This is a great question and one I get in clinic all of the time. I can also relate to how frustrating allergy symptoms can be when not treated appropriately. If you are requiring a daily antihistamine and feel that your symptoms are adequately controlled, then over-the-counter medications may be a good option to continue controlling your symptoms.
There are, however, circumstances when over the counter allergy medications are not enough. If your symptoms are not well controlled, keep you from doing things you enjoy, such as being outdoors, or require the use of medication combinations (frequently adding in a decongestant or nasal steroid spray), then it is time to see an allergist to determine what allergies you have and what medications or other treatments may be right for you.
Another reason to see an allergist is if you are not tolerating the OTC medications or, like many of us, are not good at remembering to take daily medications. Allergy medications are generally effective and safe, but are not the right treatment for some patients. Some people will require more aggressive treatment to maintain a good quality of life, and allergists can help with that. If you have been diagnosed with asthma or have asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, this could be related to allergies and seeing an allergist could be very beneficial.
Board certified allergists are specially trained to walk with you through your allergy concerns and offer solutions to get you back to the quality of life you desire. Our entire group of doctors at Hedberg Allergy and Asthma have this additional training and would love to help you and your family with allergy related needs.
You can request an appointment online by clicking here.
Jenny Campbell, MD