Asthma Peak Week occurs every year in the third week of September. During this week, children and adults are more exposed to allergy stimulates such as ragweed, mold, and dust. Hospitalizations rise and millions living with asthma and allergies are affected. It is best to start preparing for this week months in advance. Below are tips on how to get ready for Asthma Peak Week.
Make an appointment with your healthcare provider. To keep your asthma under control, it is imperative to schedule an appointment every August. You may think that everything is normal, but it is good to double check. In this appointment it is important to review the types of inhalers you use to analyze their effectiveness. Also, it’s a great time to determine if there are any other new products you could use to better your health.
Always have a rescue inhaler on hand. Even though you may not use your rescue inhaler every day, it is crucial to have one in case of an emergency. Take precautions such as checking its expiration date and detecting how much medicine you have left in it.
Take care of yourself. Amidst this pandemic, it is critical to not lose sight of taking care of yourself. It is hard to keep stress under control but is very beneficial if you do. Stay hydrated, eat healthy, and get plenty of sleep. If you continue to do these things leading up to Asthma Peak Week, you will feel much better.
Avoid asthma triggers. There are a few ways you can minimize your exposure to these allergens:
When coming in from outside, remove your shoes and change clothing to rid of any allergens you may bring into the home.
During this season, your windows and doors should remain closed.
Using an air filter can aid against triggers. Make sure that it is a certified asthma and allergy friendly filter.
Shower before bed to remove any possible triggers such as tree, weeds, pollen, grass, or dander.
Stay away from people who are sick and wash your hands often.
Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Utilizing these steps daily will create a routine and ultimately minimize asthma triggers.
Tria Health and Asthma
Many patients decide to take medications in order to effectively manage their asthma. If Tria Health is offered through your benefits plan, you have the option of receiving a one-on-one, private consultation with one of Tria Health’s pharmacists over the phone. During your consultation, your pharmacist will review all your current medications, including vitamins and supplements. If you are interested in exploring medication treatments for asthma, Tria’s pharmacist will be able to provide you with recommendations.
It’s official, spring is here! While many of us are
excited about the rise in temperature, if you’re one of the millions of people
who have seasonal allergies, you may be dreading what’s to come. Seasonal
allergies can mean sneezing, congestion, a runny nose and other unpleasant
symptoms. Luckily, there are many steps you can take to minimize the effects
and keep allergies under control.
Limiting your exposure to allergens can help reduce
your overall symptoms. A few ways you can do so are:
Stay indoors on dry, windy days. The best time
to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling and other
gardening chores that stir up allergens.
Remove clothes you’ve worn outside and shower to
rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
While some allergens may still get into your home,
there are many ways you can lessen their impact.
Limit the number of rugs in your home and wash
any that are washable
Use air conditioning and utilize high-efficiency
Keep your indoor air dry with a dehumidifier
Oral antihistamines: Can help relieve sneezing, itching, a runny nose and watery eyes.
Examples include: Claritin, Alavert, Zyrtec Allergy and Allegra Allergy
Decongestants: Provide temporary relief from nasal stuffiness. Only use nasal decongestants for a few days in a row. Longer-term use of decongestant nasal sprays can actually worsen symptoms (rebound congestion).
Examples Include: Sudafed, Neo-Synephrine and Afrinol
Nasal Spray: Most effective when used before symptoms start and can ease most allergy symptoms.
Combination Medications: A combination of an antihistamine with a decongestant.
Examples Include: Claritin-D and Allegra-D
Can Answer Your Medication Questions
If Tria Health is offered through your benefits
plan, you have the option of receiving a one-on-one, private consultation with
one of Tria Health’s pharmacists over the phone. During your consultation, your
pharmacist will review all your current medications, including vitamins and
supplements. If you’re interested in exploring medication treatments for allergies,
Tria’s pharmacist will be able to provide you with recommendations.
Allergy season is here! To help you out, we’d like to share with you some frequently asked questions and the pharmacists’ answers.
