When Rollins was almost a year old, he tried peanut butter for the first time. It was one of the scariest experiences of my life.

After eating some crackers with banana slices and peanut butter, I tried to rock him to sleep for his afternoon nap. He was inconsolable. He vomited and was screaming and crying. I wasn't used to him acting this way as he was normally a happy cooperative baby, so I knew he had to be incredibly uncomfortable. Taking him outside for some fresh air and a 'reset,' I noticed that he was covered in red splotches all over his body. Right away I knew what was happening.

Luckily his reaction to peanuts didn't progress any further and after many doctor visits he was officially diagnosed with an allergy. We have spent lots of time with the amazing team at Allergy & Asthma Specialists over the years monitoring various sensitivities, tracking skin and blood tests, and making sure we have the knowledge necessary to navigate serious food allergies. It was a major life adjustment not only for our immediate family but also our friends and folks at school who wanted to help us keep Rollins safe.

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With Dr. Clore and Sara Martin, APRN's help as well, we have been able to avoid any other reactions which I think is pretty impressive! Over the past year, it seems Rollins is outgrowing his peanut allergy. Great news!

Dark Under Eyes? You Could Have Allergies

The last time we went for a check-up, we saw Tabitha Horn who noticed he had developed some darkness under his eyes. Nothing I noticed while going about our every day, but when I took a closer look with her light, I could see a blueish tint she was talking about. I had no idea what this meant until she asked if he had ever been tested for environmental/inhalant allergies. He hadn't because he wasn't having any other noticeable symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, or runny nose. Just the occasional sniffle here and there.

What are 'Allergic Shiners?'

If you're waking up with discoloration under your eyes, it may be a sign of environmental allergies or sensitivities. These 'dark circles' can be blue or purplish in color and are caused by congestion in the sinus cavity reducing blood flow to the delicate veins under the eye. Dr. Clore told us yesterday while we were at his office for Rollins' skin testing. They can look like black eyes sometimes which is why they're called shiners, but like Rollins' they can also be pretty mild and go unnoticed.

Treatment for Dark Circles Caused by Allergic Shiners

Once you notice this symptom, the next step is finding the cause. Allergy & Asthma Specialists set a date for additional skin testing. Rollins' back was marked and then an array of allergens were applied like animal dander, grass, ragweed, pollen, etc. All of the most common inhalant allergies were measured against a "control" to determine if he has an allergy to any of them that we hadn't found yet.

Lo and behold, the kid reacted to a few of them. Dust mites (which is apparently one of the most common allergies,) cats and dogs (great, we have both!), and randomly, Oak Trees! So now we will know to keep the animals out of his room and invest in an air purifier. He can also take over-the-counter allergy meds when he needs them. Hopefully, this will help him feel like his best self.

Other than avoiding irritants and adjusting environmental factors, some folks also benefit from allergy medications or immunotherapy via allergy shots or oral treatments. Dr. Clore's website explains how it works,

"This form of therapy has been utilized for more than 100 years in the treatment of allergic disease.

Allergy shots vaccinate patients with small amounts of allergen over time to create a tolerance. In other words, as the dose of immunotherapy is increased, allergy symptoms can be decreased or even eliminated."

I would highly recommend taking a closer look at your kiddos' eyes and even your own. Especially if you find yourself struggling this time of year. Knowing what to avoid and having various treatment options available to you could make a world of difference in how you feel.





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