Many people with allergies experience mild symptoms, like itchy eyes, that are annoying but generally harmless. But some allergic reactions called anaphylaxis can be so severe that they become life-threatening. Anyone with allergies can experience anaphylaxis. However, some people with other underlying medical conditions, such as allergic asthma, may be even more susceptible to severe reactions, meaning it’s especially important for them to have anaphylaxis on their radar.
Food allergies are nothing short of terrifying—especially if they’re severe. And, unfortunately, they seem to be skyrocketing. At least that’s the takeaway from a scary new report that found that insurance claims for diagnoses of anaphylactic food reactions (a life-threatening allergic reaction that can cause a person’s throat to close) have increased 377 percent across the country between 2007 and 2016. But it’s not totally clear what that jump actually means.
The findings are courtesy of FAIR Health, a national non-profit that has access to 24 billion health insurance claims filed by 150 million people. Per the company’s data, claims for food-related anaphylaxis increased steadily from 2007 until 2012. At that point, the rate suddenly jumped up and continued increasing each year at a faster pace. The most common foods that caused someone to suffer from anaphylaxis were peanuts (26 percent), tree nuts and seeds (18 percent), eggs (7 percent), shellfish (6 percent), and milk products (5 percent).
If you have seasonal allergies, you know they can be a life ruiner—especially the pollen allergy symptoms. All the sneezing, wheezing, and sinus headaches can completely change your view of summer. Outdoor run? PASS. Drinks outside? Can we not? And even when you try to be careful, sometimes the symptoms will wreak havoc on your life anyway.
During allergy season, pollen spores float through the air and can get all over your body, including in your eyes, Clifford W. Bassett, M.D., founder and medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York, tells SELF. He recommends investing in a pair of oversized sunglasses and wearing them as much as possible when you’re out braving the pollen. It may seem silly, but it really can act as a physical barrier to prevent pollen from getting in your eyes, where it can cause redness, itching, and watering.
For four years, I lived on 58th street in Manhattan. My apartment was basically on the Queensborough Bridge, right where cars enter and exit. I know what you’re thinking—”How loud was that?”—and you’d have a point. In all honesty, it was pretty noisy. But as it would turn out, that was only the most obvious problem, not the most important one.
I turned my A/C to the “fan” setting each night to cover up the noise and kept my double windows closed pretty much at all times. While it was annoying, I didn’t really mind, since leaving them open meant that, within a day, the glass itself, the windowsill, and everything around it would be covered in black dirt. We’re not talking about your normal dust—this was straight soot and pollution from the constant flow of motors outside. So keeping them closed meant less cleaning up, which was OK with me.