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Woman Blowing Her NoseFor many people, springtime means allergy season. Allergy sufferers know how uncomfortable the itchy eyes, runny nose and sore throat can be. Many allergy sufferers are unable to participate in all of the activities they would like to due to their allergy symptoms. Some miss work. If you suffer from allergies, take the following steps to help reduce your suffering.

Allergy Test


Consider undergoing an allergy test with your primary care physician or an allergist. It is an inexpensive and accurate way of determining what you are allergic to. Skin tests involve pricking the skin so the allergen enters the outer layer. Grass, mold, weeds, pet dander and other common allergens can be tested. After waiting 15 minutes, the doctor will evaluate the skin to see if a reaction occurred. Hives, redness or swelling are all possible reactions. Based on which pin pricks you reacted to, the doctor can provide you a list of items you are allergic to and an estimated severity.

Avoidance


Once you know what you are allergic to, you can try to avoid exposure to that item. Some tips for avoiding outdoor allergens include:
  • Keep your windows closed.
  • Avoid being outside when allergen levels are at their peak. It is best to go outside right after it has rained.
  • If you do spend time outdoors, change your clothes and shower when you come back inside.
  • Remove your shoes upon entering your home.
  • Wash your bedding and towels frequently during allergy season.

Remedies


If your efforts to avoid allergies have failed, you need to determine how to minimize the symptoms. A saltwater nose spray can be made at home by mixing water and sea salt in a squirt bottle. Use this in the morning and evening. Over-the-counter allergy medications are also available and often help allergy sufferers. Lozenges help soothe a sore throat and eye drops can relieve itchy eyes.

Prescription


If you have been allergy tested, are doing your best to avoid exposure and find that over-the-counter medications are not easing your symptoms, you should consult with your doctor about prescription options. In some cases, a prescription medication or even a weekly allergy shot is required to ease suffering.

Allergies can be very unpleasant and can impact your quality of life. Health insurance providers may cover visits to allergists and the medicine that will improve allergy symptoms. Check with your health insurance provider to learn more about your specific coverage. If you do not have health insurance, consider getting coverage so you can breathe easier this spring.

Are you covered? Call TCU Insurance Agency at (800) 772-8043 for more information on Indiana health insurance.
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