The spring season has arrived and can often bring along unpleasant conditions for many people in the form of seasonal allergies. The World Health Organization reports that 10 to 30 percent of all Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, which are often caused by pollen from trees, plants, weeds and grasses. This can cause allergy symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, congestion, headache and itchy watery eyes. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and, while there's no cure, there are many remedies to help prevent the symptoms.
If you notice an increase in your symptoms during certain times of the year, avoid being outside as often as you can. The more you are exposed to the allergen, the more severe your symptoms will be. If you have to do yard work, wear a mask and protective clothing and take your shoes off before you come back inside. Also, pets can track allergens back into your home when they go outside. Exercise indoors as much as possible to avoid flare-ups, change your air conditioning and heat filters often and keep your windows and any other ventilation systems closed. Also, stay aware of pollen counts from the local weather report and shower once you come back indoors.
Use nasal sprays
Basic over-the-counter saline nasal sprays will help to remove the allergens from the lining of the nose and should alleviate symptoms. Other types of treatment include neti pots and nasal irrigation bulb syringes.
Try over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants
These medications are often just as effective as higher priced brand name prescription drugs. If your Network Provider determines you need a prescription medication to help manage seasonal allergies or other related illnesses, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi's prescription drug benefit plan encourages the use of cost-effective and medically-effective drugs. Members can find lower cost alternatives to medications with the My Rx tool, available in our myBlue member portal at www.bcbsms.com. Members can log in or register from the homepage of our website. If you haven't registered for myBlue, we encourage you to do so today! Registration is simple and can give you complete access to your benefit information. To access your information on-the-go, including a virtual ID card, download our myBlue mobile app from the App Store or Google Play.
While seasonal allergies can take the "spring" out of your step, using common approaches to limit exposure and manage symptoms can help you enjoy the new season. Learn more about ways you can protect yourself from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.