Receiving the news that you are allergic to dust or your child has a peanut allergy can be intimidating, disrupting and scary. The good news is, there are many ways to manage allergies, avoid allergens and make your life easier. Balancing life with allergies can be accomplished in three steps:
Get tested to determine your allergies
Without proper testing by a Board-certified allergist, you will not know the cause of your allergic reaction. Suspecting and assuming that you know the trigger can go from dangerous to fatal.
Adjust and adapt the environment to eliminate exposure to allergens
Being asthmatic does not mean that you or your child are unable to practice sports or be part of a team. An allergist, with the help of medications, will help you live a balanced life with minimal interferences. Being allergic to pollen or dust does not mean that you must live in a bubble. You may very well enjoy the outdoors by avoiding the times that airborne pollen peaks or staying away from dust collectors, like carpet or stuffed toys.
Environmental allergies, pet allergies and insect allergies can be tamed and eventually cured with allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy. For food allergies, there is no alternative other than avoidance. Repeated exposure to a food that causes symptoms like swollen lips, throat closing and hives does not lead to immunization; instead, it can increase the chance of an ER visit or hospitalization.
Educate yourself and your immediate circle
To keep yourself and/or your child safe from an anaphylaxis attack, you must educate everyone in your immediate circle, including colleagues, teachers and aftercare staff.
- At home: Family members and caretakers must be made aware of potentially threatening allergens and what to buy, use and eat in substitution.
- When traveling: More and more airlines have restricted regulations about serving peanuts and nuts as snacks during flights. However, it is recommended that you properly inform the airlines and personnel of any allergies.
- In school: Students are not allowed to carry their medicine on school premises. With this in mind, most states require schools to store epinephrine auto-injectors in case of an emergency. It is of utmost importance that all school staff members are informed of your child’s allergy and properly trained. Provide a set of epinephrine auto-injectors to the school nurse and instruct teachers, cafeteria staff, coaches and other personnel how to recognize allergy symptoms.
- At parties or office gatherings: You may want to consider bringing your own food to avoid potential any mishandling and danger.
Allergies and asthma must be taken seriously, and the condition should be treated by a specialist in order to live a happy, healthy and fulfilling life.
Florida Center For Allergy & Asthma Care has 17 convenient locations throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. To schedule an appointment, call 1-877-4-ALLERGY or visit florida-allergy.com.