In our last blog, we discussed how patients can generally address seasonal allergies and make sure that you are prepared to manage allergy symptoms. But as the weather gets warmer, and spring comes around the corner, patients with allergies need to know what the best ways to prevent allergies are for them.
What we mean is that many patients require uniquely customized and tailored allergy treatment and prevention guidelines. This is because allergies don’t have a one-size-fits-all treatment option. So what should patients do to personalize allergy management for their specific needs?
One of the most effective techniques to control allergies is to build out an allergy action plan with a trusted medical provider. An allergy action plan uses a variety of important environmental, medical, and lifestyle factors to help. But what exactly is an allergy action plan and how can it help you control your allergies?
Allergy Action Plan: A way to help you evaluate allergy risks and avoid triggers
The name “allergy action plan” is relatively self-explanatory: a set of guidelines, rules, and methods to help patients avoid triggers and seek out appropriate care when they have an allergic reaction.
Usually, your medical provider, local healthcare experts, and similar medical experts help patients or their children provide step-by-step instructions in critical situations. For example, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America provides a variety of sample allergy action plans from expert organizations for children with food allergies:
- Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan
- Asthma and Allergy Action Plan
- Food Allergy and Asthma Emergency Plan
A great example is the Allergy Action Plan guide from the American Academy of Pediatrics. This allergy plan has parents fill out their child’s medical information and confirm if a child has serious allergy risks, mild allergy risks, and if they have multiple triggers.
In addition, the Allergy Action Plan provides other key instructions such as epi-pen dosages, when to use epinephrine, what to do when a child has mild allergy symptoms, and explicit emergency instructions.
While this plan is a great starting point to build an allergy action plan you may still want to incorporate other factors to maximize allergy prevention.
Build an action plan that address environmental and lifestyle factors
An important part of managing allergies includes addressing any environmental or lifestyle factors that may trigger allergies.
Depending upon whether you have respiratory, food, or a different type of allergy, your asthma action plan needs to specify ways for you to avoid these triggers. A basic list of common allergy triggers (per the Mayo Clinic) and how to avoid them includes:
Respiratory Allergies and Hay Fever: Hay fever is usually most common during the spring and can lead to irritating symptoms such as sneezing, itching of the nose, and watery/red eyes. Additionally, respiratory allergies from pollen, dust mites, and similar triggers cause the same symptoms and even trigger asthma attacks in certain asthmatic patients.
To limit hay fever and similar respiratory allergies, make sure that your household is frequently dusted and cleaned and that pollen has limited entry points into your home. Make sure to avoid going outside on high-pollen days, take a shower after going outside, and use air conditioning instead of open windows to cool down your home. Also make sure air filters on any air conditioning units are frequently changed.
Food allergies: Food allergies are extremely common and can lead to severe anaphylaxis, hives, rashes, and other harmful symptoms. Under the law, schools, restaurants, and other public areas are required to incorporate allergy safety measures. However, accidents happen and you will want to make sure you are prepared to avoid allergic food items.
If you have a food allergy, make sure you have a list of any foods, ingredients, or food products you are allergic to. Ask any restaurant if they offer allergy-free substitutes for menu items and make sure that you carry your epi-pen at all times. During social events also inform guests of any potential allergies you may have.
Insect bite allergies: Insect bites can also cause harmful allergic reactions in patients if they bite an allergic person. On top of anaphylaxis, some insect bites from bees and similar animals can cause itching, hives, and shortness of breath.
To avoid insect bites, try to keep a watch on local news alerts, public health departments, and wildlife/outdoor recreational organizations for any information about insects in your community. Make sure to avoid known woods and outdoor areas with insects. It is also helpful to inform family members and friends of possible insect allergies when possible.
An allergy plan may incorporate all of the above allergies or none of them at all. Some allergies are extremely complicated or rare, but still require a thoughtful look at environmental and lifestyle factors.
For mild allergy treatment, allergy plan assistance, or allergy testing please visit AFC Urgent Care Denver Speer!
Patients that need to re-evaluate allergy treatment, get quick allergy symptom relief, or test for allergies should come visit AFC Urgent Care Denver in one of our four convenient locations!
AFC Denver operates in the Cherry Creek, Denver Speer, Denver Park Hill, and Denver Highlands neighborhoods, so patients always have urgent care nearby! Patients also never need an appointment and can visit as a walk-in patient.
Don’t let allergies get the better of you: visit AFC Urgent Care Denver so we can work on an allergy prevention plan with you. Use any of the buttons below to schedule a visit in advance: