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Ahhhh Choo! How to Manage Fall Allergies

In many cases, allergies are to blame for itchy eyes, runny noses, and sneezing during this time of year.

Although not harmful, seasonal allergies can be very annoying!

What can be done

  • Keep the windows closed

  • Avoid KNOWN allergens when possible

  • Check your local weather and pollen count

  • Wash hands, face, and even change your clothing after playing outside

  • Take a shower or bath at night to wash off potential allergens

  • Try an appropriate allergy medication (see below for more details!)


Many times when people hear the word “antihistamine” they think of Benadryl (Diphenhydramine). Diphenhydramine makes most of us sleepy, and in some cases, can make kids hyper. Nowadays, there are better options with fewer side effects (2nd generation antihistamines) to treat your child’s seasonal allergies:

  • Zyrtec- Can be sedating so I recommend giving it at night just in case

  • Xyzal- Pretty much the same as Zyrtec, however, the manufacturer touts that it is less sedating than Zyrtec. This one was prescription only until 2017. Xyzal is available in liquid form

  • Claritin- Available in chewable tablets and liquid

  • Allegra- Less favorable, as it is dosed twice daily

Nasal sprays (nasal corticosteroid)

These are a great and effective option to treat seasonal allergies and have little systemic side effects:

  • Flonase

  • Rhinocort

  • Nasocort

Allergy eye drops

These work great for those itchy, watery, and red eyes:

  • Pataday

  • Zaditor

**If the over-the-counter products are not doing the trick, make an appointment with your child’s primary care provider. On occasion, your child may even be referred to an allergist for further management (i.e. allergy shots)**

What SHOULDN'T be done

  • DON'T use cough and cold medications

  • DON'T double the dose of an allergy medication because it is not working

  • Be careful with non-FDA approved approaches and homeopathic remedies, as they are not regulated and there is not enough data to support effectiveness and/or safety

Other tidbits

  • Allergies can be seasonal or even year-round

  • Diagnosis is usually done based on history and physical, but allergy testing can sometimes be done

  • Ragweed is a known trigger of fall allergies

When in doubt, discuss options with your child's health care provider.

Until next time,


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