Allergies are the sixth-leading cause of chronic illness in the United States, and more than 50 million Americans struggle with allergy symptoms each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With the spring allergy season arriving, there’s no need to suffer with either the drowsiness of over-the-counter medications or the allergy symptoms affecting the eyes, lungs, nose, throat, sinuses, ears, skin or stomach.
“Poorly controlled allergies affect the eyes and nose and really affect sleep quality, affect energy levels and work performance, and can really decrease quality of life if you’re miserable all the time,” says Dr. David Stukus, an allergist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio, and a member of the board of directors for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. “A lot of people think that’s the way to live, and they can do better.”
Antihistamines known to cause drowsiness include chlorpheniramine, which a Metro-North engineer reportedly had in his system during a Dec. 1 fatal train crash. Some over-the-counter antihistamines “affect your reaction time and your ability to think quickly,” says Stukus.
Here are 10 remedies for dealing with allergy symptoms without feeling sedated.