Blossoming trees, blooming flowers and warmer weather make spring particularly pleasant in North Carolina. But for many residents who suffer from seasonal allergies, spring also brings a runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing, which isn’t all that fun!
Seasonal allergies stem from pollen and other allergens. In addition, for those with asthma, allergies can trigger more attacks this time of year. What can be done? Fight back by taking a few simple steps:
- Clean Air – You can’t control the air quality outside, but you can take steps to improve the air quality in your home. Keep your windows closed and use a high-efficiency particulate air filter to clear pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens known to trigger an asthma attack.
- Exercise – Regular exercise helps your lungs and heart perform better. If you exercise outside, be sure to remove sneakers and clothing immediately after your workout and shower to reduce the spread of pollen and other irritants in your home. If you have exercise-induced asthma, try low intensity exercise, such as walking, swimming or yoga.
- Rethink Your Home Decor – To reduce dust mites, pollen, mold spore and other irritants in your home, replace curtains with blinds and carpet with hard-surfaced flooring.
- Clean Often – Be sure to dust and vacuum often. The American Lung Association recommends vacuuming at least three times a week and emptying the vacuum outside.
- Protect Your Bed – Make sure to use mattress and pillow covers, and vacuum your mattress and wash your sheets at least once a week. To kill dust mites, it’s best to wash bedding in hot water.
State Health Plan members have access to the following benefits if needed to fight seasonal allergies:
- Primary Care Provider (PCP) Visit – Get checked for a possible diagnosis of seasonal allergies and, if needed, treatment for allergy symptoms and a prescription for medication.
- Specialist Visit – If you need additional evaluation (for example, to get tested to see what you’re allergic to) you can make an appointment to see a specialist such as an immunologist or allergist for allergy testing or other evaluation. Allergy shots are often created to help desensitize someone to a particular allergy. Allergy shots are often given at their local PCP office and later at home if they aren’t having a reaction to the shots. If you need help in determining what is covered under the Plan, call Customer Service at 888-234-2416.
- Compare Prices – To avoid billing surprises, refer to the 2022 Plan Comparison Chart to see your understand your copays.
- Pharmacy Coverage – See what allergy medications are covered by checking the Plan’s 2022 Custom Formulary (drug list). If the medication you are looking for is listed, then the Plan provides coverage. Use the formulary to see what tier your medication falls under, then use the 2022 Plan Comparison Chart to determine your copay.
Plan members can also increase their cost savings by looking for a Clear Pricing Project PCP or specialist! Plan members who are eligible and suffer from asthma can access extra help as part of the Plan’s Disease and Case Management program. Services are available for members with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, diabetes, cerebrovascular disease and peripheral artery disease. If you are eligible for this service, you will be notified. To determine if you’re eligible, you will need to call Customer Service at 888-234-2416.