Management of Allergies
Most allergic reactions are mild and do not cause life-threatening reactions, although they can be very troublesome for the person experiencing them. A small number of people may experience a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. It is a serious condition which requires immediate life-saving treatments. Anaphylaxis usually occurs due to certain foods, insect stings or drugs. If you have a very severe allergy, you should have an Anaphylaxis Management Plan from your doctor.
Managing Your Allergy Involves Two Steps:
- Reducing the risk of an allergic reaction by avoiding the allergen, wherever possible.
- Medical treatments to reduce symptoms including medications, immunotherapy and complementary and alternative therapies.
Avoiding allergens requires identifying the cause of your allergy and then taking steps to reduce your exposure to the allergen. For instance, many people are allergic to dust mites. Therefore, reducing dust mites in the house is important to reduce symptoms.
However, allergic reactions will still happen. Sometimes, this will be due to accidental consumption of the allergen (e.g. peanut). With many allergens, particularly those in the air or environment, it is impossible to stop allergen exposure altogether. Hopefully, avoidance techniques can improve symptoms, but medicines are often needed (especially with eczema, atopic asthma and hay fever) to provide symptom control.
Nonetheless, in almost all cases, a combination of these two approaches will result in significant improvement in allergic symptoms.
Last update: March 2012