The treatment for an allergy depends on what you're allergic to. In many cases, your GP will be able to offer advice and treatment.
They'll advise you about taking steps to avoid exposure to the substance you're allergic to, andcan recommend medication to control your symptoms.
The best way to keep your symptoms under control is often to avoid the things you're allergic to,although this isn't always practical.
For example, youmay be able to helpmanage:
Theycan be used:
Antihistaminescan be takenas tablets, capsules, creams, liquids, eye drops or nasal sprays, depending on which part of your body is affected by your allergy.
Decongestants can be used as a short-term treatment for a blocked nose caused by an allergic reaction.
Theycan be taken as tablets, capsules, nasal sprays or liquids. Don't use them for more than a week at a time, as using them for long periods can make your symptoms worse.
Red and itchy skin caused by an allergic reaction can sometimes be treated with over-the-counter creams and lotions, such as:
Steroid medications can help reduce inflammation caused by an allergic reaction.They're available as:
Sprays, drops and weak steroid creams are available without a prescription. Stronger creams,inhalers and tablets are available on prescription from your GP.
Immunotherapy may be an option for a small number of people with certain severe and persistent allergies who are unable to control their symptoms using the measures above.
The treatment involves being given occasional small doses of the allergen either as an injection, or as drops or tablets under the tongue over the course of several years.
The injectioncan only be performed in a specialist clinic under the supervision of a doctor, as there is a small risk of a severe reaction. The drops or tablets can usually betaken at home.
The aim of treatment is to helpyour body get used to the allergen so it doesn't react to it so severely.This won't necessarily cureyour allergy, but it will make it milder and mean you can take less medication.
Some people with severe allergies may experience life-threatening reactions,known as anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock.
If you're at risk of this, you'll be given special injectors containing a medicine called adrenaline to use in an emergency.
If you develop symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as difficulty breathing, you should inject yourself in the outer thigh before seeking emergency medical help.
Read all about allergies, including about the most common allergies, what the symptoms of an allergic reaction are, and what can be done to keep an allergy under control.
Read about the main symptoms of an allergic reaction, including sneezing, wheezing, itchy eyes and shortness of breath.
Read about the tests that may be carried out to diagnose an allergy, including skin prick testing and blood tests.