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Should You Take NasalCrom for Your Seasonal Allergies?

Some readers found it best to take NasalCrom nose spray for allergies year-round, including house dust mites and cat dander.

Are your allergies ferocious this fall? Many people would still welcome advice on how to cope with hay fever and other seasonal allergies. Decongestant sprays work quickly, but you can only use them for a few days. Otherwise, you risk rebound congestion when you stop. Antihistamines can be helpful for some people, while others rely on steroid nasal sprays. These have their own possible complications, however. One possible treatment works differently. Should you take NasalCrom to prevent sneezing, sniffling and red eyes?

NasalCrom Eased Allergy Symptoms Without Making Dry Eye Worse:

Q. Last spring I developed bad allergies. I tried using antihistamines, but they made my dry eye syndrome worse. What benefits I got wore off before bedtime. The stuffy nose interfered with my sleep.

Then I read about NasalCrom. It brought relief right after the first treatment! By the second night I had undisturbed sleep. Now that I have discovered this over-the-counter nasal spray for my allergies, I’ll take NasalCrom whenever my allergies act up.

A. NasalCrom (cromolyn) works differently from antihistamines to calm allergic reactions. Instead of blocking histamine, it stabilizes mast cells in the nose. These cells are highly reactive to allergens such as pollen or cat dander. Antihistamines do tend to be drying, so it’s not a big surprise you noticed dry eyes getting worse.

We are a bit surprised you got relief so quickly. The drug works best when used preventively before symptoms become overwhelming. Side effects may include sneezing, nasal irritation or alteration of taste.

Fighting Off Seasonal Allergies:

Q. I’ve had bad seasonal allergies for years. I am allergic to tree and weed pollen. Indoor allergies include dust mites and my cats. I sneeze all year round. I have been on allergy shots for a long time.

About a year ago, I started using NasalCrom spray two to three times a day. Since I’ve been using NasalCrom, I have had zero symptoms from allergies. This is by far the best nasal spray for me.

Who Should Take NasalCrom for Allergy Symptoms?

A. Cromolyn sodium (NasalCrom) is different from the usual nasal sprays because it is neither a decongestant nor an antihistamine. Instead, it prevents mast cells in the nasal passages from releasing histamine. As a result, you don’t suffer the consequences of histamine and don’t need an antihistamine. And because one of the effects of histamine is congestion, you also don’t need a decongestant.

The Downside to NasalCrom:

The biggest disadvantage to NasalCrom is that you need to use it preventively, before your symptoms start. To be effective, it must be applied three or four times a day. Some people find that too daunting. If you can manage frequent use, however, we think you could take NasalCrom as an excellent solution to seasonal allergies. It can be taken for twelve weeks if needed. Some people also get good results taking stinging nettle for their allergy symptoms.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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