April 18, 2013
Tom Canty, Vice President and General Manager, Empire BlueCross BlueShield Government, Labor and Special Accounts
Spring has sprung and everyone is thrilled. Except allergy sufferers. They’re too busy blowing drippy noses and dabbing at itchy eyes to appreciate the beauties of newly budding begonias and balmy breezes.
If you’re plagued by seasonal allergies, or hay fever, here are some ways to fend off these histamine attacks so brilliantly executed by an army of pollen:
· Springtime allergies are usually caused by tree pollen that is carried and spread by the wind — so keep an eye on the pollen count. There are several good apps and websites that provide this info by state. Take a hike, walk the dog or yank weeds in the garden when counts are low and when it’s not windy or after it’s rained.
· Give yourself permission to waste a little energy and turn on the AC – inside and while you’re driving in your car. It will filter the air and serve as a dehumidifier.
· Jump in a shower and wash your hair and launder clothes you’ve worn outdoors before you wear them again so you’re pollen free. Pets are pollen carriers too, so if your dog or cat goes outside be sure and brush them off before you let them back inside.
· If your allergies are mild, over-the counter nasal sprays and inhalants, antihistamines and decongestants can help you feel better. Be thoughtful about usage though, since taking any of these over time can create its own set of complications, including addiction.
· If your allergies are more severe make an appointment with a board certified allergist and find out what’s causing them. New research shows that allergy shots can reduce health care costs for children by 16%*
If you are one of the 40+ million Americans prone to seasonal allergies you know this health condition can be more than an annoyance. In fact, if left untreated, allergies can lead to more serious health issues including sinus infections, asthma, and bronchitis. Try not to let allergy symptoms get to that point. You don’t want to spend the winter dreading spring and you don’t want to battle fellow shoppers to grab the last box of Puffs left on the shelf.
*Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).