Tips: How to Avoid Pollen and Allergies Every Season (Your Respiratory Key to Treatment and Prevention)

Avoiding Allergies

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H

You must avoid the things to which you are allergic if you want to stop the sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, runny nose. Duh? Easier said than done? Yes, but there are some tips to follow that give you the advantage.

  1. Read our articles Allergy Tips and Allergy Treatments.
  2. Try to discern your allergens (to what you are allergic). Is it certain times when you go outside in the spring, fall, or is it all year long? If it is seasonal, find what is blooming by reading pollen updates in the newspaper, or on the web. Pollen.com is a good general source.
  3. Start treatment a week or two before the typical allergic season begins. There are plenty of good antihistamines over the counter. Prescription nasal inhalers may help. Allergy tests and shots not only may help but will give you an idea of specific allergens.
  4. Even if you follow all of the above, your will still have to try to avoid what makes you sick.

From the AHRQ:

Americans spent $11 billion on doctors’ bills, prescription drugs, and other medical care to relieve allergy symptoms such as itchy or watery eyes, stuffy noses, wheezing, coughing, and headaches in 2005, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The cost is nearly double the $6 billion spent in 2000.

AHRQ’s analysis looked at spending on allergies, such as hay fever and other allergies caused plant pollens, dust, or dander such as animal hair. AHRQ’s data indicated that:

  • In 2005, about 22 million Americans reported visiting a doctor, obtaining a prescription drug, being hospitalized, getting home care or experiencing allergy symptoms.
  • Visits to doctors’ office and hospital outpatient departments for allergies care accounted for $4 billion. The remaining roughly $7 billion was spent mostly on prescription drugs.
  • Between 2000 and 2005, average annual spending on treatment of allergies jumped from $350 per person to $520 per person.

AHRQ, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, works to enhance the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care in the United States. The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, the frequency with which they are used, the cost of those services, and how they are paid. For more information, go to Allergic Rhinitis: Trends in Use and Expenditures, 2000 and 2005.

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2 Responses to “Tips: How to Avoid Pollen and Allergies Every Season (Your Respiratory Key to Treatment and Prevention)”

  1. Mark Salinas Says:

    Finally, a reliable source for people affected by Seasonal allergies! My son has allergies and is greatly inconvenienced by the seasonal changes. We are always looking for preventative and treatment information. The Allergy Tips and Allergy Treatments listed in the post are great resources! I have printed these out to be put on our refrigerator. We thank you!

    Mark Salinas
    Healthy Living Today

    P.S. My son also has nut allergies and has extreme reactions to peanuts and walnuts.

    Mark Salinass last blog post..Hip Flexor and Fitness

  2. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H Says:

    Thank you Mark.. I guess you have heard of the work on the peanut allergy vaccine. I hope is available within the next few years for your son’s sake and thousands others.

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