What is an Allergy?
An allergy may be defined as an excessive reaction by your body’s immune system to a foreign substance referred to as an allergen. These allergens may either enter your body directly or come in to contact with it.
Some of the most common allergens include house dust mites, pollens, food, and animal pet dander. The primary job of your immune system is to protect you against bacteria and viruses. If you have allergies, your immune system is forced to work harder. This will in turn, trigger the release of chemicals such as histamine, which may cause inflammation and swelling.
When your system is first exposed to said allergens, IgE antibodies are produced and subsequently primed on mast cells. Repeated exposure will trigger a chain reaction in your body, resulting in mast cells to burst thereby releasing histamine.
What Are the Common Allergy Symptoms?
The release of histamine typically results in inflammation which manifests in allergic symptoms such as itching, hives, consistent nasal congestion, and perhaps swelling of the tongue, lips, face or throat. In some instances, allergy symptoms could also cause vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea.
It is also worthy to note that a systematic allergic reaction could potentially trigger a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis. This is a life-threatening medical emergency that can cause you to go into shock.
Common symptoms of anaphylaxis include a drop in blood pressure, skin rash, vomiting, and nausea, as well as the loss of consciousness.
It is imperative to mention that certain health conditions could help reveal some underlying allergic reactions:
- Airborne allergens such as dust mites, fungal spores and pollen could lead to asthma, allergic conjunctivitis, or allergic rhinitis.
- Food allergens could potentially cause urticaria.
- Dust mites are known to exacerbate atopic dermatitis and eczema.
Allergies have no definite time of occurrence and can attack anyone at any given time. When they do occur, they will certainly impact your daily activities as well as your overall well-being.
An allergy usually happens when your immune system mistakes a usually harmless substance for a harmful invader. Your immune system reacts by producing antibodies to remain alert for that identified allergen.
When you are exposed to that allergen a second time, the antibodies in your immune system will release chemicals such as histamine, leading to the manifestation of allergy symptoms. In medical terms, this is known as an allergic reaction.
What Are the Most Common Types Of Allergies?
There are potentially endless types of allergies that can affect various parts of your body. The most common allergy types include drug allergies, insect sting allergies, pet allergies, eye allergy, allergic rhinitis, hay fever, food allergy as well as skin allergy.
Are Allergies Genetically Inherited?
Yes, allergies can be hereditary. If you are currently suffering from allergies, there could be a possibility that someone else in your family is having allergies, too. Research has proven that allergies are fairly more common among individuals with atopy background, a positive personal and family history of asthma, eczema, or allergic rhinitis.
In general, allergies are relatively more common among children. However, this doesn’t imply that adults won’t get attacked by allergies. They can attack you at any age and may resolve with time and recur sometime later.
How Do I Know That I’m Allergic?
Allergies may involve different parts of your body.
With the skin manifestation, you will most likely experience symptoms such as itching, swelling, especially over the gravity-dependent parts of your body such as the eyes, lips, and mouth.
When involving the respiratoy tract, you may develop an itchy running nose, sneezing, cough, wheezing, and perhaps loss of breath. On the other hand, you’ll likely develop symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, cramps, and abdominal pain if allergies attack your gastrointestinal tract.
In severe circumstances, an individual may experience a full-blown allergic response that can be life-threatening. When this happens, the affected person may experience difficulty in breathing, swelling, particularly on the throat, lip, mouth, and eyes, wheezing, a decrease in blood pressure, and rashes.
These symptoms usually manifest within minutes after exposure to the allergen. This condition is medically referred to as anaphylaxis. You are highly advised to seek immediate medical attention when you find yourself in such a potentially dangerous situation. Also, it is highly recommended that you equip yourself with an emergency adrenalin pen for standby use. Another option is an allergy test [link to allergy testing page] to find you what you may be allergic to.
Which Allergy Test is Suitable for Me?
Before your allergy test, your doctor will enquire about your lifestyle, family history, and other vital information that may help him to figure out the best allergy testing procedure for you. Furthermore, your doctor will explain all the pros and cons of each allergy test to you, ensuring you choose the best one for your allergy condition.
How Can I Find the Cure To My Allergies?
Your first line of defense against allergies is to identify and avoid those allergens that are known to cause allergic symptoms. However, there comes a time when allergens are unavoidable. In this regard, you’ll have to seek medical attention from qualified healthcare professionals. You may also need to have an effective emergency action plan if your allergic symptoms are severe.
Medications such as decongestions, antihistamines, and corticosteroids have been proven to be effective at alleviating various allergic symptoms.
Allergen immunotherapy is a long-term treatment technique that helps alleviates symptoms for many patients with allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis (eye allergy), stinging insect allergy, among other types of allergies.
Allergy immunotherapy works by decreasing sensitivity to allergens. This highly effective allergy treatment procedure is performed by gradually introducing allergic substances in an increased dosage into the patient’s body orally, or through injection shots. Immunotherapy often results in lasting relief of allergy symptoms even after treatment is stopped. This makes it a hugely beneficial and more cost-effective treatment approach for most people.
If you are suffering from any form of allergy, you may seek help of a qualified healthcare professional here. At our clinic, we are dedicated to offering the highest level of medical care. We offer our services and develop holistic treatments for our patients to help treat or reduce your allergy symptoms.