Proximity Food Challenge
Evaluates how you are able to tolerate being near a food allergen you have been strictly avoiding
For anyone with severe food allergies or a history of anaphylaxis (or with children who have this type of history), strict avoidance of your food allergen(s) has been ingrained in your way of life. It may be extremely anxiety-provoking to even be around a food you have previously needed to strictly avoid for your safety, even if your allergist feels you will likely be able to tolerate that without an allergic reaction. At Allergenuity Health, we understand how scary this can be for many patients, and we support you. When both you and your allergist feel it is safe and appropriate, and when you are comfortable, a Proximity Food Challenge can help gently re-introduce you to the food allergen and evaluate how both your immune system and your state of mind tolerate just being near the allergen (without eating it).
Our Proximity Challenge consists of first simply being in the same room as your allergen, and if tolerated physically and mentally, the allergen is moved closer and closer to you in intervals until you either begin to develop signs of an allergic reaction, you want to stop for any reason, or you are holding your allergen in a dish! For those who need it, a Proximity Challenge can really help make it clear that you or your child have reached a state in which you or they can safely tolerate being around the food allergen, and this can open up many doors that you may have previously kept shut, like plane travel, shared tables in cafeterias, get-togethers, etc. The accomplishment itself can also be empowering and build self-confidence.