Warmer weather, with its blossoming trees and blooming bushes, make spring delightful in North Carolina. But for many who suffer from seasonal allergies, this season is more dreary than delightful.
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 your local PCP office and later at home if you aren’t having a reaction to the shots.
- Compare Prices – To avoid billing surprises and understand your copays, refer to the 2023 Plan Comparison Chart for active and non-Medicare subscribers, or the 2023 Plan Comparison Chart for Medicare subscribers.
- Pharmacy Coverage – See what allergy medications are covered by checking the Plan’s 2023 Custom Formulary (drug list). If the medication you are looking for is listed, then the Plan provides coverage. For active and non-Medicare subscribers, use the formulary to see what tier your medication falls under, then use the 2023 Plan Comparison Chart to determine your copay. For Medicare subscribers, use the 2023 Prescription Drug Guide and the 2023 Plan Comparison Chart.