Five Reasons why Food Allergy Action Plans are Important

 

A food allergy action plan is an important tool for individuals who have food allergies, especially in settings such as schools, childcare facilities, or any place where a person may be at risk of exposure to allergens. The plan outlines specific steps to be taken in case of an allergic reaction. Here are some key reasons why a food allergy action plan is important:

 

  1. Emergency Preparedness: Food allergies can lead to severe and potentially life-threatening reactions, such as anaphylaxis. Having an action plan ensures that everyone involved is prepared in case of an allergic reaction. It provides clear instructions on what actions to take, including the use of emergency medication, such as epinephrine auto-injectors (e.g., EpiPen, Auvi-Q, etc).

 

  1. Standardized Communication: An action plan serves as a communication tool between the individual with the food allergy, their caregivers, teachers, school staff, and other relevant personnel. It provides vital information about the specific allergens, symptoms, and appropriate steps to be taken during an allergic reaction.

 

  1. Early Recognition and Intervention: The action plan includes a list of potential allergic symptoms, enabling early recognition of an allergic reaction. By promptly identifying the symptoms, appropriate actions can be taken, potentially preventing the reaction from escalating.

 

  1. Education: An action plan helps raise awareness and understanding among those involved. Education about food allergies is crucial for creating a safe environment and fostering empathy and support for individuals with allergies.

 

  1. Consistent Care: By having a documented action plan, the individual with the food allergy can receive consistent care across different settings. The plan provides a reference for caregivers and ensures that appropriate precautions and interventions are followed.

Vasomotor Rhinitis

 

Vasomotor rhinitis is a condition that causes chronic sneezing, congestion, or runny nose that can be triggered by pollutants like a dusty environment, odors, foods or beverages, or weather changes. These symptoms can often seem like typical allergic rhinitis (hay fever) symptoms. About 50% of patients with allergies will have some type of vasomotor rhinitis. While vasomotor rhinitis can cause similar symptoms, what is going on in the body is much different. In allergic rhinitis, your immune system is involved and has formed antibodies to the trigger, such as pollen. In vasomotor rhinitis, the triggers merely cause an irritation which causes congestion, sneezing, runny nose.  Have you ever had a runny nose from eating a spicy food? That’s a kind of vasomotor rhinitis called gustatory rhinitis.

 

Many patients will have mild symptoms but if symptoms are constant and very irritating, there are treatment options to help control symptoms. Often, allergy testing will be performed to see how to best manage symptoms.    Often times, patients will mistakenly think they may be allergic to a smell or a food, when it’s actually vasomotor rhinitis! It’s important to discuss with your allergist if you are experiencing symptoms like these and have questions, so they can come up with the best recommendations for you!