Poor Families Don’t Handle Allergies Too Well


Even though along our evolutionary history we’ve faced many a challenge and we’ve struggled to survive plenty of unfavorable odds only to come out the victors, as we’ve grown accustomed to comfort we’ve left part of that resilience behind. And as we’ve started producing artificial foods and spewing out pollution, we also started getting weaker than we once was.

And this is how we started being affected by one of the most notoriously unpleasant conditions out there – allergies. Ranging from food allergies to seasonal ones, also known as hay fever, the conditions can usually be prevented by avoiding the allergens. But it’s not as simple as that.

According to a new report focusing on multiple types of allergies, poor families don’t handle allergies too well. This is owed to multiple factors, primarily related to their financial means, but also related to the fact that we need to raise awareness about various prevention and treatment methods.

Dr. Ruchi Gupta, the lead investigator in the study and a professor of pediatrics and attending physician, had the following to say about the unfortunate situation:

This shows disparities exist in care for low-income children with food allergy. The first line management for food allergy is prevention, but costs for special foods and epinephrine auto injectors can be a barrier for many families. Some patients may not have access to allergen-free foods and cannot afford to fill their prescription.

Still, he says that the situation is not all that dire, since there are ways for low-income families to get their hands on cheaper medicine, particularly epinephrine, and also to get cheaper or free doctor consultations. The only problem is that the programs that offer these benefits aren’t mediatized enough, and so many families in need simply don’t know of the opportunities they are missing.

There are a couple of serious issues which these low income families are facing with their handling of allergies. They could be easily solved if only they were informed of it. Aside from the fact that there are various programs that could help them with their need for medicine, there are other that can help them with their need for doctor consultations.

Particularly in the case of food allergies, such as those for peanuts, one slight misstep could easily end in tragedies. And seeing as previous studies have shown that the number of allergies is far greater for low income families than for other social classes, the danger is even higher.

And the statistics in the current study seem to agree, as apparently a great number of children from families facing financial difficulties aren’t even diagnosed with their allergies. It’s pointless to say how these situations could easily end in tragedies, so the best recourse if you want to be helpful is to spread awareness about the low income programs.

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