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You're mistreating yourself.
Four out of five allergy sufferers never visit a doctor, and few people know what to take and when. If you're sneezing and have red, itchy eyes and a drippy nose, choose an antihistamine, says Sakina Bajowala, a board-certified allergist and immunologist with a private practice in North Aurora, Illinois. Antihistamines block the actions of symptom-triggering histamines throughout the body. They'll kick in within a few hours, but for optimal relief, start taking them before symptoms hit (Bajowala adds that many antihistamines—even "nondrowsy" versions—can make people sleepy and recommends taking a 24-hour-action pill at bedtime). If your main problem is a stuffed-up head, Bajowala suggests an oral decongestant, which temporarily decreases the swelling of the nasal tissues. You can wait until after your head feels full of cotton—but avoid taking at night, because decongestants tend to make people jittery, Bajowala says. (They also have a tendency to raise blood pressure, so use caution if you have heart issues.)