Allergies are a reaction caused by the immune system when foreign substances like pollen, bee venom, pet dander, or any food that doesn't agree with your system enter your body.
When you have allergies, your immune system creates antibodies that identify a certain allergen as harmful, even though it is not. Once you come in contact with those things that give you allergies, the immune system reacts by inflaming your skin, cavities, airways, or digestive system.
Though most allergies can't be cured, treatments can help relieve some of the symptoms.
The severity of allergies can range from minor irritation to anaphylaxis ( a potentially life-threatening emergency). Symptoms usually depend on the substance involved. Some common symptoms include; sneezing, tingling in the mouth, itching of the nose, stuffy nose, conjunctivitis, hives, swelling of the tongue, lips, throat, or face, chest tightness, cough, shortness of breath, nausea, and vomiting.
An allergy starts when your immune system mistakes a generally harmless substance for a harmful invader. The immune system then generates antibodies that stay on the alert for that particular allergen.
When a person becomes exposed to the allergen again, these antibodies can release certain immune system chemicals, like histamine, that cause allergy symptoms. Other common allergy triggers include; Airborne allergens, like pollen, dust mites animal dander, and mold. Specific foods, especially peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish, wheat, shellfish, milk, and eggs. Also, insect stings from a bee or wasp can serve as a trigger.
Having an allergy increases your risk of specific medical problems like;
If you have serious allergies, you gave a higher risk of developing a serious allergy-induced reaction. Some medications foods and insect stings are very common triggers of anaphylaxis.
You are more likely to have asthma if you have an allergy. In many cases, asthma is triggered by exposure to an environmental allergen (allergy-induced asthma).
Photo Credit: Purewow
Preventing allergic reactions is dependent on the type of allergy you have. General preventive measures include;
Avoiding known triggers
Even if you are on allergy medication, you are advised to avoid those things that trigger your symptoms. If for instance, you are allergic to peanuts, stay away from food and products that contain it. If you are allergic to dust mites, vacuum and dust your home as often as you can. You should also wash the bedding often.
Keep a diary.
When trying to identify the causes of your allergic symptoms. Be mindful of what you eat and track your activities. You can do this by writing down things that seem to trigger your allergy. This can help you and your doctor identifies triggers.
Wear a medical alert bracelet.
If your allergic reactions are usually severe a medical alert necklace or bracelet lets others know that you have a serious allergy in case you have a reaction and you are unable to communicate.
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