Springs brings warmer weather and fun outdoors.  It also is the beginning of allergy season. Spring, summer and fall cause pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. They also cause mold and dust. For people with allergies, it can mean sneezing, coughing and wheezing. “Most people do not even realize that allergies trigger their asthma,” said Verni.Jogaratnum, medical director at Community Health Plan. “More than half of people with asthma have allergies, and if you have asthma, allergies can cause serious illness or even death.”

If you have asthma, schedule an appointment with your doctor.  Your doctor can help you create an asthma action plan.  This plan can help you manage your symptoms and remain healthy.

Springs brings warmer weather and fun outdoors.  It also is the beginning of allergy season. Spring, summer and fall cause pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. They also cause mold and dust. For people with allergies, it can mean sneezing, coughing and wheezing. “Most people do not even realize that allergies trigger their asthma,” said Verni.Jogaratnum, medical director at Community Health Plan. “More than half of people with asthma have allergies, and if you have asthma, allergies can cause serious illness or even death.”

If you have asthma, schedule an appointment with your doctor.  Your doctor can help you create an asthma action plan.  This plan can help you manage your symptoms and remain healthy.

Here are some tips to help you breathe easier:
-Stay indoors if pollen counts are high.  You can find this information in newspapers, on the Internet, on television or on the radio.
-Close windows in your house.  If you are in a car, keep windows up when driving.
-Pollen and mold counts are usually highest between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. and when it’s windy.  Go outside before or after this time of day.
-Try not to leave clothes or laundry hanging outdoors to dry – they can collect pollens and mold.
-Use an air conditioner if you have one – this keeps humidity low and pollen low.
-Vacuum and damp dust weekly. Do this while people with asthma are out of the house.
-The best time to play outdoors is after a rain when the air is almost clear of pollen.  Or, in the afternoon or evening, and on non-windy days.

To prevent and treat allergy-triggered asthma, you may need to take an allergy medication.  If you still have problems talk with your doctor and ask if you should see an allergy specialist.  For information on how to get quality and affordable health care for you and your family, please call the Community Health Plan customer service team at 1-800-461-5832 or go to www.chpw.org.  If you are hearing or speech impaired, please call TTY 1-866-816-2479 (toll free).

Community Health Plan provides managed care for more than 240,000 individuals and families throughout Washington. It is the state’s sixth largest provider of the Basic Health Plan and the second largest health plan serving members of the state’s Medicaid program, including Healthy Options, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and GA-U. 

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