alt=hands resisting medicine handcuffs

Allergy Mitigation Tips: "I Don't Want to Take Allergy Meds Forever!"

I recently stopped by a colleague's house on a beautiful spring evening. She said to me, "Oh! I have a question for you." I wondered what she was going to ask.

Taking allergy medicines for a lifetime

My family, friends, and colleagues know that I work in Public Health and am a Certified Asthma Educator. I've been in the public health field for 14 years, so I know a thing or 2. Because of my expertise, I am often asked questions about inhalers, allergy medicines, allergy shots, etc.

My colleague said, "I don't want to take allergy meds forever." She wondered if the only relief from her allergies would be to take daily allergy medicine forever. This isn't the first time I have heard this.

Another colleague found out he has heart problems, and after receiving a pacemaker, he will have to take medicine for the rest of his life. He was upset that he had to take daily medication.

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Many conditions require daily treatment

Personally, I don't understand this logic. If I have a medical condition that needs daily treatment, I will take it. I take a handful of vitamins and supplements daily, so I can take another pill with them. I'm all for it if it helps me have a better quality of life and controls my symptoms.

As a family of 5, we all have allergies and take allergy meds daily. We also use an allergy nasal spray. The combination helps control our allergy symptoms.

In addition to that, all 3 of my kids had allergy shots (immunotherapy) for years. Allergy shots won't cure allergies but allow you to tolerate allergens better. And when your allergies are better controlled, it will also help manage your asthma.

Trying to stop taking allergy medicines

So, back to my colleague's question.

She told me she wanted to try to wean herself off her allergy medicines. But every time she tried, her hands swelled and itched. This outcome isn't uncommon for many people with environmental allergies.

My oldest son, who was scheduled for allergy testing, experienced something similar. He had to stop taking his allergy meds 1 week before testing. During that time off of the medicine, he was itching and sneezing. As a result of the testing, the allergist advised him to stay on allergy medicines through summer and fall and refrain in the winter.

Medicine-free allergy symptom relief

I asked my colleague what bothered her about taking allergy medication every day. She replied that she didn't want to rely on medicine to alleviate her allergies.

So, I informed her that other ways exist to help control environmental allergies that don't involve medication, such as:

  • Removing shoes when inside the home
  • Changing clothes when outside on a high-pollen day
  • Keeping the windows and doors closed to keep the pollen out of the house
  • Showering before bed to remove the pollen from hair and skin
  • Blowing your nose before bed to remove a day's worth of pollen
  • Washing bed sheets at least 1 time per week to ensure they are clean and allergen-free

I told my colleague it's best to talk to her doctor about how she doesn't want to take allergy meds for the rest of her life. But she could try some of these allergy hacks and see if they will help. And if all of that fails, she could consider allergy shots.

Does anyone else hate taking medicine daily, knowing you'll probably need it for the rest of your life?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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