It can be extremely frustrating: just as Houston’s allergy season is getting into gear, you find your trusted over the counter (OTC) medication is not providing the relief you’d received from it in the past. What causes this and what can you do? Understanding more about your allergies can help you find answers when you can’t get over the counter allergy relief.

Why Do Allergy Medications Stop Working?

In some cases, over the counter allergy medications stop working because your body has built up a resistance to your usual remedy. However, it is far more common for other changes in your life or your body to be the culprit behind the change.

Sometimes, the answer is that you are being exposed to more or different allergens than you were before. For instance, many allergies in San Antonio are seasonal. These will get worse when allergenic pollen is present in the air in greater quantities. Additionally, some allergy years are worse than others.

Changing your routine can also lead to an increase in allergy symptoms. A new pet, a new job or moving to a new neighborhood can mean exposure to allergens you did not come into as much contact with before.

Finally, sometimes we develop new allergies as we age. Some triggers may not have been a problem for you before, could become serious irritants later on. While this phenomenon is well-documented, we still don’t quite understand how the body gets sensitized to new allergens.

What to Do When You Can’t Find Relief

If your current allergy medication is not working for you, you have several options that can help you get back to feeling like yourself. Some people find they can get relief by switching from one over the counter medication to another. Someone who, for instance, is no longer getting relief from a first generation medication like Benadryl, may have more luck with a second generation option like Zyrtec or Allegra.

If your allergies are seasonal, you may be able to get through the season using remedies like neti pots and saline irrigation. These wash irritants out and reduce your exposure that way. They can also help you find relief when allergy attacks lead to a complication like a sinus infection.

There are also alternative solutions to provide long-term relief. At American Sinus Institute, we conduct allergy testing to help you identify and avoid allergy triggers, or come up with a treatment plan. Allergy shots and sublingual immunotherapy drops can reduce your sensitivity, which can reduce or even resolve your allergies. If your allergies are associated with sinus infections, you also have the option of balloon sinuplasty to open up sinus channels and prevent congestion.

If you are finding your allergies are getting worse instead of better, you do not have to just live with the suffering. Contact us to learn more about the treatment options that could work best for you.