Sussex Travel Clinic

Hove Clinic

01273 749100

Worthing Clinic

01903 254774

Travelling with an allergy can be difficult and without being prepared could end up with you needing medical treatment following exposure to an unknown source of your allergy. Food allergies can cause problems when ordering food in restaurants and communicating can be difficult. Follow our advice to make sure you have a safe and healthy trip.

What is an allergy?

Allergic reactions are caused by allergens. Almost anything can be an allergen for someone. Common allergens include: pollen, house dust mite, food, animals and chemicals. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can range from a runny nose, itchy eyes, skin rashes to the more severe form of allergy; anaphylaxis. Allergy is very common and it affects approximately one in four of the population in the UK. Each year the numbers are increasing by 5% with as many as half of all those affected being children.

What is anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can affect the whole body, often within minutes of exposure to an allergen but sometimes it can occur after several hours. Anaphylaxis can be fatal if not treated quickly.

What causes anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis can be caused by many different things. These include foods such as nuts: peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, Brazils, sesame, fish, shellfish, dairy products and eggs. Non-food causes include wasp or bee stings, natural latex (rubber), penicillin or any other drugs or injections.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms include:  flushing of the skin, hives, swelling of the throat, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, collapse and unconsciousness.

How is allergy treated?

Most allergic reactions can be treated successfully with antihistamine tablets or cream. If you have had a previous anaphylactic reaction your doctor or specialist will have prescribed you an Epipen which contains Adrenaline (also known as epinephrine). Adrenaline works by constricting blood vessels and relaxing smooth muscles in the lungs to improve breathing. It stimulates the heartbeat and helps to stop swelling around the face and lips. The Anaphylaxis Campaign have produced a video on how to use your Epipen.

 Advice for Travellers

If you have a known allergy you should follow these advice tips to make sure you stay safe and healthy on your trip:

  • Carry an adequate supply of allergy treatment – antihistamine tablets or cream or inhalers.
  • If you have been prescribed an Epipen make sure you have an adequate supply for your trip. Make sure they are in date and carry a copy of your original prescription and a doctor’s letter stating your allergy and treatment plan. Always carry your Epipen in your hand luggage.
  • If you are travelling by plane contact your airline before travel to read their allergy policy. Many airlines still serve snacks such as nuts so it is worth checking this information before you book. Always carry your Epipen on the plane with you and inform cabin crew that you have an allergy to minimise exposure to allergen during your flight. Some airlines restrict how many Epipens you can carry in your hand luggage so make sure you check with your airline before travelling.
  • Wear a MedicAlert bracelet or necklace that is engraved with the wearer’s main medical condition(s) or allergies. You can order medical bracelets from http://www.theidbandco.com
  • Make sure you have adequate travel insurance and disclose your allergy and any other medical conditions to your insurers when you take out your policy.

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The ID Band Company

Insect allergies identity card

 

Don’t let a medical condition stop you this summer. Here at The ID Band Company we have a wide range of bracelets, necklaces, ID cards and bag straps that can stand the heat whatever you’re up to. From talisman necklaces to leather straps, silicon bands to children’s allergy bags, there’s something for everyone.

 

Made of high quality, sturdy materials, all ID Band products either come pre-engraved for set medical conditions or can personalised with the exact details you want. Help medical staff to correctly diagnose you should an emergency arise by including your medical condition name and facts, and give family members peace of mind by having their contact details engraved too.

 

Perfect for Summer Holidays

If you’re heading off to somewhere exotic this summer, choose from 16 language options for your engraving. This coupled with the universal medical symbol means you’ll still be understood, no matter how far away you go. All engraving is water resistant so ideal for any water based activities you may get up to.

 

All our products are timelessly stylish and can be worn for any occasion, so you can wear them for all occasions and concentrate on enjoying your summer time, whether at home or abroad.

 

Get 5% discount off any products purchased from the ID Band Company

 

Further information can be found on the following websites:

http://www.allergyuk.org

http://www.anaphylaxis.org.uk

http://www.medicalert.org.uk

Written by Jane Bell RGN

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