Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Help for Spring Allergies

“The difference between an itch and an allergy is about one hundred bucks.”  –Anonymous
Spring is in the air and along with it, pollen and other allergens, ready to wreak havoc on immune and respiratory systems everywhere. If you suffer from spring allergies, you may already be armed with the proper medications. Did you know that there are other simple steps you can take to minimize your discomfort?
Help for Spring allergies is here! Keep the “achoos” at bay with these tips.
Wear glasses or sunglasses when outdoors. Covering your eyes protects them from pollen and other irritants, which reduces itchiness and redness.
Shower and wash your hair before bed. A quick shower rinses off the pollen you’ve collected throughout the day and keeps you from spending the night lying in a bunch of allergens. Also, consider keeping pets out of your bedroom if they’ve been outside—pollen can stick to fur.
Stay inside when pollen counts are at their peak. Pollen counts are typically highest during the afternoon hours, so avoid going outside then and keep windows closed.
Replace air conditioning and furnace filters. It’s important to change filters every three months and use filters with a MERV rating of 8 to 12. A MERV rating tells you how well the filter can remove pollen and mold from the air as it passes through.
 When it comes to medications, here are a few ways to save money:
  • Ask your doctor for a list of recommended medications and compare it with your insurance plan’s list of preferred medications. If your insurance company covers allergy meds, then you may save with a prescription versus over-the-counter.
  • Get samples from your doctor before investing in an entire prescription.
  • A simple, inexpensive saline nose spray can be a natural ally for many spring allergy sufferers. Rinsing your nasal passages in the evening can wash away allergens and pollen, reducing allergy symptoms.
Final tip: The free WebMD Allergy iPhone app will alert you of allergy levels in your area every morning. Schedule notifications when your specific allergies like dander or pollen are at a high. http://www.webmd.com/allergy-app

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