Allison, 18

I wish to go to London

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Allergy Numbers Swell

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-12-31-10-pmOriginally published in Huffington Post 4/4/17

By Shane Power, President of
Watertree Health, and Lisa Chau, Communications Manager of Watertree Health
 Woman, middle age, handkerchief, tissue, allergy, pollen, pollen allergy, sniff, summer flu, allergic, allergies, stuffy nose, sick, meadow, flower meadow, summer, outside, silent, patient, grass, Spring

Ragweed sensitivity rose 15% from 2005 to 2009 according to Quest Diagnostics blood tests to detect allergies. Asthma prevalence increased by 17% according to federal data from 2001 through mid-2012. In 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported that asthma had became a national epidemic affecting 56 million, or one in every 23 people.

Statistics show that the overall number of people suffering from allergies is growing for two main reasons: longer pollen seasons caused by climate change and compromised immune systems.

USA Today reports that climate change is linked to more pollen and, as a result, more people suffering from allergies and asthma. Since 1995, pollen season has stretched to 16 days, resulting in a rise of allergic asthma and seasonal hay fever. Doctors expect conditions to worsen unless we stop the increase of carbon dioxide emissions that have been linked to climate change. More people are suffering from itchy eyes, runny nose, coughing, congestion and shortness of breath. They can’t focus at school or work, and they have sleep problems. Medications to help relieve their symptoms have stopped working for some.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology also attributes growing numbers of allergy sufferers to the “hygiene hypothesis” which suggests that overly clean living conditions account for rising allergy and asthma diagnoses. Decreased exposure to germs means that immune systems are not trained to differentiate between harmful and harmless irritants. Studies support the hygiene hypothesis because researchers found that those living on farms are more exposed to germs, but develop fewer allergic diseases and inflammation.

These increased environmental triggers have also resulted in more adults finding themselves plagued with allergies later in life. In the past, someone may have been genetically predisposed but symptoms never expressed themselves because exposure to allergens never hit a critical mass.

However, allergies aren’t necessarily permanent. Removing triggers can help make allergies disappear. Symptoms may vanish with a change of climate or removal of a pet.

Woman’s Day also offers these tips on natural and effective methods for managing allergies (Visit their site for the full list and details):

  1. Use saline nasal rinses to flush out allergens from sinuses. The saltwater solution will wash away irritants. 
  2.  Enlist a cool-mist humidifier to help remove allergens out of the air. They will bind to water droplets and fall to the ground instead of being inhaled.
  3. Remove pollen and spores from the air using an air purifier with a HEPA filter. The bedroom is the best location for this machine if you only have one.
  4. Keep your immune system well balanced with probiotics. Choose yogurts that contain Acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, and Bifidobacterium lactis.
  5. Acupuncture can calm an overactive immune system that causes bad allergy symptoms. Try to start treatment about a month before your peak season.

We can’t always avoid the allergens in our environment, but we can try to manage how much the irritants impact our daily productivity.

Watertree Health MVP Spotlight: John Modispacher

FullSizeRender-4_smallContinuing Series…

April marks John Modispacher’s one-year anniversary with Watertree Health® and his newly achieved status as MVP! John lives and works in western Washington, helping his community afford their medications through our free Prescription Discount Card benefitting Make-A-Wish®.

Prior to joining the Company, John worked in sales for about 13 years, selling insurance through private in-home appointments. Meeting new people and helping them get the necessary health care was a skill that transitioned seamlessly to Watertree Health.

When asking John what made him decide to become a Rep, he replied that it just clicked from day one. Helping people afford their medications AND giving back to Make-A-Wish allows him to make a difference in his community.

One day, John witnessed what happens all too often at the pharmacy, and what drives him to do more. “I was standing behind a woman in line to pick up her prescriptions and she was on the phone with her loved one asking what medications she should leave behind because her bill was $800.”

When John talks to other people about the program, he states proudly that the Reps’ efforts have resulted in over 200 wishes granted in about two years. “My wife volunteers often, but I never thought I’d be working alongside a nonprofit. I love knowing I’m making an impact in these kids’ lives. Whenever I mention Make-A-Wish, people light up. One day I met a man who was a driver for a wish kid’s wish day. He couldn’t stop talking about what an amazing experience it was to witness their life-changing event.”

“John has his focus set on donations for Make-A-Wish – when there’s a contest or other goal to hit, it’s always about the donations for John,” said John McKiernan, John’s Director.

Since John started a year ago, he has grown faster than most. In the fourth quarter of 2016, he had the highest growth of any Rep in the company, which continued through January and earned his way onto the 2017 President’s Club Trip to St. Thomas.

“John is somebody that goes out there and does it. Speaking as his Director, he’s very low maintenance because he’s always working! He’s extremely deserving of this recognition as our MVP,” John McKiernan said.

WH_MVP_LOGO_web_smallThank you John for all you do to make your community a happier and healthier place! Your commitment has helped thousands of people save money and afford the medications they need. And, the wishes that you’ve helped grant have given hope, strength, and joy to kids and their families during extremely difficult times. Keep up the great work, John!