Allergies are the immune system’s hypersensitive response to harmless foreign substances called allergens.
According to the Foundation of Asthma and Allergy of America, about 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. According to researchers, allergies are inherited. Most develop during childhood, but people can suffer from them at any age, even if their parents have no history of having allergies. Smoking, pollution, an infection, and hormones can trigger allergies.
Allergies can be divided into two types: seasonal and perennial. Seasonal allergies are common and occur at certain times during the year, especially from early spring through autumn. The identified allergens includes pollen from trees, grasses, weeds and molds. Perennial allergies occur all year around. Such include food allergies often resulting from nut and dairy consumption, pet allergies from touching a cat or dog or breathing dander, and skin allergies when say in contact with poison ivy, sumac or oak. Other perennial allergens are substances such as perfumes, smoke, air pollution, cosmetics, and certain medicines.
Allergies Symptoms and Signs
A person is identified as allergic through symptoms such as itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, itchy or runny nose, coughing, rashes and hives, and feeling tired or weak.
Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is commonly identified when a sufferer has a stuffy nose and watery eyes from allergens such as dust, dander and pollen. Symptoms include itching, swelling, and mucus production due to the release of natural substances by your body like histamine.
Allergic asthma is triggered by allergens such as pollen, pet dander, mold, and dust mites that cause the passages in the lungs to become inflamed and swollen. The symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or rapid breathing, and chest tightness.
Another common allergic condition is called allergic eyes when inflammation occurs on the tissue layers covering the surface of the eyeball and the undersurface of the eyelid. Due to the inflammation, a sufferer from allergic eyes develops redness under the eyelids and of the eye, itchy and watery eyes as well swelling of the membranes.
Allergic eczema is an allergic rash and causes the itching, redness and dryness on the skin. If someone suffers from an allergic shock after eating peanuts or stung by a bee–which can be life threatening–the sufferer may show all symptoms of an allergic reaction such as hives, nasal congestion, swelling of the throat, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath, wheezing, and a drop in blood pressure and go into shock.
The best way to treat allergies is to minimize being exposed to the allergens.
Over-the-counter allergy medications can relieve symptoms. These include antihistamines and decongestants. Antihistamines can relieve allergies such as rhinitis as well as rashes and hives. Also, decongestant pills/tablets or nasal sprays can help to relieve a stuffy nose.
If allergies symptoms persist and the sufferer cannot avoid the allergens, immunotherapy or allergy shots are recommended to control the symptoms. These shots are given to increase the sufferer’s tolerance to the allergens that trigger the symptoms. This treatment will not cure allergies, but only reduces the patient’s sensitivity to allergens.
Prevention is the best solution for allergies symptoms. Although not life threatening, allergies are more than enough to distract you from your routine. Most symptoms will go away after exposure to the allergens has stopped. If your allergies symptoms become serious, you need to call your health care provider in order to get the correct diagnosis and treatment.