All About Allergies
Having an allergic reaction is when the body goes a little overboard, trying to protect itself from something that is harmless. For some, it’s more intense than others, but it’s a common occurrence nonetheless. If you suffer from allergies, you’ll know exactly how the immune system reacts to a trigger, which is better known as an allergen. Allergens are the reason why you have a reaction in the first place.
As mentioned, some people will have more intense reactions, but there are also seasonal factors involved. For example, spring time brings with it pollen, a very common allergen. Perennial allergens, on the other hand, are a problem all year round. Some of the most common allergy source you can expect to read about include:
– Dust mites
– Weed and grass pollen
– Insect related stings
– Animal dander
But it’s not excluded to environmental elements because several foods also contain very common allergens. These include:
The moment your senses become exposed to an allergen such as one mentioned above, the body will release histamine, a chemical that’s supposed to fight off any supposed danger.
And while there might be no dangers involved from the allergen, the body’s reaction becomes a problem. Some of the common symptoms include:
– Migraines and headaches
– Skin irritations
– A runny nose and constant sneezing
– Feeling nauseous
One of the more dangerous reactions a person can have is called anaphylaxis, which has proven to be fatal at times.
The types of allergens that enter the body through breathing will usually have an influence on your lungs, eyes, and nose. In terms of consuming them, you will probably have discomfort in your mouth, stomach, and intestines.
Your first plan of action should be to schedule an appointment with a board-certified allergist. They specialize in the field and will be able to accurately diagnose the source. In other words, they are able to investigate how severe the case is, and the best treatment.
The process itself is fairly simple. After going through your medical history, they might ask for a small skin or blood sample. This will be used for tests, which can then determine what type of medication is best. The type of medication will range between conventional prescriptions and less excessive alternatives, and possibly immunotherapy. The latter is also referred to as an allergy shot, which can neutralize the situation and stop the body from overreacting.
Even though allergies are more likely to affect children, it doesn’t work with an age limit. An allergy can develop when you least expect it, or it can go away and come back, years after you’ve forgotten about it. And the reasons why allergies develop during adulthood can vary quite a bit. For example, if you’re recovering from an illness and your body is more vulnerable, it’s possible to develop an allergy. Even pregnant women are at risk of developing an allergy.
If you have children, then you want to catch the signs as quickly as possible. This doesn’t mean overreacting like their immune system will, but pay attention to consistent signs. If allergies run in the family, then you definitely want to pay attention.
For example, a child that constantly struggles with a sneezing problem, or an irregular cough that doesn’t go away, could be signs of an allergy. Alternatively, if they feel sick after eating or they always have some type of skin rash, it’s definite signs to start investigating the matter. Although children are the most vulnerable, it’s the family history that can make them even more vulnerable.
In order to make sure your child can lead a healthy and happy life, it’s important to identify these signs early on. And so doing, you will reduce their amount of sick days away from school, while having to worry a little less.
The Types Of Allergy Symptoms Found in Children:
– Consistent skin irritations or a hive break out
– Unable to breathe normally
– Constant sneezing, coughing, irritated eyes and a runny nose
– An upset stomach
The Common Types Of Allergy Triggers:
– Outside: Tree and plant pollen, as well as bites or stings from insects
– Inside: Pet hair or even materials made of fur, in addition to mold and dust mites
– External Factors: Deodorant, smoke, certain perfumes
– Dietary: Milk products, peanuts, and eggs
If perhaps you’ve noticed the above-mentioned symptoms in your child, start dating the times and the possible triggers. From there, schedule a consultation with an allergist.
The Different Allergies
Food Related Allergies:
As it stands, more than fifty million American citizens are struggling with some type of allergy. And statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that four to six percent of children are affected by a food-related allergy, while four percent of adults fight the same thing. Just like other allergies, a food-based allergy can develop at any point in your life, although it’s more prone to happen through infancy. For some individuals, this is a big surprise, seeing as they suddenly can’t eat food they’ve been enjoying their whole lives.
In regards to how the body responds with a food allergy, it detects something it considers dangerous to your overall health, and reacts in whatever way it thinks best.
