Yup. I get 'em BAD. No food allergies, but dust, trees, pollen, and animals all get me.
My advice? Go see your MD and get a prescription. The nasal inhalers are the best. I know, I hate squirting shit up my nose every day too, but there’s a good reason for it.
Allergies are a cascade problem-- they hit your nose first, and the symptoms spread from there: the itchy, watery eyes, scratchy throat, inability to focus, cold sweats, I know the whole routine. So the nasal inhalers are basically steroids that cut the reaction off at its source. There’s no point to a pill that’s going to spread through your whole bloodstream when you can just hit the problem at its source, right?
Ask your doc about:
Beconase: Great inhaler, really easy to take, and there’s no taste to it; but you HAVE to do it twice daily or the effects go down noticeably.
Nasarel: Not as easy to take because it’s a little more viscous than the Beconase so it runs down the back of your throat a bit, and it tastes like crap. BUT, you only have to take it as often as is personally necessary for you. For me, it’s about once every other day (You have to experiment and discover this for yourself, after a breaking-in-period of taking it twice daily for about two weeks). I can suffer through a couple minutes of craptastic nasal flavor every two days in order to avoid the suffering. This is what I take currently.
If you’re looking for over-the-counter stuff, I used to LOVE Claritin, but I don’t know if they’ve changed the dosage for OTC, I used to take it when it was prescribed.
I also used to take Allegra, which is another prescription pill, and it worked great as well.
The OTC stuff will also be more expensive in the long run, I think Claritin runs about $6 for 10 pills at Rite-Aid.
The biggest thing to remember is that allergies are CHRONIC. You absolutely must stick with the prescribed regimen. All of the ACUTE cures I’ve taken (that is, take a pill as soon as you feel a reaction coming on) don’t do anything but make me sleepy. Daily (or at least periodic) treatments are totally the way to go, and for me it’s all about nasal inhalers.