People who are sensitive to allergens and seasonal changes are both aware of the need for treatment and the senseless rate-ups of insurance companies due to their condition by now. Though a livable, treatable, minor condition, individuals with allergies have unique, specific triggers to their own bodies. Whether treated by prescription or a natural source, there is always a need for relief – especially as one season transitions to another for many people. Over 35 million people in the United States currently suffer from seasonal allergies every year, with noses running and eyes itching and watering as new pollen becomes airborne.
For those with mild to moderate seasonal allergies, there are various natural treatments that may be able to relieve symptoms, and thus avoid the side effects of over-the-counter and prescription antihistamines. However, if the side effects don’t bother you, then by all means continue treating your symptoms with Zyrtec, Claritin, Benadryl, or whatever your preference. Identifying whether you have a cold or seasonal allergies is also an important distinction, as colds can also share similar symptoms and arise as similar times of year.
Cold vs. Allergy
The following table will help you identify whether you’re experiencing a seasonal allergy or a cold. Also, if you experience symptoms for multiple weeks, you are likely having allergies rather than a cold, which lasts 3 day to two weeks. Both illnesses can lead to sinus infections and worsen the effects of asthma, therefore it is essential to identify and treat your illness as soon as you detect changes in your body.
In order to prevent allergies, you must avoid what makes your allergies flare up. This is similar to those with asthma or migraines who also experience triggers to set off their symptoms. An allergic reaction to airborne pollen, dander, and other irritants can be dodged by staying away from common allergens, or anything you have already identified yourself to get irritated from. Seasonal allergy sufferers should avoid going outside on a dry, windy day when the air is stirring up the pollen from plants, flowers, trees and grass. Emerging after a good rain will help your symptoms subside as pollen will be cleared from the air.
Try to give other people the opportunity to do outdoor chores such as weeding, gardening, and mowing the lawn. These activities stir up allergens and make for an unpleasant respiratory experience afterwards. If you’re the appointed yard worker, wear a dust mask to protect yourself. Also, make sure after being outside you thoroughly wash your clothing, and even your skin and hair to remove any pollen from staying with you. Additionally, dry your laundry indoors where it’s safe from the pollen that may cling to the fibers of your linens and clothes.
You can also keep your indoor air more pure by reducing the amount of allergens in the house and your car. Use air conditioning with high-efficiency filters and replace them as recommended. Dehumidifiers are also essential for allergy sufferers, taking moisture out of the air and allowing you to breathe more effectively. Cleaning your floors regularly with a vacuum that contains a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is also recommended. Portable HEPA filters are great to bring around with you in the house and use while you sleep.
Keep track of high pollen counts. If they are forecasted for future days or weeks, begin to take allergy medications or treatments in advance to combat symptoms. Pollen counts are also usually highest in the morning, so be cautious to not do much outside in the early hours of the day.
How Health Insurance Can Help
While you may be able to recognize symptoms on your own and avoid an unwanted appointment full of needle pricks and rashes to test for allergies, having medical coverage can greatly help if you are ever unsure of what your body needs. Being your own doctor is difficult, even with the wealth of resources provided on the web. Though tools like symptom checkers are excellent, and staying away from the doctor is also ideal, it doesn’t hurt to get a professional opinion to make sure you recover faster. With recurring seasonal allergies, you’re going to want to know the best ways to stay healthy and combat illness before it starts.
People who have allergies can benefit from natural treatments, as well, but even nature’s biggest fans will tell you not to start any treatment for the first time without consulting a doctor. If you have allergies and a life to maintain, you’re going to want the most effective treatment possible, and your physician likely has a few natural remedies up their sleeve to suggest if you ask. Finally, if you become very sick, and over-the-counter products are not proving effective, or their side effects are causing you discomfort or a personal obstacle, you won’t find answers specific to your body on the web. For cost purposes, insurance makes it much easier than frequenting a retail clinic or paying out-of-pocket for and office visit. It just makes sense if you know you have allergies to secure a relationship with a provider – and pay less for it.
1. Mayo Clinic. Seasonal Allergies: Nip them in the bud.
2. National Institutes of Health. Seasonal Allergies: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment.