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Allergies are among the most common chronic conditions worldwide. Allergy symptoms range from making you miserable to putting you at risk for life-threatening reactions.
According to the leading experts in allergy, an allergic reaction begins in the immune system. Our immune system protects us from invading organisms that can cause illness. If you have an allergy, your immune system mistakes an otherwise harmless substance as an invader.
This substance is called an allergen. The immune system overreacts to the allergen by producing Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These antibodies travel to cells that release histamine and other chemicals, causing an allergic reaction.
Symptoms Of Allergy
Runny Nose, Stuffy Nose, Sneezing
Wheezing, Shortness of Breath
A dry, persistent cough may be a sign that you have allergies.
Rashes come in many forms. Eczema, contact dermatitis and hives are three types of rashes that can be caused by allergies.
Are you tired and irritable? Your fatigue could be a sign of untreated allergies.
Fifty percent of adults report they experience a headache at least once a year. Some headaches can be caused by an allergy.
Nausea and vomiting are two symptoms of food allergies. Food allergies affect 4-6% of children and 4% of adults.
Despite the name ‘fever’ your fever is not caused by allergies.
Causes Of Allergy
An allergy starts when your immune system mistakes a normally harmless substance for a dangerous invader. The immune system then produces antibodies that remain on the alert for that particular allergen. When you're exposed to the allergen again, these antibodies can release a number of immune system chemicals, such as histamine, that cause allergy symptoms.
Common allergy triggers include:
- Airborne allergens, such as pollen, animal dander, dust mites and mold
- Certain foods, particularly peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, eggs and milk
- Insect stings, such as from a bee or wasp
- Medications, particularly penicillin or penicillin-based antibiotics
- Latex or other substances you touch, which can cause allergic skin reactions
Common Allergy Medicines
Adverse effects Of Allergy
- Dryness in mouth.
Prevention Of Allergy
General measures: Avoid triggers and allergens that are known to give an episode of allergy.
Diet: High intake of antioxidants such as walnuts, beans, hazelnuts, and berries may prevent allergies.
Medications: Depending on the type of allergy, medications like antihistamines, decongestants, or steroids are prescribed to reduce immune system reaction and ease symptoms.
Immunotherapy: SLIT (shot and sublingual immunotherapy) is recommended for environmental allergies. A series of injection of allergens in an increasing dose is given for few years so that the person becomes less sensitive to that allergen. Immunotherapy drug like Odactra improves tolerance to the allergens.
Diagnosis Of Allergy
Your first step is to see a board-certified allergist-immunologist. You can get a referral from your primary care physician or ask for a recommendation from a family member or friend who is seeing an allergist. Find a board-certified allergist in your area.
At your appointment, your allergist will obtain a detailed medical history, examine you and evaluate your symptoms. Your allergist may perform skin or blood tests to determine what type of allergic disease you have and the causes of your symptoms.
This is the step where you take control of your allergies and get relief from your allergic symptoms.Allergy
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