Given the option, many people might choose an oral pill over other forms of medications, like shots and sprays. It’s no surprise that many people with seasonal allergies choose oral antihistamines to minimize allergic reactions: Oral meds are mess-free and easily portable—and admittedly the least intimidating.
That said, you may be missing out if you’re choosing oral antihistamines and skipping the steroid nasal spray. “Nasal steroid sprays are probably the most effective treatment we have for seasonal allergies,” says Clifford Bassett, MD, allergist at NYU Langone Health. “They’re effective because they work on the nose symptoms: sneezing, runny nose, itchiness, as well as congestion and stuffiness.”
Oral meds for seasonal allergies work great at reducing itchiness and sneezing, but they’re not as effective at reducing congestion, according to a 2016 study in Advances in Dermatology and Allergology. If your nose starts to feel like a faucet as soon as spring hits, you already understand that congestion is arguably the most frustrating seasonal allergy symptom.