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How Pharmacists Can Help Patients Manage Seasonal Allergies

Last updated May 10, 2024 | Pharmacy Management

Allergy season arises every year and it is imperative pharmacies ensure patients know how to identify and treat their symptoms accurately. Nearly 25.7% of Americans age 18+ deal with seasonal allergies according to the CDC. Close to 18.9% of children in the U.S. have some sort of seasonal allergy as well. Altogether, seasonal allergies can cause numerous primary care visits each year and are definitely something pharmacy teams can help educate on and treat.

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy or watery eyes, nose, or ears
  • Nasal congestion
  • Occasional sore throats, feelings of fatigue, or headaches due to sinus pressure in severe cases
  • In some patients, allergies may trigger pre-existing asthma and cause coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, or wheezing.

Ways to Help Mitigate Seasonal Allergies

Pharmacists are perfectly positioned to help patients prevent, treat, and manage seasonal allergies. Below are just a few ways your pharmacy can better help patients this allergy season: 

Educate Patients on Allergies

When you talk to patients about their symptoms, it may also help to run them through a list of questions that will help narrow things down. Discuss factors like medical history, recent travel, their proximity to a sick person or common allergens, and the time of year they are experiencing these symptoms.

There are also apps patients can use to get insight into the pollen counts in a certain area which would be extremely helpful in diagnosis and prevention.

Offer Consultations

Develop an open line of communication with your patients by initiating discussions about their symptoms and potential causes. Once you’ve confirmed their allergy and treatment, walk them through the medication options along with their potential side effects and encourage questions about usage. Using an online appointment scheduler to set these consultations will create a seamless experience for your patients. 

Treat and Prevent Symptoms

Help patients identify potential allergens by walking them through their medical history. Consider their current medications, environment, and family history to pinpoint the root cause of their issue. Additionally, helping patients prepare for allergy season by reviewing factors that can worsen their symptoms will go a long way.

Provide OTC Solutions for Seasonal Allergies

Keep your pharmacy stocked up with OTC medications like decongestants and consider offering dehumidifiers and air filters to support patients who don’t need prescriptions for their allergies. Some common medications you might recommend to patients include cetirizine, diphenhydramine, loratadine, and Fexofenadine, to name a few.

Raise Awareness Using Social Media

Offer proactive advice and education online during allergy season on your social media channels. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or another platform, you can use your online presence to post allergy tips, advice, and educational content. Sharing resources that detail types of allergies, their severity, and symptoms will go a long way in promoting awareness. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation has a free social media toolkit that can help you curate posts for your pharmacy social channels.

Need help connecting with your patients this year? Learn more about our suite of digital patient communication and engagement tools by getting in touch today.

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