Allergic reactions are an immune system overreaction to an allergen that would normally be harmless. Life-threatening allergic reactions are called anaphylaxis and occur immediately upon exposure to the allergen.
Most allergies are harmless and a little annoying, resulting in itchiness, runny nose or sneezing, and symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter medications from Probst Drugs. Allergic reactions are common, with more than 50 million people having allergic reactions in the U.S. each year.
Anaphylaxis, however, requires urgent medical attention, as the allergic reaction narrows the airways and causes the body to go into shock. Anaphylaxis needs thoughtful navigation and management of the allergy. There are ways to protect yourself and appropriately manage your allergies.
Managing Your Allergies
To manage your allergies, it’s important to know what they are so you can avoid them. If you’ve ever had an allergic reaction or have a family history of anaphylaxis, you’re more likely to have a severe allergic reaction. If you’re unsure of your allergies, an allergist can perform an allergy test.
Managing your allergies can sometimes be difficult, but your doctor can assist you with forming a plan. There are also different tactics you can use, depending on your allergy.
Ways to manage allergies:
- Avoid outdoor allergens: The only way to completely avoid allergic reactions is to completely avoid your allergens. If you’re allergic to insects, cover your food while outside and wear minimal perfumes and lotions.
- Avoid drug allergens: If you’re allergic to medications, read all labels and let your doctors know.
- Avoid food allergens: Read ingredient labels and ask detailed questions at coffee shops like Gold Sprint or others. Be cautious of cross-contamination.
- Be prepared. If you have a prescription for an EpiPen®, carry it with you at all times.
- Educate your friends and family. If they know what to do in an emergency, you’ll have a higher chance of getting the help you need on time.
- Wear a medical ID bracelet to alert others of your allergies.
Living with serious allergies can be frustrating and scary. A healthcare provider can help you safely navigate discovering your allergy triggers and comfortably living with them.
To schedule an allergy test, contact North Alabama ENT Associates.