How to Save Money While Treating Common Allergies

Seven Ways to Save On Common Allergies

common allergiesAllergies make everything harder. They make it harder to sleep, harder to work, harder to play, harder to eat, harder to breathe. They also make it harder to make ends meet. Allergy medications and patient visits account for nearly $6 billion annually. Not only are allergy medications expensive, they're often never-ending. But there are ways to save money and meet your healthcare needs at the same time, whether you have seasonal allergies, pet allergies, food allergies or any other kind. Here are a few tips that can help you keep your allergy treatments in line with your budget.

1. Use Insurance If You Can

Many allergy medications are now available over the counter. On the one hand, that means they're easier to get: You don't need to see a doctor, you don't need a prescription, and you don't have to worry about your pharmacy closing – you can pick it up at any 24-hour drug store and many retail outlets. On the other hand, unlike prescription medications, they're not covered by insurance. If you have insurance (and as of 2014, you almost certainly will), you may want to ask your doctor if there are prescription medications that match your needs as well as the over the counter products.

2. Buy Generic and Seek Discounts

Rely on the advice of your doctor and pharmacist when it comes to buying generic vs. name brand, but don't assume generic is automatically inferior. Generic oral allergy medications, for example, are just as good as name brand products such as Claritin, Allegra and Zyrtec. And if you buy name brand, you may be able to find a discount from the pharmaceutical company if you're in a low-income bracket. Also, check out, where you can find discounts of up to 80 percent off select drugs at participating pharmacies.

3. Avoid Allergens

This may sound like a piece of advice you didn't need to ask for, but it's surprising how big a difference a closed window or regularly laundered clothes can make. Stay indoors during high pollination times, which means between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. When you come inside on a high-pollen day, wash your clothes and take a shower.

4. Clean Your House. A lot.

If you're allergic to pets, dust mites, insects or other indoor allergens, you're going to have to clean your house more often and more thoroughly than other people. Mildew, dust, mold and pet dander accumulate over time and make allergies worse. Make sure to vacuum floors and furniture, dust, and launder curtains and drapes. Scrub bathrooms and kitchens and wash your linen regularly.

5. Keep Allergens Out

There are simple ways to prevent allergy attacks by keeping allergens out of your home. If you know you're allergic to pets, don't get them. If you already have them, keep them outdoors as much as possible, and don't share your bedroom with them. Set a no-smoking rule. And remove products with strong odors or fumes, such as perfumes and cleaning supplies.

6. Narrow Your List of Targets

Don't attack your allergy until you know as much about it as you can. Visit an allergist to figure out exactly what you're allergic to – or at least a good guess. Pinpointing the cause of an allergy can be agonizingly difficult, as any medication-hopper knows, but getting the best information will save you money and trouble.

7. Consider Allergy Shots

Immunotherapy doesn't work for everyone, but it does help many people find long-lasting relief. It also gives them a cheaper, simpler way to deal with their allergies than the tired routine of pills, eye drops or nasal sprays.
Spending too much on allergy treatments only adds to your problems. It's critical to find treatments and solutions you can fit within your budget. Whether it's allergy injections or more thorough house cleanings, following some of these simple steps should help you live your life and save some money along the way.

Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.

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8 Responses to How to Save Money While Treating Common Allergies

  1. Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter 08/31/2013 at 9:08 am #

    Oh man, I hate allergies. And allergy medication is so expensive! I one time went to Target and they had clearance on their store brand medication for allergies so I bought several boxes at $3/each. I find that using insurance is great but you need to get a prescription.

  2. Kay Lynn 02/24/2013 at 3:49 pm #

    I have allergies and I found using generics saves a lot of money on the medications.

  3. Sarah Park 02/24/2013 at 9:56 am #

    I always try to avoid allergents that can trigger my allergies. It is better to prevent things from happening.

  4. John@MoneyPrinciple 02/19/2013 at 4:55 pm #

    I’ve heard the honey tip as well but haven’t tried it yet. I get hay fever and all my sons have some similar mild allergy. It is a pain and inconvenient. I tend to use Clarytin/loropodine.

    [In the UK medicines are not so expensive either – under 16 (18 in full time education), over 60, pregnant and unemployed people get prescription medicines free. Otherwise there is a flat rate charge of about £7 ($10) per item, GPs will always prescribe generic anyway and will also tell you if it is cheaper to buy the medicine than get a prescription. This is NOT true elsewhere in Europe!]

  5. Midlife Finance 02/19/2013 at 9:48 am #

    We have two portable air purification machine in our home and they help a lot. It’s difficult outside, but at least I feel pretty good at home. Using generic allergy medication is a good way to save. They usually go on sale around this time and I buy enough to last the season.

    • Paul 02/24/2013 at 11:10 am #

      I use a nasal spray and a generic for claritin, I still struggle with allergies though.

  6. Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin 02/19/2013 at 7:16 am #

    Great tips on saving money with allergies. I have tried a couple of them, we use a humidifier in our home and vacuum every other day. However, the thing that has worked the best for me is purchasing local organic honey. It is said that bees in your community interact with the pollen and therefore when they create the honey it gives you an immunity to allergies.

    • Paul 02/24/2013 at 11:09 am #

      I live in Phoenix Arizona and it used to be one of the best places to live if you have allergies. With all the non-native vegetation that has been planted it is now one of the worst places in the States for allergies.

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