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TRICARE offers relief for spring allergies

The weather is finally warming and we can spend more time outdoors. Unfortunately for some, warm weather brings suffering from seasonal allergies. However, there is hope. TRICARE covers proven services and supplies needed to diagnose and treat allergies.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. with an annual cost in excess of $18 billion. More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. There are several types of allergic diseases or diseases worsened by allergies, but the most common are:

- Hay fever
- Asthma
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Allergic skin conditions (hives, eczema, dermatitis)
- Sinusitis (sinus infections)

If you think you have seasonal allergies, talk to your health care provider. Your provider can provide you with tips on how to reduce or eliminate your exposure in addition to explaining the range of possible test and treatment if recommended. They can use skin and blood tests to diagnose you and treatments can include medications or allergy shots. You should also try to avoid the substance(s) that cause a reaction, also known as allergens. Common allergens are pollens, plants and animal dander.

When exposed to allergens, individual reactions can vary from person to person. First time exposure may only produce a mild reaction while repeat exposures may result in more symptoms and in some instances more serious reactions.

This season, don’t suffer in silence, get help. Talk to your regional contractor for more information about how you can get treatment for your allergies.

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