Allergic reactions may seem normal because they affect millions of people worldwide. But people should know that this disease, with varying types and triggers, can be life-threatening without an adequate understanding of its causes, including its proper management and prevention once it occurs. It is not a secret that allergies can affect life and interfere with how a person can function.
An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts to substances, causing reactions and varying symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, coughing, itchiness, rashes, and swollenness in different body parts such as the eyes, mouth, lips, or throat. Invaders, commonly known as allergens, cause these reactions.
Moreover, types of allergies include food, drug, insect, latex, pet, and pollen allergy. Different allergies come with different triggers. If you are one of the millions with allergies, here are ways you can prevent and manage allergic reactions.
1. See a Doctor
Consulting a doctor, an allergist, or an immunologist is one of the priorities when experiencing allergy-related symptoms. Allergy consultation is a procedure done to individuals to identify and assess specific symptoms, durations, causes, existing medical conditions, medication intakes, etc., to come up with a diagnosis.
Moreover, different tests may be conducted to expose allergens, allowing patients to understand the condition and build awareness for efficient prevention and management of the disease. Common tests may include prick tests or blood tests.
Depending on the result of the consultation and exams, your doctor will provide treatments and medications. This way, you can better understand Allergies, obtain prescriptions, and practice preventive measures to minimize or avoid frequent allergic reactions.
An individual is recommended to undergo allergy consultation if they have shown or experienced common symptoms of severe allergic reaction causing anaphylactic shocks. It is a medical emergency-allergic reaction that can cause difficulty breathing due to inflamed and constricted windpipe.
Consulting a doctor will help manage the condition significantly if the allergy immensely affects the patient's daily function. Thus, professional help is one great way to understand allergies, allowing the achievement of effective interventions.
2. Avoid Triggers
To prevent allergies, one of the keys is avoiding what triggers them. As mentioned, there are different triggers depending on a person's allergy. Avoiding triggers equates to minimizing contact with the allergen.
For example, concerning food allergies, major allergens may include dairy, eggs, peanuts, seafood, or the like. Given that, it would be helpful to check the ingredients of the food you are about to take to ensure that it is free from the allergen. Checking the labels and knowing how it is prepared can be an advantage in ensuring safety from possible allergy reactions.
If possible, additional caution, like dedicated utensils and other materials for cooking, can be an advantage in preventing cross-contact and contamination of common food allergens. If various food allergens can't be completely avoided, washing your hands or using safety gloves during and after close contact can help.
On the other hand, if you have seasonal allergies to pollen, choosing the right clothes, like a long-sleeve top, pants, scarf, or beanie, and using a face mask, can minimize skin exposure and pollen contact. Once all activity is done outside, go home immediately, remove your clothes, and shower.
For other allergies, staying indoors as much as possible, keeping your home clean, and avoiding close contact with the allergens can help prevent mild to severe allergic reactions.
3. Prepare an Allergic Reaction Plan
Doctors, concerning the identified causes and needed medications for specific allergies, commonly provide treatment and allergic reaction plans. A particular form of intervention is specially formulated depending on the patient’s needs and goals. An allergic reaction plan is prepared for mild to severe allergic reactions.
The goal of plan preparation is for patients and people around them to get the necessary information and knowledge of what to do during similar situations. It is a document encompassing common symptoms, treatments, and action plans in the course of an allergic reaction.
Although no unified format or template is used for an allergic reaction plan, commonly needed information is as follows: specific symptoms and signs of an allergic reaction and steps to take during an allergic reaction. The steps may include having someone for help, availability of contact details for emergencies, and when to provide medication to ease symptoms.
The allergic reaction plan may also include a preparedness plan for serious cases like anaphylaxis reactions. During worse symptoms, specified steps may include:
- Checking the airways, breathing, and consciousness of the individual.
- Allow the patient to lie down while the legs are up or remain seated when there is difficulty in breathing. This will help delay the reaction.
- Administration of adrenaline, if specified in the reaction plan to reduce swelling and maintain heart function.
- Calling for emergency help.
Understanding the cause, treatments, and actions needed for allergies can help prevent and manage the risk associated with allergic reactions. Therefore, one should be well aware of the help and varying ways to minimize the frequency of the disease occurrence. Preparedness and awareness is the key to ensuring effective prevention.