When most people think of allergies, they think of people with itchy eyes and runny noses during allergy season. Yes, those are some symptoms of common airborne allergens and they can be very frustrating and annoying. However, these types of allergic reactions are not exactly the biggest cause for concern. As annoying as they may be, they are nothing compared to people with serious allergic reactions to types of foods.
For example, there was recently a story about a girl who tragically died after kissing her boyfriend who’d recently eaten a peanut butter sandwich. These types of serious allergens are what were are most concerned about. So if you live with or are someone with this type of condition, there are a few things that you need to have around you and be aware of at all times in order to stay safe and healthy.
The first thing is to understand your allergy completely. Some people have to eat a certain type of food in order to have a reaction. Others only need to touch it or smell it before the symptoms start. So knowing just how allergic you are will help.
The next thing is to know what types of foods will use your arch-nemesis as an ingredient. My wife is allergic to peaches, and therefore needs to avoid certain items in Chinese food. It’s not that she’s in fear of eating, she just stays aware of what she puts in her mouth.
You also need to be prepared for the event of accidental ingestion/exposure. For some, carrying around a form of antihistamine tables is enough. For others who experience anaphylaxis (the most serious allergic reaction), an EPI Pen is needed. As put by healthline.com:
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition. Call 911 immediately. Emergency personnel usually administer epinephrine (adrenaline) immediately. The sooner you receive a dose of epinephrine, the greater your chances for survival.
Once you’ve experienced anaphylaxis, your doctor can prescribe emergency epinephrine (EpiPen®) so you can carry it with you. The autoinjector comes with a single dose of medication you can inject into your thigh. Remember to replace the medication if unused by the expiration date. Educate family and close friends on how to administer the medication in the event of an emergency.
Once administered immediately, paramedics can take the person away on a stretcher and get them to a hospital.
Being prepared is what can make all the difference in these types of situations.