Here’s a quick summary of the different sinus treatment options, what they do and the pros and cons. It’s best to consult your physician and to find a treatment plan that works for you.
(RX & OTC)
(RX & OTC)
|Portable, fits in purse/bag|
|Treatment Time||5 minutes||Few seconds||Few minutes||Few seconds|
|Usage/day||Up to 4 times/day||2 times/day||Various times/day||Various times/day|
Nasal Sprays (Prescription and Over-the-Counter (OTC))
Nasal sprays for allergies can be very effective. They need to be used correctly and regularly to maximize effectiveness and minimize side effects such as nasal bleeding and irritation.
- Nasal steroids – work well to treat the main symptoms of allergic rhinitis – in particular, nasal obstruction, runny nose, nasal itching, and sneezing. Nasal sprays work to suppress the immune system response before it releases histamines to fight allergens. Nasal steroids take 2-4 weeks for full effect. Sample prescriptions include: fluticasone furoate (Veramyst), mometasone (Nasonex), beclomethasone (Beconase, Qnasl), ciclesonide (Zetonna) Sample OTC include: fluticasone propionate (Flonase), triamcinolone (Nasacort), budesonide (Rhinocort).
- Nasal antihistamines – treats many nasal symptoms, but are generally ineffective at treating congestion. They should be used routinely, but they can cause drowsiness. Examples include azelastine (Astelin, Astepro), and olopatadine (Patanase).
- Nasal anticholinergics – dries up a “drippy nose” but will not treat nasal itching or congestion. Example includes: Ipratropium Nasal (Atrovent Nasal).
- Nasal mast cell stabilizers – contains the anti-inflammatory agent cromolyn sodium and prevents nasal allergy symptoms. Use before exposure to allergens (1-2 weeks before allergy season). Example includes: Cromolyn Sodium (NasalCrom).
Nasal irrigation systems – commonly known as neti pots – are drug-free, natural and help relieve nasal allergies, colds, and sinus infections. They rinse out mucus, bacteria, and allergens like dust and pollen, and moisturize nasal passages exposed to dry indoor air.
Nasal rinse devices include squeeze bottles, battery-operated pulsed water devices, bulb syringes, or neti pots. A saline or saltwater solution passes through the delicate nasal membranes. It’s important to note that the FDA recommends sterilizing tap water by boiling or using sterile distilled water to minimize risk of infection. Examples include: Navage, Neilmed brands.
Allergy Pills (Prescription and OTC)
For quick relief from allergens like pollen from grass, or weeds, antihistamine pills work well against some symptoms. They are less effective at relieving congestion. Examples include: diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or loratidine (Claritin).
OTC antihistamines such as fexofenadine (Allegra), loratidine (Claritin), or cetirizine (Zyrtec) are less likely to cause drowsiness. As with many medications, antihistamines may be cause side effects, may have interactions with other drugs, and are not recommended for those with severe liver conditions.
If you’ve been tested to determine what you are allergic to, your physician can put you on an immunotherapy regimen that includes weekly shots to boost your immunity against the offending allergen. Allergy immunotherapy typically lasts up to three years and can reduce the immune system response to allergens.
ClearUP™ Sinus Pain Relief
ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief has been cleared by the FDA to be safe and effective for temporary relief of sinus pain from allergic rhinitis. Post-market studies have shown reduction in symptoms with regular use. This non-pharmaceutical solution can be used in conjunction with other treatment methods or as a stand-alone treatment option.