How can I tell if I have allergies or just a common cold?
General aches and pains
Fatigue and weakness
How do steroid nasal sprays work?
Steroid nasal sprays are an effective treatment for most allergy symptoms. Steroid nasal sprays reduce the allergic response of the cell types that induce allergies, mainly mast cells and eosinophils. This results in a reduction of runny nose, postnasal drip, nasal congestion, sneezing, and itching.
Do allergy shots work?
Allergy shots are injections you receive at regular intervals over a period of 3-5 years to reduce allergy attacks. Each allergy shot contains a tiny amount of the substance that trigger your allergic reactions, called allergens. By adjusting the dose and your exposure to allergens, your immune system builds up tolerance to the allergen and your symptoms diminish over time.
Can you take allergy pills and nasal spray together?
Yes. For patients with severe allergy symptoms who cannot achieve symptom resolution with either one by itself, you can combine allergy pills and nasal sprays. In general, steroid nasal sprays are the single most effective treatment for allergy symptoms, however, if you continue to experience troublesome symptoms with consistent use of a steroid spray you can add an over the counter antihistamine such as generic Claritin (loratadine), generic Zyrtec (cetirizine), or generic Allegra (fexofenadine).
Thanks to the Tria Health Help Desk, patients may ask pharmacists any medication-related questions. We’d like to share with you some frequently asked questions and the pharmacists’ answers
Question: Is it OK to take leftover antibiotics to treat a current infection?
Answer: No! The antibiotic might not treat the type infection that you have and might not be the full course of therapy required. Additionally, taking antibiotics inappropriately may also cause antibiotic resistance, making it harder to treat future infections.
Question:How do I know what kind of vitamins I should take?
Answer:It would depend on your diet, lifestyle, and other medical conditions. Taking a multivitamin is a great place to start. If you have concerns about being vitamin deficient, talk with your doctor about checking certain vitamin levels.
Question: Which over-the-counter allergy products are safe to use during pregnancy?
Answer:Both Zyrtec and Claritin are safe to use during pregnancy. Make sure these products do not carry any other active ingredients, like pseudoephedrine. Talk with your doctor or your Tria pharmacist before starting any over the counter allergy product.
Question:I recently started a new medication and have had a stomach ache ever since. Am I allergic to the drug?
Answer:Stomach aches are not a sign or symptom of a medication allergy. It is usually a side effect of the drug. Try to take the medication with food to help avoid stomach upset.
Do YOU have a question for our pharmacists?
Enroll with Tria Health and schedule your appointment today!
Make sure you are prepped and ready as the pollen count rises this season! We want to help by breaking down some important items to consider when picking an over the counter nasal spray.
Nasal sprays are very popular due to their convenience and effectiveness. There are several types of nasal sprays, including:
Decongestants (Afrin, etc)
Antihistamines (Patanase, by prescription only)
Nasal Steroid sprays (Flonase, etc).
The first choice for treatment of seasonal allergies are nasal steroid sprays which contain a safe, topical steroid as the active ingredient. They work to decrease swelling which causes congestion, watery drippy nose and sneezing. The nasal steroid sprays are most effective when used daily for the season. It may take a few weeks for the spray to begin working fully, but patience pays off.
This allergy season there are two new nasal steroid sprays that are new to the shelves, Flonase Sensimist and ClariSpray. Both products contain fluticasone. Despite looking like Claritin in terms of the colors, packaging and graphics, the ClariSpray does contain a steroid (similar to Flonase) not an antihistamine. It is important to review the active ingredient labels when purchasing over the counter products. This will prevent you from getting twice the amount of medication by taking similar ingredients.
Other available products over the counter include Rhinocort Allergy, Flonase Allergy Relief and Nasacort Allergy, along with the various generic store versions for many of these branded products above. As always, you should reach out to your pharmacist to discuss what options are best depending on your symptoms.