An allergic reaction to an indoor/outdoor fungus such as Alternaria tenuis can occur at any time of year. Like exposure to other molds, inhaling the spores of Alternaria tenuis, also known as Alternaria alternata, causes hay fever–like allergy and asthma symptoms in some people. Allergy medicines ease runny and stuffy nose, itching and sneezing allergy symptoms via different mechanisms on the body. Side effects as well as degrees of relief may fluctuate from patient to patient.
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Nonprescription antihistamine eye drops, liquids and oral medications address moderate to acute allergy symptoms. These medicines suppress the histamine-induced inflammation and fluid that build up in the mucous membranes during allergic reactions to fungi. Loratadine, available over the counter, produces negiligible side effects. Other OTC antihistamines such as ceterizine and diphenhydramine have sedating properties. As the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) notes, once-daily prescription antihistamines such as desloratadine and fexofenadine offer effective symptom control without causing drowsiness.
Decongestant allergy medicines deliver adequate sinus relief but raise blood pressure, making them a poor choice for hypertensive patients. For others, the Mayo Clinic advises restricting decongestant doses to when they are absolutely necessary. Certain antihistamine formulas already include decongestant elements, so stand-alone decongestants should not be taken at all. Separate nasal sprays such as oxymetazoline improve sinus symptoms for as many as 3 days in a row, but longer dosing may instead increase congestion.
Cromolyn sodium doesn’t act as quickly or last as long as some other types of allergy medicines, but the makers of this gentle, over-the-counter nasal spray report few side effects. Adults and children as young as 2 years of age can use cromolyn sodium for indoor or outdoor allergies to fungi. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, proper and persistent dosing relieves allergy symptoms of swelling, itching, runny nose and congestion. Mold allergy patients should begin taking cromolyn sodium before seasonal fungal levels climb.
Although they require prescriptions, nasal corticosteroids offer alternative choices for strong allergy symptom relief all year. The AAAAI relates that patients can simply take many nasal steroid sprays during outdoor mold season alone or use them continually for persistent indoor fungus allergies. Absent the potentially serious side effects of oral prednisone corticosteroids, nasally administered allergy medicines such as flunisolide and fluticasone can safely treat young children. With several different formulas available, patients should rely on a doctor’s advice to select the right strength of medication.