Millions of people worldwide are affected by allergies
. While some are very evident, others are so minor that they don’t come to notice. These can range from mild to severe and can differ from person to person. Even when it comes to the causes and cure of allergies, there is no one size fits all approach. Keep reading to find out more about the causes and relief measures of allergies.
What are Allergies?
Your body’s reaction to foreign protein is called allergy. Usually, many forms of these are harmless, but in some cases, the body might produce an overreaction, resulting in severity.
What is an Allergic Reaction?
The way in which your body reacts to an allergy is different from how someone else’s would. When your body first encounters a new allergen, it responds by creating immunoglobulin E and making antibodies. These IgE antibodies mast the allergy cells that live in your organs. Furthermore, antibodies detect the allergens in your body and help remove them by attaching them to a special receptor.
How Common are Allergies?
Different kinds of allergies are more common than you think. Millions of people worldwide are affected by these, and it is also the sixth-leading cause of illnesses in the United States.
Causes of Allergies
Allergies are caused when your immune system perceives an object as harmful and reacts to it. These substances are called allergens and can be found in many forms, such as dust, pollen, dander and certain foods. When the immune system identifies the allergen, the production of antibodies starts happening. Eventually, the release of histamines and other chemicals is triggered to cause allergy symptoms.
Types of Allergies
Allergies can be categorised into:
Also commonly known as hay fever, these allergies occur when your body reacts to grass, trees and weeds pollen. It can be detected through symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose and congestion.
These allergies develop when the immune system reacts to specific proteins found in certain foods and are very common. An allergic reaction occurs within minutes of eating the food, like a reflex reaction, and symptoms can be severe in some cases. Mild to severe symptoms can include hives, breathing issues, swelling around the mouth, body itching and more.You may like to read: Food Allergy Types and Treatment, Find Dr Batra’s Clinic in Your City
These kinds of allergies occur when the skin comes in contact with harsh substances such as detergents, soaps or latex. The symptoms can again differ from person to person, including redness, itching and swelling.
As the name suggests, inhalant allergies can occur due to the substances you inhale. In these cases, the allergens might affect you for a longer period or might be seasonal. Symptoms can include runny nose, stuffy nose, itchy nose, sneezing, watery eyes and more.
Finding Relief from Allergies
In most cases, a permanent cure for allergies isn’t possible. But, if you are suffering from mild symptoms, there are several ways to manage these symptoms, including:
Once you have figured out the cause, managing your allergies is easier. Think from the prevention is better than the cure mindset. It is best to avoid allergens that trigger your allergies. For example, those suffering from pollen allergies should stay indoors during peak seasons.
Today, several over-the-counter and prescription medications are available for allergy relief. Alternatively, several allergies can also be tackled with herbal treatment options. However, speaking to a medical practitioner before relying on these is best.
This kind of treatment involves exposure of the body to small amounts of the allergen over time. As a result, your immune system gets stronger and becomes less reactive to a substance gradually.
These contain small doses of the allergen and are injected to build familiarity with the immune system. Over time, it helps in reducing the symptoms.
Some people find relief from allergy symptoms through alternative therapies, such as acupuncture
, herbal remedies, or chiropractic care. However, talking with a healthcare provider before trying any alternative therapy is essential.
How are Allergies Diagnosed?
If you frequently show symptoms without known reasons, don’t wait for those to go away. If symptoms last longer than a week, schedule an appointment with an allergist and consult for immediate counselling.
Getting Tested for Allergies
The testing method depends on the allergy type one must be tested for. The most common ones are skin prick tests and blood tests.
As you already know, blood tests happen by drawing a blood sample from your body and diagnosing the same. This helps evaluate the IgE antibodies your immune system produces against a specific protein.
Skin prick tests identify the allergens that trigger your allergy symptoms. Here, an allergist uses a very thin needle to prick your skin with allergens and then checks it for detection.
How Long do Allergies Last?
There is no permanent cure for allergies. These will last as long as your exposure to the allergen does. Once you are away from the triggering allergens, your symptoms will go away on their own. However, in cases of inhalant allergies, symptoms last longer and are extended for days.
For some kinds of allergies, people also tend to outgrow those. Again, however, it significantly depends on the type and severity.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
When you consult a healthcare provider, check with them regarding the following questions for a proper diagnosis of your allergies:
- What am I allergic to?
- How can you tell that I have this specific kind of allergy?
- Do I have mild, moderate or severe allergies?
- What treatment options would you recommend for my allergy?
- Should I opt for any medications?
- When should I consume the prescribed medications?
- Can you guide me on the list of expected side effects of your prescribed allergy medication?
- Should I implement any dietary changes to deal with my allergy?
Allergies can be frustrating and uncomfortable, but many ways exist to manage symptoms and find relief. By understanding the causes of allergies and the different types
, people can take steps to avoid allergens and seek appropriate treatment. If you are suffering from allergies, speak with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for you. And always remember that patience is the key while dealing with several allergies.
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