Allergies are a common occurrence in everyday lives of alot of people.Allergy can appear as hay fever,allergic rhinitis,sneezing,wheezing or even as skin rashes.Its cruial to comprehend what triggers allergies (identifying allergens) and how to avoid them.In this article,I will discuss the most prevalent allergies, symptoms they cause and variety of ways to treat or prevent them.
What is allergy?
An allergy or an ellergic response develops when the immun system of the body confuses a harmless substance with the potentially dangerous substance . This substance is called as allergen and causes an immune response in the body which is recognised by allergic reaction symptoms that appears in the body . Allergy can be triggered by a variety of substances including pollen,dust mites,animal dander,insect stings and certain foods.
The type of the allergen which is causing the allergy and severity of the allergy affects the symptoms of allergy. The typical symptom of allergies includes:
- Hayfever: Hay fever is a type of allergy that is caused by pollen. The symptoms of hay fever are sneezing,runny nose and itchy eyes.
- Skin rashes: Skin rash is caused by a variety of allergens such as food,medication and chemicals.
- Anaphylaxis: Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic condition which results in breathing problems, swelling of face and inflammation.
- Asthma: Asthma is a sever disease which is very common among people. Pollen and dust mites are the main reason for asthma in major amount of people.
Allergens and allergy:
Allergens are the chemical which triggers which induces an allergic response in the body. Immune system of the body produces immunoglobulin E whenever an allergen enters our body. Immunoglobulin E is an antibody which protects the body against foriegn particles
The Immunoglobulin E binds to the specific cells, mast and basophill cells found in the tissues in respiratory tract,skin etc.When the allergen comes in contact with these cells,they release chemicals such as histamine, leukotrienes which then cause symptoms of allergy in the body .
Some of the common allergens which are the cause of allergy are:
- Pollen: Hay fever can be brought on by pollens,which are a typical allergens causing allergy.Pollen are produced by trees(cedar,walnut) ,flowers(sunflower,daisy flower) and the wind which carries them to a great distances.
- Dust mites: Dust mites are microscopic creatures that resides in dust.Some people may develop asthma attacks or allergic responses as a result.
- Animal dander: The dead skin cells, fur and feathers that animals slough off are known as animal dander. It is also the cause of allergic response in many people.
- Insect stings: Alot of people are also allergic to the insect sting. Bees,wasps and hornets are the most often seen insects that triggers allergic reactions.
- Certain foods: Some people may experience allergic reactions to foods such as peanuts,tree nuts,shellfish and eggs.
Methods to avoid or treat allergy:
Follwing are the methods to avoid or treat allergies:
- Avoiding allergens: The best strategy to prevent allergies is to stay away from allergens( dust,pollen,mites )that cause your reaction. For instance ,if you have pollen allergy,you should stay indoors on high pollen count days.
- Anti-histamine medications: Histamine is a chemical substance which is released by the immune system of the body . This substance produces inflammation in the body when it is released. Anti-histamines medications are the medicines which helps in reduceing the symptoms of allergy by obstructing the actions of histamines.
- Immunotherapy for allergy: Immunotherapy,commonly referred to as allergy shots,is a remedy or treatment that can help to gradually reduce the severity of allergies. It involves getting recurrent injections of small amounts of allergen that triggers your reaction
- Air purifiers: By removing allergens from the air ,air purifiers can lower the likelihood of allergic reactions
Some of the facts needed to know about allergy:
- Allergies can strike at any age despite the fact that most people only experience allergies as children while some can develop them later in the age even though they never had these in their childhood
- Allergies can be heriditary which means a person can develop allergy if his parents or siblings have that allergy
- Allergy can change over time,while developing more severe over time or becoming less sever or even develop new symptoms later in the age
- Testing for allergies can help to identify triggers if the exact trigger of the symptom is not known. This can be done using several testing techniques such as skin test and blood test.
- Some of the allergies can be fatal while most of the allergies are mild to moderate in intensity.Anaphylaxis is a sever allergic response that requires medical attention. The body secretes a large amount of substances including histamine in response to the anaphylactic shock caused by the allergens . These chemicals in turn results in allergic symptoms such as hives,swelling of lips,face or tongue, respiratory depression and even death in some serious cases .
- Allergy medications can have alot of side effects even though they are useful in treating the allergy. So, consultation with the doctor is very necessary before taking such meds.
Allergies can be very discomforting and even causes death in some severe cases.
In order to avoid or treat the allergy, it is very important to understand its origin first. By following the tips in this article you can improve the quality of your life by managing allergy. It is almost impossible to completely treat the allergies so it is better to avoid the allergens causing them . Sometimes in order to control allergy symptoms medicines and other therapies could be required.
Hi, I’m Affan lateef , a pharmacist by profession. I have a degree in pharmacy and over 5 years of experience helping people achieve their health goals. I write about various topics like health, artificial intelligence in health, mental health, diet and weight loss. Follow me here on these platforms given below.