Constant sneezing, annoying runny, itchy, or stuffy nose, nagging headaches, agitating itchy and watery eyes, and a persistent dry cough can make it nearly impossible to get through the day. If you suffer from spring allergy symptoms, then no one must tell you that allergy season is in full bloom, as your symptoms will keep reminding you every single day throughout the season. These spring allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe, and some reports say as many as 50 million people experience allergy symptoms on an annual basis. This means that it’s highly likely that you, or someone in your household, experiences at least one or more of these menacing, sometimes debilitating, symptoms of seasonal allergies. In this article, we will explore what causes spring allergies, who they typically affect, the main symptoms to look out for, how much it can cost to treat spring allergy symptoms, the different types of treatment options, and finally why having insurance coverage is essential for allergy suffers. First, let’s explore what allergies are and what causes them.
What are spring allergies?
Allergies are caused by your body’s immune system reacting to environmental substances that are normally harmless to most people. Allergens can range from food and medicine to pollen, dust mites, and animals, to mold and insect stings. Spring allergies typically last from February to early summer. The most common causes of spring allergies include tree and grass pollen, mold spores, and insects. Small powdery pollen is usually the main culprit as it’s easily distributed throughout the air and often settles in many common places, we occupy every day. This makes it very difficult for allergy sufferers and often disrupts essential daily activities, especially those that occur outdoors.
How prevalent are Spring allergy symptoms?
Nearly half of Americans report experiencing symptoms of seasonal allergies. This raises many questions about why more people are developing allergic reactions to otherwise harmless environmental triggers. Some scientists attribute the rising numbers to climate change, the priming effect, and the hygiene hypothesis. Climate change is causing pollen rates to rise with warmer climates. The priming effect refers to how mild winters can trigger the early release of pollen from trees, thus increasing the severity of spring allergy symptoms. The hygiene hypothesis is a theory that suggests that as our hygiene practices improve, our body’s ability to naturally fight off germs decreases, thus making us more vulnerable to allergens. As these symptoms become more prevalent among us, one can only wonder how this affects our already volatile economy.
How much does allergies cost us annually?
The average cost of over-the-counter allergy medication is about $12 each. The cost for such medications can add up quickly when they are needed throughout the duration of the spring allergy season. For some, over-the-counter medications aren’t sufficient to manage allergy symptoms. A doctor’s visit is usually the most viable next step. If you’ve attempted to make a doctor’s appointment this season, you know how hard it can be to see your physician in a timely manner. Doctor’s offices are jam-packed this season with patients complaining of sneezing, sore throat, watery, itchy eyes, and sinus drainage. These symptoms can easily lead to chronic sinus conditions and the need to purchase costly medications. Some reports show that on an annual basis, over a billion dollars is spent on doctor office visits, while over 10 billion dollars is spent for medications. Also, consider the time off work and other costs associated with suffering from spring allergy symptoms. It is reported that allergy suffers end up taking almost 2 more days off work compared to allergy-free workers. Unfortunately, there are no signs of these numbers decreasing. On contrary, they are expected to increase. As over-the-counter meds and doctor’s visits become more prevalent and necessary to manage an allergy sufferer’s daily life, let’s explore the different ways they can be managed.
OTC and Allergy Shots
While over-the-counter measures can be super effective for many allergy sufferers, others require a professional approach from their physicians to help manage their chronic condition. When you visit the allergy section in your neighborhood pharmacy, you’ll notice a world of different over-the-counter medications that treat the symptoms of seasonal allergies. These can range from cough syrups, to pills, to even nasal sprays. These various medications can be drowsy or non-drowsy and can be taken multiple times throughout the day, or once daily and include antihistamines, decongestants, steroids, and mast cell stabilizers (eye drops and nasal sprays). These can be very effective in treating spring allergy symptoms, yet there are more effective ways that require a medical professional to administer.
Immunotherapy (allergy shots) is one of the most effective methods to treat not only spring allergy symptoms but all allergy-related symptoms that persist long after the spring season. Immunotherapy, commonly referred to as allergy shots, helps your immune system gradually adapt to specific allergens that affect you individually. If you want to subscribe to this method of treatment, you will need to consult with your physician to create a schedule for your treatment plan. There are 2 phases involved in this treatment plan that includes the build-up phase and the maintenance phase. Injections are required weekly during the buildup phase and are required less frequently during the maintenance phase. Most people with spring allergy and chronic allergy symptoms report favorable outcomes after successfully subscribing to immunotherapy treatment plans. But like most of us, there is a major concern for how much such treatment can cost us.
Health insurance for spring allergy treatment
The good news is that most health insurance plans pay for these treatments. If you, or someone you know, has allergy symptoms that disrupt their daily life, it is vital to you have health insurance coverage, as spring allergies can be a huge financial burden. As spring allergies show no signs of letting up soon, you must have a viable action plan each year to help manage the condition. Over-the-counter treatments, though they can be very effective, are not covered in most insurance plans and can quickly add up, as some data suggest a weekly spending average of $60-$70 in many cases. Immunotherapy is the best option for many people but can be very expensive without adequate health insurance coverage.
If you or someone you know needs help finding affordable health insurance coverage, call Jackson Insurance Group at (662)432-1698.
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