Have you ever felt like your allergy medicine doesn’t work? If you’ve ever wondered why your allergy meds aren’t providing enough allergy relief, it can mean that the over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines or steroid nasal sprays that you’re taking aren’t doing their job in alleviating your allergy symptoms anymore. But why does this happen?
Can You Build Up a Resistance to Allergy Medications?
It is uncommon for your immune system to build resistance to allergy medications. OTC allergy medication, like antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays, are frequently used and don’t lead to resistance.
However, your body can develop a resistance to sprays like Afrin, a nasal decongestant spray, over prolonged use. Your body begins to rely on the use of the decongestant and it’s possible to have a rebound effect, where your nose becomes more congested due to swelling of the nasal passages.
Why Might Your Allergy Medication Not Work?
There are many reasons allergy medicines may no longer work for a person. Below are several reasons why:
The Environment Has Changed
The impact of climate change on our environment has resulted in increasing allergens which can make your allergies worse. As temperatures increase, pollen concentrations have increased and allergy season has lengthened. Because of the increase in pollen, your seasonal allergy symptoms can occur more frequently. Instead of dealing with seasonal allergies for a brief part of the year, your allergies can seem never-ending. This can lead to the feeling that your allergy medication isn’t working.
You Have New Allergies
Your immune system changes as you age which can result in you developing allergies later in life. You can develop allergies to substances you were previously able to tolerate. You can also develop allergies as you change environments and come into contact with new indoor and outdoor allergens. If you have a specific allergy treatment regimen, it might not work as well after you’ve developed new allergies if these new allergies are not taken into account. Having additional allergies could also cause new allergy reactions that your medicines aren’t designed to treat.
You Are Not Taking the Right Medication
If you are taking OTC medications, it is important to take them as indicated on their packaging. Additionally, it is important to know that OTC antihistamines are the most effective when you take them before you come into contact with an allergy trigger. Antihistamines help block the release of histamine, but if you’ve already been exposed to your allergy trigger, your body will have already started releasing histamine.
OTC medications can be an effective way to manage your allergies, but they only provide short-term relief. You have to continue taking these medications consistently to get the best results. However, if you have severe allergies, OTC antihistamines or nasal sprays might not be able to provide enough relief for you. If you find that OTC medications don’t relieve your symptoms, you might want to try immunotherapy.
Can Allergy Testing Help?
If your normal allergy medication is failing, the next step is to get an allergy test and identify exactly what is triggering your allergies. This can help you prevent exposure to those triggers or to find prescription medicine, like sublingual immunotherapy. Sublingual immunotherapy exposes your body to trace amounts of what you are allergic to. Over time, your body becomes desensitized and stops reacting when exposed to an allergen. This can result in an allergy-free life.
Take Our Allergy Assessment
If your allergy medicine isn’t working, it might be time to try sublingual immunotherapy. At Wyndly, our allergy doctors will create a personalized treatment plan to get you long-term relief from your allergy symptoms. Take our quick online assessment today to get started!