For many patients, allergy season can be a dreaded time of year. Seasonal allergies affect 10%-30% of Americans on a yearly basis and can cause a plethora of symptoms, ranging from sneezing, runny nose, and itchy, watering eyes to shortness of breath, wheezing, swelling, and rash.
Luckily for these patients, there are many effective treatment options for mild to severe allergies available both OTC and by prescription. In fact, there are so many available treatment options that patients may often need guidance to choose the best products for their symptoms, which is the primary place the pharmacist comes in. There are many places in a patients allergy treatment journey where a pharmacist can plan an important role.
To begin, pharmacists are often involved in the management of a patients allergies from the very start. Many patients will approach a pharmacist for guidance on making a self-diagnosis based on symptoms.
Because seasonal allergies may affect patients differently year-to-year and even day-to-day, sometimes identifying these symptoms can be nuanced and difficult. Similarly, allergy symptoms often mimic the symptoms of a common cold.
Patients with new seasonal allergies may believe at first that they are suffering from a virus, and though treatment options may overlap in some ...