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How to prepare for allergy season

Oh, springtime. The flowers are in full bloom, the much-anticipated sunshine is warmly welcomed, and... sneeze. It also means allergy season is back. 


Seasonal allergies have a sneaky way of creeping up on you — and depending on how severe they are, they can leave you inside for days or weeks. But we have good news: with a little preparation, there’s a good chance you can (finally) take control and keep your symptoms at bay. Plus, they’re easy on your budget. (In other words, you have more money to spend at your favorite flower market — we hear tulips are in bloom!) Keep reading to learn more.  

See an allergist. 


Seasonal allergies usually occur when your immune system overreacts to the presence of allergens (like pollen) in your environment. Visiting an allergist as early as you can — ideally before symptoms show up — can help you identify your allergy triggers and start a treatment plan. If symptoms are severe enough, you may be a good candidate for immunotherapy allergy shots. Your allergist will be able to determine the best course of action for you — so you don't have to continue playing the allergy guessing game.  


Start taking your allergy medication early.  


If you already have your go-to allergy medication, whether it’s an over-the-counter medication or prescribed by your doctor, start taking it about two weeks before you typically start experiencing symptoms. This varies depending on where you live and your allergy triggers. Pretreating with allergy medication can help prevent inflammation and ease a stuffy nose, itchy, watery eyes, and other common allergy symptoms.  


Get a head start on your spring cleaning. 


We don’t mean to nag you, but a deep spring clean can really do wonders for your allergies. We’re talking a major overhaul: dusting everything from your light fixtures to your bookcases, washing your curtains (yes, you can do that!), sweeping your floors and rugs, and vacuuming your furniture. Dust and pollen are no match for you.  


Some other helpful tips: change your clothes once you get home, as pollen sticks to fabric. (And if you hang your clothes to dry outside, avoid doing so during peak allergy season.) Also shower before bed, as allergens from your hair and face can get trapped on your pillow.  


Change your air filter.  


Changing your air filter seems to make it to the bottom of everyone’s to-do list. But while you’re spring cleaning, put it at the very top, and make a mental note to change it out every three months from here on out. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) air filters are best at trapping allergens from the air. 


Keep your windows and doors closed. (Even though it’s tempting.)  


When the weather is warm, it’s tempting to turn off your heater, open your windows and doors, and let the fresh air roll in. Though it might feel nice, the breeze will bring in pollen and other allergens... and the after-effects will feel not-so-nice. 

This extends to your car too. (Sorry, those with sunroofs.) Putting your air on re-circulation will also help keep pollen out of your car. 


Don’t forget your prescription savings coupon!  


Allergies are a part of life, even though their timing is terrible — right when you’re ready to picnic! And we know how expensive it can be to treat symptoms — but we have one last tip for you. 


If you’ve never used a prescription savings coupon, it’s never too late to start. Every time you head to the pharmacy, you could be saving up to 80% on the retail price — and beat the price of your health insurance or Medicare — by using this tool. (Yes, this means over-the-counter and generic medications too!) All you have to do is search the medication, find the best deal, then show the coupon to your pharmacist. No signup or membership required. And no catches either — just straight savings! 


With these tips in mind, you’re on your way to making it through allergy season — and hopefully saving up to 80% along the way. Now go on — enjoy the sunshine! 

Tags: Health, Care, Prescription

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