Allergy – What it is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Allergy – What it is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments  of this condition. In addition, allergy  is 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 leading allergy experts , an allergic reaction starts in the immune system . Our immune system protects us from invading organisms that can cause disease. If you have an allergy , your immune system has committed an otherwise harmless substance as an invader. This substance is called an allergen.

The immune system reacts to the allergen by producing antibodies against immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies travel to cells that release histamine and other chemicals, causing an allergic reaction. So, check now  Allergy – What is it, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments:

What is Allergy:  Allergy  occurs  when the immune system reacts to a foreign substance – such as pollen, bee venom, or pet dander – or a food that does not cause a reaction in most people. Your immune system produces substances known as antibodies. When you have an allergy , your immune system makes the antibodies that identify a particular allergen harmful, although it is not.

When you come into contact with the allergen, the immune system ‘s reaction can inflame the skin, sinuses, airways, or digestive system. Allergy  severity  varies from person to person and can range from minor irritation to anaphylaxis – a potentially life-threatening emergency. While most  allergies  cannot be cured, treatments can help alleviate your allergy symptoms .

Allergy Causes:  An Allergy  starts when your immune system has committed a normally harmless substance to a dangerous invader. The immune system then produces antibodies that remain on alert for that particular allergen. When you are 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, pet 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-based or penicillin-based antibiotics
  • Latex or other substances you touch, which can cause allergic skin reactions

Allergy Symptoms: Allergy  symptoms ,which depend on the substance involved, can affect your airways, sinus and nasal passages, skin, and digestive system. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe. In some severe cases,  allergy  can trigger a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis. Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, can cause:

  • sneezing
  • Itchy nose, eyes or roof of mouth
  • Curled up, stuffy nose
  • Watery, red, or swollen eyes (conjunctivitis)

A food allergy  can cause:

  • Tingling in the mouth
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, face or throat
  • Urticaria
  • anaphylaxis

An insect sting allergy  can cause:

  • A large area of ​​swelling (edema) at the bite site
  • Itching or hives  all over the body
  • Cough, chest tightness, wheezing or shortness of breath
  • anaphylaxis

A drug allergy  can cause:

Atopic dermatitis, an allergic skin condition also called eczema, can cause skin to:

  • Itch
  • redden
  • flake or shell
  • anaphylaxis

Some types of allergies , including food allergies  and insect bites, can trigger a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis. A life-threatening medical emergency, anaphylaxis can shock you. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • A drop in blood pressure
  • severe shortness of breath
  • Rash
  • lightheadedness
  • A fast, weak pulse
  • nausea and vomiting

When to See a Doctor:  You can see a doctor if you have symptoms that you think are caused by an allergy , and over-the-counter allergy  medications don’t provide enough relief. If you have symptoms after starting a new medication, call the doctor who prescribed it right away.

For a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), call local 911 or seek emergency medical help. If you carry an epinephrine autoinjector (Auvi-Q, EpiPen, others), give it a shot right away. Even if your symptoms improve after an epinephrine injection, you should go to the emergency department to make sure your symptoms don’t return when the injection’s effects wear off.

If you have had a severe allergy  attack or any signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis in the past, make an appointment to see your doctor. The evaluation, diagnosis, and long-term treatment of anaphylaxis are complicated, so you will likely need to see a doctor who specializes in Allergy  and Immunology.

Allergy Risk Factors:  You may be more likely to develop an allergy  if you:

  • Having a family history of asthma  or allergy , such as hay fever, hives ,  or eczema
  • Have asthma  or another allergic condition

Allergy Complications:  Having an allergy  increases your risk of certain other medical problems, including:

  • Anaphylaxis. If you have severe allergy  , you are at risk for this serious allergy-induced reaction . Food, medication and insect bites are the most common triggers of anaphylaxis.
  • Asthma. If you have an allergy , you are more likely to have asthma – an immune system  reaction that affects the airways and breathing. In many cases, asthma  is triggered by exposure to an allergen in the environment ( Allergy  -Induced Asthma ).
  • Sinusitis and infections of the ears or lungs. Your risk of getting these conditions is higher if you have hay fever or asthma .

Allergy Diagnosis:  To assess whether you have an allergy , your doctor will likely:

  • Ask detailed questions about signs and symptoms
  • take a physical exam
  • You keep a detailed diary of symptoms and possible triggers

If you have a food allergy  , your doctor will likely:

  • Ask him to keep a detailed diary of the foods he eats.
  • Ask if you stopped eating the suspected food during the Allergy Assessment

Your doctor may also recommend one or both of the following tests. However, be aware that these Allergy  tests can be falsely positive or falsely negative.

  • Skin test. A doctor or nurse will prick your skin and expose you to small amounts of the proteins found in potential allergens. If you are allergic, you will likely develop a raised bump (hive) at the test site on your skin.
  • Blood test. The specific IgE (sIgE) blood test, commonly called the radioallergosorbent test (RAST) or ImmunoCAP, measures the amount of Allergy  – causing antibodies  in your bloodstream, known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. A blood sample is sent to a medical laboratory, where it can be tested for evidence of sensitivity to possible allergens.

If your doctor suspects your problems are caused by something other than an allergy , other tests can help identify — or rule out — other medical problems.

Allergy Treatments: Allergy  treatments  include:

  • Allergen avoidance. Your doctor will help you take steps to identify and avoid your allergy triggers . This is usually the most important step in preventing allergic reactions and reducing symptoms.
  • Medicines. Depending on your allergy , medications can help reduce the immune system ‘s reaction and relieve symptoms. Your doctor may suggest over-the-counter medications in the form of pills or liquids, nasal sprays, or eye drops.
  • Immunotherapy. For severe allergy  or allergy  not completely relieved by other treatment, your doctor may recommend allergen immunotherapy. This treatment involves a series of injections of purified allergen extracts, usually given over the course of a few years. Another form of immunotherapy is a tablet that is placed under the tongue (sublingually) until dissolved. Sublingual drugs are used to treat some  pollen allergy  .
  • Emergency epinephrine. If you have a severe allergy  , you may need to take an emergency epinephrine shot at all times. Given for severe allergic reactions, a shot of epinephrine (Auvi-Q, EpiPen, others) may reduce symptoms until you receive emergency treatment.

Alternative Medicine:  Clinical practice guidelines suggest that some people with allergic rhinitis may benefit from acupuncture.

Allergy Prevention:  Prevention of allergic reactions depends on the type of Allergy  you have. General measures include the following:

  • Avoid known triggers. Even if you are treating your allergy symptoms , try to avoid triggers. If, for example, you are allergic to pollen, stay inside with windows and doors closed when pollen is high. If you are allergic to dust mites, vacuum and wash bedding frequently.
  • Keep a diary. When trying to identify what causes or worsens your allergy symptoms, keep track of your activities and what you eat, when symptoms occur, and what seems to help. This can help you and your doctor identify triggers.
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet. If you have had a severe allergic reaction, a medical alert bracelet (or necklace) lets others know you have a serious allergy  in case you have a reaction and you are unable to communicate.

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