Ah-choo! Welcome to spring allergy season

Ah-choo! Welcome to spring allergy season

March 6, 2019

girl sneezingIt will soon be the season for sneezing; itchy, watery eyes; and other cold-like symptoms. We often blame hay fever. But spring allergies have nothing to do with hay or fever. Rather, they are caused by substances in the air, such as pollen, pet dander, mold and dust mites.

While there is no cure for allergies, there are things you can do to limit your exposure to the source of your wheezing and sneezing:

  • Avoid pollen
    • Stay indoors in the morning. That’s when there’s a lot of pollen in the air.
    • Use your air conditioner during the warmer months instead of opening windows.
    • If you come in contact with pollen, wash it off.
  • Avoid pet dander
    • If possible, keep your pet outside.
    • Bathe your pet often.
    • Use an air filter to help decrease pet dander.
  • Avoid dust mites
    • Wash sheets, blankets and other washable items in hot water that’s at least 130°F.
    • Wrap mattresses, box springs and pillows in dust-proof covers.
    • Dust with a damp cloth or oiled mop.
  • Avoid mold
    • Keep your home cool and dry. Mold likes to grow in damp and humid places. 
Getting Treatment at Your Provider’s Office
If you think your cold-like symptoms are actually allergies, the first thing to do is to see your primary care provider (PCP).

If you are enrolled in a HealthSelectSM plan, your benefits include treatment for allergies, including injections, testing and antigens/serum. Treatment is paid at 100% for HealthSelect of Texas participants when you get treatment from an in-network provider in the office. Consumer Directed HealthSelectSM participants pay 20% coinsurance (the plan pays 80%) after you meet your deductible, when you see an in-network provider in the office.

Getting a Referral
If your PCP refers you to a specialist, call a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) Personal Health Assistant to be sure the specialist is in the HealthSelect network and that you have a valid referral authorization (from your PCP to the specialist) on file with BCBSTX. You also can find your referral authorization in your Blue Access for Membersâ„  when it’s approved.

Can Medications Help?
There are prescription and over-the-counter medications that can help relieve your allergy symptoms. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to find out which may be best for you.

You can also speak with an OptumRx® customer care representative for any questions you have about allergy medication at (855) 828-9834 (TTY 711).