Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Valentine's Day and Allergies: How to bring love back into your life!

Recently, I was out with a friend and she asked "Why did I go into allergy?"  I quickly answered,
"Because it brings love back into my patients lives."  She was a bit stunned by my answer and I had to explain.

When I ask my patients what brought them in, they often tell me they are tired of their allergies getting in the way of things they love doing.  They are motivated to find an answer and a solution to the problem so they can get back to doing the things they love.

Typically this time of the year, I write a blog post on how to avoid allergic triggers for your loved one with allergies.  Make sure those chocolates don't have nuts or use caution with products with fragrance I'll advise.

But this year, I wanted to think about Valentine's Day a bit differently.  Some don't have a lover to share the day.  Does that mean you have to deprive yourself of love of life and yourself?  I hope not!   I want to challenge you to think about the things you love but are avoiding because of your allergies.  This Valentine's day I'm hoping to empower you to bring love that you might be avoiding back into you life.

Few recognize the impact of uncontrolled allergies.  Poorly controlled allergies and asthma can prevent you from doing the things you love because of uncontrolled symptoms.  They cause social embarrassment.  How difficult is it to date when you have food allergies?   Poorly controlled asthma can make it difficult to run that race you've always dreamed of completing.   Do you limit your dating options to those without animals because your scared it will trigger a sneezing fit?  Do you dream of having a dog, but don't adopt one because it triggers your asthma?  Are you tired of not being able to wear makeup because it causes you an allergic reaction?  Are you dreading spring because of the migraines you know the pollen will trigger?   Are you embarrassed by your uncontrolled eczema?

Are you avoiding things that bring you love and happiness because of your allergies?  Use Valentines Day as a spring board to take back control of your life.  If any of this sounds familiar  schedule an appointment with Gramercy Allergy.

As an allergist and immunologist, some of my proudest achievements include helping patients with animal allergies go to vet school or get married to that person with a cat.  

Don't let your uncontrolled allergies prevent you from doing the things that bring you happiness and love.  

How can you take control?

1) Get tested by an allergist.  Knowing what you are allergic to is the first step in being aggressive with your allergies.
2) Work with your allergist to set up a plan of reasonable avoidance measures and use of the correct medications.  There are so many over the counter medications for allergies available.  Speak with a doctor before starting medications to make sure you are taking the correct ones.
3) Think about getting allergy shots.  This is a way of changing your immune system to create tolerance to the natural things that make you sick.  Allergy shots, or immunotherapy, has been around since the early 1900's and is a proven treatment for allergic disease.  It's one of the few disease modifying treatments available- AND IT WORKS! Patients often tell me that completing allergy shots is life changing.  

Beyond all, don't let your allergies get in the way of you living and loving your life to it's fullest.  Use Valentines Day to bring love into your life!

 Gramercy Allergy and Asthma is here to help.  Need specific advice and want to schedule an appointment? Dr. Jennifer Collins is affiliated with NYU Langone and Mount Sinai Hospitals.   Gramercy Allergy is New York City's premier allergy office offering full allergy and immunological evaluations.  

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