What are allergies? This is where the immune system reacts abnormally by producing antibodies due to the presence of a foreign substance. Examples of foreign substances are pollen, bee venom, or animal waste. The severity of allergies from one person to the next differs, where it can be mild to some while life-threatening to others. Most allergies have no cure but there are medications to relieve the irritation from the allergy symptoms.
Types and symptoms.
The symptoms one presents depend on the type of substance involved and where it affects. Can be the skin, sinuses, nasal passages, or the digestive system.
- Hay fever– which is also known as allergic rhinitis. It causes :
- Itching of the nose, eyes, and mouth.
- Runny nose.
- Red and swollen eyes.
2. Food allergy.
- Tingling of the mouth.
- Swelling of the tongue, face, lips, or the throat.
3. Insect allergy.
- Swelling of the affected areas.
- Itching all over the body.
- Wheezing or shortness of breath.
4. Drug allergy.
- Itchy skin.
- Facial swelling.
5. Atopic dermatitis– this is an allergic reaction of the skin which is also known as eczema. Makes the skin:
- Pell off.
Causes of allergies.
Some common allergies triggers are;
- Medications e.g. penicillin.
- Insect stings e.g. from wasps and bees.
- Some foods like peanuts, fish, eggs, and milk.
- Airborne allergens like dust, mold, animal waste, and pollen.
- Substances that cause skin reactions such as latex.
- History of asthma condition.
- Family history.
- Young children.
Complications of Allergies
- Asthma- immune system reaction affects the airways and one’s breathing.
- Anaphylaxis reaction.
- Avoid allergy triggers.
- Wearing medical alert bracelets to show one has an allergic reaction.
- Skin test.
- Blood test e.g. IgE test.
- Physical examination.
- One’s medical history.
Treatment for Allergies
- Avoiding triggers.
- Immunotherapy- this is a series of injections consisting of purified allergen extracts given over a period of years.
- Emergency epinephrine- this is a shot /drug given to reduce allergic symptoms before one gets emergency treatment.