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Nobody likes suffering from allergies while on vacation. One moment you’re relishing family time at the shore or the mountains, the next you’re congested, sneezing, and coughing, unable to enjoy the holiday you’ve been looking forward to all year.
And yet, often times, it’s when you’re on vacation that these symptoms not only strike, but hit hardest. That’s because the warm, damp conditions found in homes, hotels, and campsites at the shore or in the mountains are ideal breeding grounds for mold, which can trigger allergies.
Thankfully, this cruel dose of irony can be avoided, or at the very least mitigated, by simply recognizing and treating your allergies prior to going on vacation. The sooner the allergens causing your symptoms are identified, the sooner precautions can be taken, giving you the relief you deserve.
The first step is zeroing in on the culprits. By establishing a patient’s personal allergy history, allergists can work to identify what allergens trigger these symptoms.
“As allergists, we look for patterns. So if you’ve experienced cold-like symptoms at the shore before, we’ll use skin tests to identify what allergens are causing those problems,” says Dr. Patrick Vannelli, a Physician with Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM.
And yet, with symptoms similar to those of a common cold, many of Dr. Vannelli’s patients don’t even realize they have allergies to begin with.
“It’s not that they are always getting a cold, it’s that when they go to the shore or go camping they get sick. So in reality they’re just sensitive to the conditions in those environments.”
Once these sensitivities and conditions have been identified, the next step is treatment. To combat symptoms, allergists will prescribe for the patient certain medications, from nasal steroids to antihistamines to decongestants. The sooner these medications are started prior to entering the environment that triggers your allergies, the greater the efficacy of the treatment.
Another highly effective form of treatment offered by Allergy & Asthma Specialists is Sublingual Immunotherapy (or SLIT), an injection-free procedure that reduces a patient’s reactivity to an allergen by exposing them to small dosages of the extract over time. Administered in the convenience and comfort of your home (doses are placed under the patient’s tongue), this gradual introduction of allergens helps your immune system to build up your own natural immunity, safely and effectively, making you less allergic.
While antihistamines and decongestants treat symptoms, SLIT offers long-term relief by treating the diagnosis, making it the ideal treatment for patients who frequently vacation in places that trigger their allergies.
“We don’t want you avoiding these places, so it’s about trying to come up with a plan that helps you out and improves your symptoms,” Dr. Vannelli says. “For example, if you have a shore house and are going to be down there a lot, SLIT is a long-term strategy to consider.”
While effective, SLIT requires time to build up a patient’s immunity to allergens. Meaning if you and your family plan to take a vacation this summer, it’s best to start treatment now.
Why suffer from allergies during your next vacation? Visit Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM at AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com to begin your path to relief.