Allergy is acute reaction of body’s immune system to usually harmless substances. Symptoms of allergy can occur in different parts of body observed from a few minutes to several days, and to be very different in severity.
Allergy can occur to some animal species hair, a variety of products, dust, medicines, chemicals, insect bites and pollen. Substances that cause an allergy, are called allergens. In some cases, allergic reactions are so weak that you can not even be aware that you generally suffer from allergies. People suffering from allergy, may experience anaphylactic shock associated with extremely sharp reaction to allergen. Anaphylaxis can be caused by various allergens: drugs, insect bites, food. Also, anaphylactic shock can also occur after skin contact with allergen, such as latex.
A food allergy is an immune reaction caused by certain foods and accompanied by well-known symptoms. A food allergy occurs when body defines mistakenly a certain product as threat to body’s self-defense and forces immune system to produce antibodies. In case of allergen readmission immune system quickly reacts on this material and immediately produces antibodies again. These substances cause allergic symptoms. Food allergy almost always develops in this way.
In some cases, allergy in adults is observed in childhood already. But if allergy manifested itself only in adulthood, to get rid of it is very difficult. Allergic rhinitis (specialists call this state rhinitis), or hay fever, occur in 1 out of 10 and is often hereditary. People with other allergic diseases, such as asthma or eczema also often suffer from allergic rhinitis. Such allergies are more common in women than in men. In allergic rhinitis following symptoms can occur:
- itchy eyes;
- throat, nose and on palate itch;
- stuffy nose;
- watery eyes;
- mucous discharge from nose;
- conjunctivitis (redness and pain in eyes).
In severe cases allergic rhinitis can cause asthma attack (in people suffering from asthma) and / or eczema.
Causes of Allergies
In some people, immune system reacts sharply to certain substances (allergens), producing a variety of chemicals. One of them is histamine causing allergic symptoms. Body reaction can occur through inhalation, skin contact, administration of allergen or receiving it with food. Allergens can be:
- animal hair;
- cigarette smoke.
An allergic reaction can occur in different parts of body, and symptoms may manifest from several minutes to several days:
- Upper respiratory tract: hay fever, asthma;
- Bloodshot, watery eyes;
- Pain and inflammation of joints;
- Hives, eczema;
- Diarrhea, vomiting, stomach upset.
- Anaphylactic shock (severe allergic reaction);
- Shortness of breath or wheezing;
- Rapid pulse;
- Cold sweat;
- Clammy skin;
- Stomach cramps;
- Collapse (acute vascular insufficiency);
In absence of medical care severe allergy can lead to fatality.
What can You Do?
Mild allergic reactions can cause runny nose, watery eyes, and other symptoms that resemble common cold. You may also have mild rash. If you frequently observe in yourself or your loved ones such reactions, you should contact your doctor.
Remember that in case of anaphylactic shock it affects the whole body. Anaphylaxis can occur within 15 minutes after allergen ingestion, so it is necessary to take urgent measures (you immediately should call an ambulance).
Avoid food, drugs and other substances to which you have or ever had an allergy.
About your allergies your friends, family and colleagues should know. Always tell all doctors (including dentists, beauticians, etc.) about all your allergies, especially to medications. This applies to both drugs on prescription and non-prescription means ordered via Accelis Pharma. Before taking any medication, read instruction for use carefully.
In milder forms of allergic rhinitis, use decongestant drops or sprays to relieve symptoms. If allergy is caused by drug, immediately discontinue its use and consult a doctor.
Take antihistamines (allergy agent), prescribed by doctor. When receiving antihistamines, there are side effects, avoid driving and control mechanisms, as they may cause drowsiness. Today, however, there are a number of antihistamines, without sedative effect.
What Can your Doctor Do?
The physician must eliminate possibility of other diseases, and to conduct tests for identification of allergen and prescribe antihistamines and, if necessary, steroids. If allergen is identified, but the contact with them is inevitable, physician should introduce a special vaccine for allergies prevention and treatment.
Also, your doctor may recommend a special diet for patients suffering from food allergy.
Preventive Measures for Allergies
Try to identify substances that cause your allergy, and always avoid them. Make sure that your house is clean and free of dust, lint, and mites. When you sweep or clean, knock the dust from furniture, changing bedding and any other contacts with dusty objects, cover your nose (use gauze or mask). When there is allergy to pets do not keep them in.
If you have allergy to medicines, always carry a special card, on which is written, to what drugs you are allergic. In this case, even if you are unconscious or can not remember drug’s name, you will be insured by allergen introduction. If you have severe allergies, notify about your family and colleagues and do not forget to inform the doctors.
Category: General Issues
Tags: allergen, allergy, care, Inhalation, medicines