Allergy symptoms are often dependent on the substances that are involved. They can also involve the sinuses, the airways, skin, nasal passages, and even the digestive system.
Allergies happen when your immune system reacts to any substance that is foreign. These foreign substances can be pollen, venom from a bee, or even a pet dander which does not cause any reaction in most people.
When your immune system detects any foreign material, it produces antibodies, and the main functions of these antibodies are to protect you from any unwanted invaders that may be capable of causing infection and making you sick.
When you develop allergies, it means that your immune system makes some allergens that are identified by your antibodies harmful, even when they are not. And whenever you come in contact with the allergen, the reactions from your immune system can cause your skin, sinuses, and even digestive system to become inflamed.
Causes Of Allergies
When your immune system mistakes a substance that is normally harmless for a dangerous invader, you become sensitized for any future contact with the said allergen. And whenever you’re exposed to that allergen, your antibodies releases chemicals like histamine which is responsible for causing allergy symptoms. Histamine is a chemical from the immune system.
Some common factors that trigger an allergic reaction include the following:
- Stings from an insect. Such as a wasp or a bee sting.
- Airborne allergens. This may include; pollen, mold, animal dander and dust mites.
- Some foods. Such as peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts, eggs, milk, fish, shellfish, and foods containing gluten which can cause a gluten allergy.
- Latex or other substances you can touch
- Certain drugs. Such as penicillin or other penicillin-based antibiotics
The severity of allergy symptoms vary from person to person. And also ranges from minor irritation to anaphylaxis. This is a very serious emergency that is life-threatening. Some types of allergies cannot be cured, but some allergy drugs can be used to relieve the allergy symptoms.
Some allergy symptoms include:
- Conjunctivitis (red and swollen eyes)
- Itching of the nose
- Itchy eyes
- Itching of the roof of the mouth
- Runny and stuffy nose
- Watery eyes
Allergy caused by food may cause the following allergy symptoms:
- Tingling feeling in the mouth
- Swollen lips, tongue throat or face
Allergy caused by insect sting can cause the following allergy symptoms:
- Oedema or swelling at the site of the insect sting
- Hives or Itching all over your body
- Chest tightness, cough, shortness of breath or wheezing
Allergy as a result of a drug may cause the following allergy symptoms:
- Itchy skin
- Facial swelling
Eczema which is also an allergic skin condition can cause the skin to:
- Peel or flake
Some of the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
- Skin rash
- Loss of consciousness
- A significant drop in blood pressure
- Rapid and weak pulse
- Shortness of breath which may be severe
Types Of Allergies
Some common types of allergies include:
- Cat allergies
- Ragweed allergies
- Latex allergies
- Shellfish allergies
- Pollen allergies
- Peanut allergies
- Egg allergies
- Mosquito bites allergy
- Dog allergies
- Milk allergies
- Alcohol allergies
- Gluten allergy
- Iodine allergies
- Tomato allergy
Risk Factors For Allergies
Your risk for getting an allergy also increases if:
- If you have a family history of allergies or asthma or allergies such as hives, eczema, hay fever.
- If you are a child. This is also because children are more prone to getting an allergy than are adults.
Complications Of Allergies
When you have allergies, your chances of getting other medical problems also increases, like:
- Infections of the ear
- Infections of the lungs
- Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis
- Allergic fungal sinusitis
- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.
Treatments And Drugs For Allergies
Some allergy treatments include:
- Drugs to reduce allergy symptoms. This also depends on the type of allergy you have. Allergy drugs also helps to reduce the reactions of your immune system. And also provide some relieve for the allergies symptoms. Allergy drugs may also include some over-the-counter, prescription drugs in the form of eye drops, oral drugs, and nasal sprays.
- Avoiding the allergen. This is an important step in preventing allergic reactions and also reducing your allergy symptoms.
- For severe cases of allergies or when your allergy symptoms are not relieved by other allergy drugs, allergen immunotherapy may be recommended by your doctor. This type of allergen treatment often involves taking a series of injections of purified extracts of allergen. This is often given over a period of a few years.
Tablets may also be given. It is also taken sublingually, that is when it is placed under the tongue until it dissolves. This form of immunotherapy treatment is often used in the treatment of pollen allergies.
- Emergency epinephrine.Emergency epinephrine is also given in cases of severe allergic reaction. The epinephrine shots are often carried around all the time. Emergency epinephrine shot (EpiPen, Auvi-Q, others) also helps to reduce your allergy symptoms until emergency treatment is given.