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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do antihistamines help fight against environmental allergies?

    How do they work? Should they be taken after an allergic reaction? Can they also be taken prior to exposure to the allergen?
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  • Lucinda Curran


    Lucinda Curran of Eco Health Solutions offers a truly holistic approach to health by combining Building Biology and Chinese Medicine. Her work is solutions-focussed and … View Profile


    Environmental allergies are vast - in terms of what people react to and how these reactions manifest.

    Physiologically, histamine is often released via the immune-response. These, apart from increasing blood-flow and antibodies, can create itchiness. Histamines are also implicated in mucous production (as in hayfever/sinusitis).

    Antihistamines are working against histamines, so they lessen impact of the histamine-response.

    I wouldn't say they “fight” environmental allergies, but instead that they can be useful in managing the symptoms. I would not see the benefit of taking them as a preventative, as from my understanding, they are useful once the reaction begins.It would be worth talking to your pharmacist or GP in more detail about the ways that this type of medication works.

    In my work, I seek the cause and endeavour to resolve it, and therefore avoid the allergic responses. Addressing environmental allergens and finding ways to manage them, from my perspective, is unique to each individual. 

    I hope this helps. I am happy to answer more questions if you have some.

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