Even when allergies are part of the family history, predicting when and where it’s going to become a physical problem is hard to tell. For the most part, it happens at a young age, and research show siblings can inherit the peanut allergy from their big brother or sister. Unfortunately, there’s no telling when.
The symptoms for food allergies are varied and hard to judge. This is because one type of reaction to a specific allergen might not be the same as the next. This is because the symptoms can be mild the first time, but extreme the second time round.
As mentioned earlier, the most dangerous reaction a food allergy can trigger is called anaphylaxis. This means the whole body is going to respond at intense levels, possibly causing:
– A substantial drop in blood pressure
– Irregular heart rate
– Breathing difficulty
If the anaphylaxis reaction isn’t treated almost immediately, it can be fatal. Also remember, the reaction can take only minutes to strike after consuming the allergen. The best treatment during this reaction is a shot of adrenaline (epinephrine).
Most Common Food Allergy Sources:
– Tree nuts
How Food Allergies Make The Body React
– Painful stomach cramps and naseau (vomiting)
– Skin irritations
– Difficulty breathing
– Consistent sneezing
– Constant coughing
– Peripheral vascular failure
– Swollen tongue
– Unable or difficult to swallow
– A weak pulse
– Skin colorization to pale or blue
– Anaphylaxis, a shock your whole body will respond to, which can make breathing incredibly difficult, in addition to fatally affecting other parts of the body
However, in some cases the symptoms aren’t severe enough to be labeled as a food allergy. This is when somebody eats a certain raw fruit or food, when then turns into something like an itchy mouth or throat. It’s a little uncomfortable, but not fatal. Now, for people with this particular problem, it’s the pollen in the food causing the body to react, not the food itself. In other words, it’s quite possibly an oral allergy syndrome. If you want to avoid this irritation, simply cook or heat the food or fruit.
– Allergies Related To Skin
A skin related allergy is definitely visible and more than just irritating. It leads to hives breaking out, senstive bumps and a lot of itching, redness, etc. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to figure out whether it’s an allergy or something else. For example, poison ivy can cause a temporary rash, and you wouldn’t know it. Then there’s the danger of being allergic to certain medication, which can surface as a skin rash or hive outbreak. In terms of allergy related skin irritations, hives and eczema are most commonly tied to allergies.
– Allergies Related To Dust
Allergies triggered by dust can lead to breathing difficutlites, and resemble asthma symptoms. In other words, you’ll experience a shortness of breath, in addition to coughing and wheezing. You might also feel your chest closing up or tightening. Strangely enough, people with dust allergies have the hardest times inside homes or buildings, especially after cleaning. It should also be noted that a dust allergy can cause itchiness.
– Allergies Related To Mold
Mold can grow in many corners of the home, making the allergy so much more difficutl to fight. Seeing as there are more than a thousand species of mold in and around the house (dead leaves, leaking pipes inside cabinets)it’s no surprise what it’s such a problem. And to make things worse, mold spores can become airborne.
– Allergies Related To Latex
Latex proves to be one of the more dangerous allergens, although it’s rarely fatal. For those with a latex allergy, it’s best to avoid coming into contact with it, which means paying attention to the products and furniture you use.
– Allergies Related To Drugs
It doesn’t matter if the medicine come in pill or liquid form, it can trigger an allergic reaction.
– Allergies Related To Insects
It’s pretty easy to spot an insect sting, because the area will be swollen, red and probably very sensitive to pain. When the sting is more servere, it will start affecting a larger area or other parts of the body. It has been estimated that insect venom can be fatal for 0.4 to 0.8% of children when causing an allergic reaction. Whereas three percent of adults are vulnerable to fatal consequences from insect venom.
– Allergies Related To Eyes
The symptoms will typically surface with irritated eyes alone, but it can be accommodated by sneezing and runny nose.
If the leading experts are to be believed, then an allergic reaction will develop first in the immune system. Given that the body is under the impression dangerous organisms are invading the body, it produces Immunoglobulin E antibodies. This in turns leads to the production of histamine, leading to what is known as an allergic reaction.