Allergy Prevention: Everything You Need To Know
Sneezes, sniffles, and runny noses are not just signs of a cold. They are also common symptoms of an allergy attack, and they can be very disrupting to deal with. Having an effective plan in place to avoid your allergens can be key to keeping you from experiencing an allergic reaction.
Not all allergy flareups can be prevented, but with careful planning and preparation they can be effectively managed without major disruptions to your daily life.
Causes of Allergies
Allergies are the result of your immune system identifying a usually harmless foreign substance as toxic. To combat the foreign substance it views as a threat, your immune system releases antibodies and this reaction can cause inflammation in your sinuses, airways, skin and digestive system.
Common allergens include:
- Insect stings and bites
- Pet dander
- Dust mites
Why your immune system views a substance as harmful isn’t fully understood. However, you’re more likely to develop allergies if you have asthma or a family history of allergies and asthma. Allergies tend to develop in childhood but adults can develop allergies later in life as well.
Allergy symptoms will vary from person to person depending on their type of allergy and its severity. You may experience symptoms in your sinuses, on your skin, in your airways, or in your digestive symptoms.
Hay fever: Sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy nose, and itchy or irritated eyes.
Insect bite/sting allergy: Swelling and redness, hives or rash, wheezing, shortness of breath, anaphylaxis, and itchiness.
Food allergy: Hives or rash, anaphylaxis, and tingling or swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, face, and throat.
Skin allergies: Itchiness, redness, swelling, tingling, and flaky skin.
More severe allergic reactions, known as anaphylaxis, are life-threatening and need to be treated at the first sign of trouble. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include difficulty breathing, rash, a sudden drop in blood pressure, dizziness, nausea, and a rapid/weak pulse. The use of an autoinjector known as an EpiPen is the first-line of treatment for anaphylaxis.
EpiPen is the brand name of a device that delivers a drug called epinephrine directly into your body. The medication works by stopping the allergic response and the release of chemicals your body produces during an allergy attack. It also increases blood pressure while reducing swelling. This keeps the heart beating at a safer rate and also relaxes your airways and lungs so you can breathe.
How to Prevent Allergic Reactions
One of the most basic methods of allergy prevention is to identify your allergens and to take steps against being exposed to them. This is sometimes easier said than done and some allergens are difficult to avoid. When you can’t avoid your allergen/s, try to limit your exposure as much as possible and to know which treatments can help manage any allergy symptoms that occur.
You should only take medications and treatments as needed and as prescribed. If you’re at risk of a more serious allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis, keep your EpiPen auto-injector on you at all times.
In addition to knowing how to use it, educate your friends, family, and co-workers so that they can administer your medication in case you are unable to. Being open and honest with the people around you can help you navigate your daily life and allergies. If you’re at risk of severe allergic reactions, a medical alert bracelet can let others know about your medical condition.
Avoiding Your Triggers
Avoiding your triggers is another way of preventing allergy attacks. Keeping a diary or journal can help you identify any potential triggers, activities, or irritants that aggravate your condition.
For seasonal allergies: Stay indoors and dry your laundry inside when pollen counts are high or when it’s dry or windy outside. Avoid gardening, mowing your lawn, or other outdoor activities that can release more pollen into the air. If you do spend times outdoors, take your allergy medication beforehand and wear a mask. Remove your clothes once you get inside and take a shower to remove irritants from your hair and skin.
For dust mites: If you have it, use air conditioning in your home and car and invest in some HEPA filters to filter out particles in the air that aggravate your allergies. Clean surfaces and your floor often with a hoover, ideally one that has a HEPA filter. Place dust-mite covers on your mattress and pillows and change your bedding frequently.
For mould: Mould thrives in warm, damp environments so try to stay on top of cleaning your bathrooms and kitchens. Ensure your home has adequate ventilation and use a dehumidifier, especially in winter months when you have the heating going.
For pet/animal allergies: Speak the owners or hosts before going to a get together or event at a location that may have pets. Discuss any accommodations that can be made and take allergy medication before your arrival to treat any potential symptoms.
For food allergies: Food allergies can be very serious so it’s important to check menus before ordering. Speak with waitstaff or those preparing the food so that they are aware of your allergy and can take measures to prevent expose to your allergen.
When allergy prevention isn’t enough, there are effective medications that can manage and reduce your symptoms. For milder allergies you might find that over the counter medications are enough to combat your symptoms. These can be bought in many pharmacies, supermarkets, and other high street stores.
For more severe allergies, you may need stronger prescription medications to help prevent or stop allergy symptoms. There are many different types of prescription allergy medications, with some of the most common being tablets, nasal sprays, inhalers, eye drops, and EpiPens.
Whatever type of allergy medication you need, Pharmacy Planet has you covered. Enjoy your life without the worries of allergies. Start your consultation now to buy all your medication. Once our prescribers approve your request, we’ll have your prescriptions shipped safely and swiftly to your doorstep.