Treatment

Allergy treatments include:

  • Allergen avoidance. Your doctor will help you take steps to identify and avoid your allergy triggers. This is generally the most important step in preventing allergic reactions and reducing symptoms.
  • Medications. Depending on your allergy, medications can help reduce your immune system reaction and ease symptoms. Your doctor may suggest over-the-counter or prescription medication in the form of pills or liquid, nasal sprays or eyedrops.
  • Immunotherapy. For severe allergies or allergies not completely relieved by other treatment, your doctor may recommend allergen immunotherapy. This treatment involves a series of injections of purified allergen extracts, usually given over a period of a few years.

    Another form of immunotherapy is a tablet that's placed under the tongue (sublingual) until it dissolves. Sublingual drugs are used to treat some pollen allergies.

  • Emergency epinephrine. If you have a severe allergy, your doctor may give you an emergency epinephrine shot to carry with you at all times. Given for severe allergic reactions, an epinephrine shot (EpiPen, others) can reduce symptoms until you get emergency treatment.

Alternative medicine

  • Clinical practice guidelines suggest that some people with allergic rhinitis may benefit from acupuncture.
  • Researchers are investigating using dietary supplements, fish oil, and prebiotics and probiotics for pregnant women to help prevent food allergies and eczema in their children.