For so many of us, allergy season plagues us with unbearable symptoms, constant runny noses, and ineffective attempts to find relief by trying any allergy medicine we can find. But is something spooky hidden behind the allergy medicine that so few people know about?
Could this be you, too?
It all started on a seemingly ordinary day. The sun shone, the birds sang, and I was ready to tackle the world. But as I stepped outside, a familiar sensation crept up – the telltale signs of an allergy attack. My eyes began to itch, my nose started to run, and a sneeze lingered just out of reach. I sighed and reached for my trusty bottle of allergy medicine.
For years, I relied on this little bottle of relief to keep my allergies in check. It had become a constant companion, always at the ready to save me from the misery of pollen, dust, and pet dander. I never thought twice about popping a pill whenever my symptoms flared up. That is, until the day everything changed.
Who knew my allergy medicine was doing this?
I remember it clearly. Sitting at my desk, I was working on a project when a sudden, sharp pain radiated through my chest. It took my breath away, and I gasped for air. I tried to shake it off, but the pain persisted, accompanied by an alarming rapid heartbeat. Fear gripped me as I wondered if this was the end.
My coworker rushed me to the hospital, where a flurry of tests and questions awaited me. The doctors were baffled by my symptoms – I was young, healthy, and had no history of heart problems. Only when a cardiologist asked about my medications did the pieces fall into place.
It turned out that my trusty allergy medicine, the one I had relied on for so long, was the culprit behind my heart troubles. The active ingredient had been causing my heart to race, straining my heart and leading to chest pains. I was shocked and devastated. How could something that had brought me so much relief also be causing me harm?
The cardiologist explained that, while rare, some allergy medications can have serious side effects on the heart, especially when taken in large quantities or over a long time. I had been unknowingly risking my health, all in the name of allergy relief.
Here comes the change.
This is when I knew I had to make a change. I worked closely with my doctors to find an alternative treatment for my allergies that wouldn’t endanger my heart. It was a long and challenging journey, filled with trial and error. Still, eventually, we found a solution that worked for me.
Track your medications, allergy medicine included, using the Best Life app. It’s free on app stores!
Now, I’m more mindful of the medications I take and the potential risks they carry. I’ve learned to listen to my body and trust my instincts when something feels wrong. And most importantly, I’ve discovered that sometimes, the things we rely on the most can also be the very things that hold us back.
So, as I step outside once again, ready to face the world, I do so with a newfound sense of gratitude and awareness. I know my heart is strong, and I’m prepared to handle whatever life and my allergies may throw my way.
Allergy medicine (antihistamines)
You know this already, allergies can be a real pain. It’s so prevalent that there’s an entire entertainment trope called the Sneeze of Doom.
Photo attributed to dramamasks22 on Deviantart.com
Allergies result from an immune system response to something in the environment. The immune system releases histamines, which cause symptoms like sneezing and congestion. In the worst cases, it can cause anaphylaxis—a severe reaction that can lead to death.
But when you have allergies, your body responds to a perceived threat—something that might or might not actually hurt you. And that means your heart may start working harder than it should to compensate for the extra stress of an allergic reaction.
Allergy medicine can help control symptoms so your body doesn’t work so hard to keep up with them.
But did you know that the medicine used to treat allergies (like antihistamines) can also put your heart at risk?
Allergy medicine and your heart
Some over-the-counter medications, for example, those containing pseudoephedrine or similar components, may cause increases in heart rate or blood pressure that could exacerbate some cardiac conditions.
Richard Krasuski, MD, director of adult congenital heart disease services at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, states that, in general, antihistamines are safe for people with high blood pressure and other forms of heart disease. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that an antihistamine may raise a person’s blood pressure or increase their heart rate. Over-the-counter allergy drugs such as loratadine (Claritin), fexofenadine (Allegra), and cetirizine (Zyrtec) are examples of antihistamines.
It is essential to check if the drug has a “D” after its name, as this can signify that it contains a decongestant which may cause additional issues.
Antihistamines and high blood pressure (hypertension)
Antihistamines alone are not known to increase or worsen high blood pressure. However, many antihistamines are combined with decongestants which can raise your blood pressure. For this reason, it is suggested only to take the combination of antihistamine and decongestant when feeling particularly unwell and avoiding it if you have poorly controlled blood pressure.
It is best to stick with plain antihistamines for allergies if you have high blood pressure.
Are your allergy medicines actually working?
Have you ever wondered whether your allergy medicine is actually doing its job? We know it takes a lot of work to keep track of these things, especially when you’re busy with work and life in general.
For an average person to understand if their allergy medicine is effective and working for their unique self, they would have to track each medication, dose, frequency, and symptoms. Many mobile apps are available that will allow you to track these details. Still, then some of them will recommend sponsored products back to you. That doesn’t necessarily mean those products will work. So what’s your alternative?
That’s why our nonprofit built Best Life, a mobile app that helps users easily track their health and habits. Best Life helps users keep up with their heart health, vitals, blood pressure, glucose levels, habits, notes, mood, stress, and more. Best Life is built and managed by a nonprofit to protect user data and keep things secure.
Best Life was created to help users live happier through better health management. It’s free to download on the App Store and Google Play!
Allergies May Come With Heightened Risk Of Heart Problems
Dangers of Allergy Meds for Your Heart
It’s allergy season! What that might mean for you
Non-sedating antihistamine drugs and cardiac arrhythmias – biased risk estimates from spontaneous reporting systems
Who we are
The Live Learn Innovate Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit entity that empowers software users to regain control of their personally generated health data, gain intuitive insights about their social data, learn the impact of their environment on health, and build a foundation of data analytics that empowers research, academics, and innovation in economic development.
Use cases for this secure, private data aggregation method appear everywhere, expanding to family care, community growth, agricultural planning, and many more things still unseen. Help us keep going by getting involved today.