April 15, 2024

Allergies can cause miserable symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, and others, and you may experience allergies seasonally or year-round. Thankfully, there are a lot of over-the-counter allergy medications that can help keep your symptoms under control. However, with so many choices, it can be difficult to know if you’re taking the right ones to get the most relief. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best over-the-counter allergy medications that can help you feel better:

1. Oral Antihistamines

Benadryl capsules in package

If your allergies appear seasonally or sporadically in response to allergens like pollen or contact with dogs, then the over-the-counter allergy medications you should consider taking are oral antihistamines. These include medicines such as Benadryl, Zyrtec, Allegra, Claritin, and Xyzal. Some studies suggest that Allegra may work best for eye-related allergy symptoms, while Xyzal may help most with nasal itching and sneezing. Claritin tends to be slightly less effective overall. Some people take these medications on an as-needed basis for allergy symptoms, but daily use is typically recommended to help prevent symptoms as well. Starting the medication at least two weeks before allergy season begins may provide the best results.

2. Nasal Steroid Sprays

If you suffer from daily or year-round allergies, you may want to look into nasal steroids. These over-the-counter allergy medications can be helpful if your allergy symptoms tend to last several weeks or months at a time. It’s typically recommended to try nasal steroids before other allergy medications since they are often more effective. Over-the-counter nasal steroid sprays include Flonase, Nasacort, Nasonex, and Rhinocort. Studies suggest that Nasonex may be the most effective medication for seasonal allergies, while Rhinocort may be most effective for year-round allergies. Nasal steroid sprays tend to take longer to work than antihistamines, but they are considered more effective for controlling and preventing nasal allergy symptoms over time.

3. Decongestants

man using nasal decongestant spray

Decongestants tend to work faster than other over-the-counter allergy medications, making them an attractive option for quick relief from nasal and sinus congestion. Some of the best over-the-counter decongestants include Sudafed, Neo-Synephrine, and Afrin. Some allergy medications such as Claritin-D and Allegra-D combine decongestants and antihistamines into the same pill to help with congestion and other allergy symptoms simultaneously. Decongestants can help you breathe easier when you’re stuffed up, but it’s important to note that they should not be taken long-term. Nasal decongestant sprays like Afrin may even make your congestion worse if taken for more than a few days, so make sure you use them sparingly. You should also avoid taking oral decongestants if you have certain heart conditions such as high blood pressure.

4. Mast Cell Stabilizers

Mast cell stabilizers work by preventing mast cells from releasing histamines. There is only one over-the-counter mast cell stabilizer available: Nasalcrom. This is a cromolyn sodium nasal spray. This type of medication is generally considered less effective than other over-the-counter allergy medications, especially for those with seasonal allergies. They take the longest to work, sometimes up to six weeks. However, mast cell stabilizers may be a good option if you suffer from year-round allergies. This type of medicine is also known as one of the safest allergy medications for use during pregnancy.

5. Dietary Supplements for Allergies

Aller-Essentials pill bottle

Taking dietary supplements can be a great way to help control allergy responses by supporting a healthy immune system. One of the best allergy supplements is Aller-Essentials. This formula is designed to support a healthy immune response and nasal function in response to environmental factors. Aller-Essentials contains a blend of nutrients and herbal extracts including vitamin C, quercetin, hesperidin, EpiCor, and others to provide immune support and help stabilize mast cells. Another great supplement is Quercetin Complex, which provides nutritional support for seasonal allergies. Its primary ingredients are quercetin and bromelain, which may help stabilize mast cells, promote healing, reduce inflammation, and provide immune support.

More Ways to Fight Against Seasonal Allergies

Now you know more about which over-the-counter allergy medications and supplements you may want to try to help relieve symptoms of seasonal and year-round allergies. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, there are more steps you can take to find much-needed relief! Check out these tips to help ease seasonal allergies so you don’t have to deal with unpleasant symptoms all season long!