To identify the best allergy medicine for pollen, it’s important to understand what’s happening in the air and in your body when you’re experiencing the symptoms of allergies. Let’s go back to biology class for a moment. There we learned that pollen is essential to Mother Nature’s work since it is her mechanism for the fertilization of trees, grass, flowers – basically all plant life.
But, even if you remove every living thing in your yard, you can’t escape pollen, because those tiny little particulates blow in the wind. One unassuming little ragweed plant can produce up to a billion pollen grains and each one can travel up to 100 miles from its source. To make matters worse, pollination is fairly constant, starting in early springtime and continuing on through fall meaning more months than not can produce allergy symptoms.
Your body routinely makes and stores what are called histamines. When pollen gets into your system via the nose, eyes or mouth, your body releases them in an effort to fight off the intruder. This battle between histamines and allergens like pollen can make many people feel lousy.
If you experience sneezing, wheezing, coughing and itching during pollen seasons, don’t feel alone. You’re among 49,999,999 of your closest friends. So what’s an allergy sufferer to do? Our Best Allergy Medicine for Pollen guide below will tell you what products are best and why.
Top 6 Allergy Medicines for Pollen Comparison
Buying Information for Allergy Medicine for Pollen
After our biology lesson, we can now understand why many of the medicines designed to deal with allergy symptoms are called “antihistamines”. They are designed to stop the body from releasing the histamines that fight the pollen.
Rather than wait and battle symptoms, however, the goal in using allergy medicine should be to prevent symptoms from occurring in the first place by taking these products on a regular basis long before pollen seasons hit and then continuing them throughout the year.
It may seem odd, after all the talk about antihistamines as allergy treatment, that the #1-rated product in our guide above is not one. It is a rinse instead. But we have found that most allergy sufferers rely on a rinse when severe attacks occur because it can relieve the burning and itching of nasal passages that accompanies allergies.
Likely the best strategy is to choose and routinely utilize a top antihistamine product to prevent symptoms but pair it with a rinse when symptoms are present. (As with all over the counter medicines, if you do not get relief from the recommended dose of these products, consult your physician before taking or using more.)
Top 3 Best Allergy Medicine for Pollen Reviews
This product topped our chart with a 4.8 rating because it is ultra-soothing to irritated, itchy nasal passages. While it will not prevent allergy symptoms, it is the favorite among allergy-sufferers once symptoms are present.
The product comes in small packets containing a dry, premixed portion of sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate that is added to 8oz of water in the bottle provided. After mixing well, you will keep your head upright and insert the bottle tip/cap (made to fit any size nasal opening) into one nostril at a time and squeeze to send the solution into the nasal passages.
A very small number of consumers reported a slight burning, but this is easily remedied by adding slightly less than a full packet of premixed product to the water. It is important to keep the bottle tip/cap clean and allow it to dry out often to avoid mildew. And we also recommend using distilled water rather than tap water since tap water can have chlorine in it.
Anyone who suffers from allergies likely recognizes the name Zyrtec since it has long been a leading brand of allergy medicine for pollen. Available by prescription only for years, it is now an over the counter product with all the strength of the prescription version.
The tablets begin to work within an hour and are taken only once daily to provide 24-hour relief. While Zyrtec is designed to treat primarily tree, weed and grass pollen allergies, we have found that it is equally effective against pet dander and dust. Best of all, it does not cause any drowsiness.
Benadryl – something most of us likely have in one form or another in our medicine cabinets – is the name brand for the antihistamine Diphenhydramine (an ingredient you will see in many allergy medicines) and it very successfully blocks what is known as the Histamine-1 receptor in the body (remember that biology lesson!).
This particular Benadryl tablet is dye free, earning it more approval points among consumers. We recognize the irony of an allergy medicine being designated hypoallergenic, but because some products do include a pink dye, the dye-free feature of Benadryl Ultratabs is important.
Since this gel-tab version of Benadryl is extremely easy to swallow and it takes effect very quickly, we are not surprised to find it in the top 3, but beware – Benadryl will cause drowsiness in most users so it is recommended that you not use it if you’re planning to drive or operate machinery of any kind.