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Heidi Bivens

Heidi Bivens is known for clothing the cool kids in Spring Breakers, Mid90s, and Euphoria, the pop culture sensation that’s earned her three Emmy nominations (and counting!). Privately, however, the prolific stylist has been battling severe allergies since she was a teenager. She opens up about being misdiagnosed, homeopathic remedies, and the worst time she’s ever had an allergy attack: on a date.
by Sollis Health

What are you allergic to, and when were you diagnosed?

Pollen and dust. I was diagnosed when I was 16 years old.

How has it affected your life—personally, professionally, emotionally?

Whenever I have a severe allergy attack, I am physically uncomfortable, in an itchy, irritated state, and it’s difficult for me to be 100% myself.

What sort of treatments have you tried? Has anything been helpful?

I take OTC allergy medication that helps for a while, but eventually becomes not as effective. Then I switch to another brand for some relief, which stops working as well as the first time also. Occasionally symptoms of allergies cause the onset of a sinus infection for me. I often try homeopathic means like inhaling steam of boiling apple cider vinegar for the antibacterial qualities, which yields some positive results.

Can you share any moments of humor or embarrassment (i.e. have you ever had, say, an allergy attack in the middle of a take on the set of Euphoria)?

I’ve had an allergy attack while out for dinner on a date. I was embarrassed about not being able to control the reaction, not to mention looking red nosed and watery eyed.

“Whenever I have a severe allergy attack, I am physically uncomfortable, in an itchy, irritated state, and it's difficult for me to be 100% myself.”

How has your approach to dealing with allergies evolved over time?

My allergies have lessened over time so I’ve had to be less vigilant about avoiding triggers, but I still carry OTC allergies with me at all times.

Have there ever been times you haven’t felt seen or heard by your doctors? What’s the worst medical horror story you can share with us?

I’ve been misdiagnosed and given antibiotics by a doctor for a fungal infection, and witnessed how important it is to have someone in your corner when my mother was in the hospital with colon cancer and my sister and I advocated for the best doctors and care for her.

If there’s a silver lining to having a chronic condition, what would you say it is?

To be thankful and aware of one’s health and not take it for granted.

“Allergies aren’t just an itchy nose, sneeze, or a rash. They can be debilitating at times and are usually considered disabilities under the ADA.”

What advice do you have for people who feel frustrated by their allergies?

To have hope, since there’s a chance that allergic reactions can lessen or disappear altogether over time.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about allergies, and what do you wish you could help people understand better?

That’s it’s just an itchy nose, sneeze, or a rash. It can be debilitating at times for some and allergies are usually considered disabilities under the ADA. The range of different types of allergies is varied and the immune system is often linked, so it’s always good to get enough sleep and reduce stress to help keep the immune system where it’s your most likely ally.

Any good words to live by?

Stop and smell the roses (unless you’re allergic to them!).

The views and opinions expressed in this campaign are those of the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Sollis Health.
Sollis Health is a 24/7 doctor, private ER and concierge service rolled into one. Whether it’s an emergency or simply to diagnose the symptoms that you typically Google in the middle of the night, our emergency-trained doctors are ready for anything. Interested in becoming a Sollis member?

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