Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Nose is Stuffy due to Allergies Treatment

A person with allergic rhinitis must learn how to avoid substances that trigger the illness. Treatment for allergic rhinitis often includes oral antihistamines, decongestants, corticosteroids, and additional medications that reduce the symptoms of allergic reactions. In most cases, the symptoms of allergic rhinitis improve greatly over 2-3 days of therapy. Depending on the severity of the reaction, allergic rhinitis may be difficult to treat. Even with treatment, symptoms may last for 2-3 weeks.

Immunotherapy or allergy shots, train the body to tolerate the substance that triggers an allergic reaction. This may help reduce the severity of the symptoms when a person is exposed to the trigger.

Treatment for allergic rhinitis may include:

Nose is Stuffy due to Allergies Allergy Shots

Allergy Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy is a term used for a series of allergy shots, which are meant to reduce the sensitivity to an allergen. This treatment involves injecting tiny amounts of the allergen under the skin.

The injections are performed over several months. The amount of allergen is increased slightly for each additional injection. Over time, the immune system adjusts to higher and higher levels of the allergen: the shots train the immune system not to overreact to exposure to the allergen.

Initial treatment requires 1 or 2 injection per week, for 3 to 6 months, followed by a maintenance injection every 2 to 4 weeks for another 3 to 5 years. Immunotherapy can improve symptoms in about 80 percent of people with allergies.

Nose is Stuffy due to Allergies Antihistamines

Antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or chlorpheniramine, help reduce swelling of the lining to the nose in a person with allergic rhinitis.

Diphenhydramine Dosing Chart

AgeDoseIntervalMax Daily Dose
2-5 years6.25 mg4-6 hours37.5 mg/day
6-11 years12.5-25 mg4-6 hours150 mg/day
12 and older25-50 mg4-6 hours300 mg/day

Chlorpheniramine Dosing Chart
AgeDoseIntervalMax Daily Dose
Under 6consult your physician
6-11 years2 mg4-6 hours12 mg/day
12 and up4 mg4-6 hours24 mg/day

Long-acting antihistamines tend to cause less drowsiness and can be taken less frequently. Some of these are available without a prescription.

Examples of long-acting antihistamines include:

Some allergic rhinitis medications combine decongestants with antihistamines:

Nose is Stuffy due to Allergies Corticosteroids

Corticosteroid nasal sprays reduce swelling of the nasal lining in a person with allergic rhinitis.

Nasal steroids include:

Nose is Stuffy due to Allergies Cromolyn

Cromolyn (Nasalcrom) helps to block the body's initial reaction to the substance that causes the allergy.

Nose is Stuffy due to Allergies Leukotriene Antagonists

Leukotriene antagonists block the body's initial reaction to the substance that causes the allergy.

Examples include:

Nose is Stuffy due to Allergies Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of allergic rhinitis.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for allergies?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Nose is Stuffy due to Allergies Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat allergic rhinitis:

Continue to Nose is Stuffy due to Allergies Home Care

Last Updated: Jun 3, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Nose is Stuffy due to Allergies References
  1. Arshad SH. Primary prevention of asthma and allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005 Jul;116(1):3-14. [15990764]
  2. Busse WW: Mechanisms and advances in allergic diseases. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2000 Jun; 105(6 Pt 2): S593-8. [10856163]
  3. Meltzer EO, Szwarcberg J, Pill MW: Allergic rhinitis, asthma, and rhinosinusitis: diseases of the integrated airway. J Manag Care Pharm 2004 Jul-Aug; 10(4): 310-7. [15298529]
  4. Nielsen LP, Mygind N, Dahl R: Intranasal corticosteroids for allergic rhinitis: superior relief? Drugs 2001; 61(11): 1563-79. [11577794]
  5. Nimmagadda SR, Evans R 3rd: Allergy: etiology and epidemiology. Pediatr Rev 1999 Apr; 20(4): 111-5. [10208083]
  6. Veling MC, Trevino RJ: The treatment of allergic rhinitis with immunotherapy: a review of 1,000 cases. Ear Nose Throat J 2001 Aug; 80(8): 542-3. [11523472]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.