchasing them to treat allergies, the costs will really add up. To make matters worse, according to WebMD, the non-sedative remedies that many people rely on to feel better during the day cost 10 to 20 times as much as the sedating ones.

Antihistamines of all types also carry the risk of side effects. The most common ones include:

dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, and restlessness or moodiness. Extreme side effects include blurred vision and confusion. Although antihistamines are relatively safe even if taken long-term, they have been known to worsen the following conditions: enlarged prostate, heart disease, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, kidney or liver disease, bladder obstruction, or glaucoma. Antihistamines are also known to have negative interactions with specific medications.

When it comes down to it, one of the biggest “anti’s” of antihistamines is that they are just a short-term solution to a long-term problem. So why fork over your hard-earned cash and risk side effects for something that will only give you temporary relief?

At CT Sinus Center, we offer permanent relief through an affordable, non-invasive procedure called balloon sinus dilation. In just under an hour, the procedure will increase the airflow in your nasal passages and decrease the possibility of further sinus discomfort.

When you are ready to discontinue your endless supply of antihistamines, schedule a consultation with one of our expert physicians to see if you are eligible for balloon sinus dilation or any of our other highly-effective treatments that will put an end to your allergy suffering forever.

For more information on all things allergies, visit our website and blog, and then book your appointment by calling (860) – BALLOON.

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