Dealing with Allergies
The human body is prone to many allergies. These allergies are numerous, and they differ among individuals. An allergy occurs when your body mistakes normal substances for harmful ones and reacts terribly to those substances. It is a medical condition whereby a person’s immune system reacts to a particular substance. For example, people who are allergic to a particular kind of food get slightly ill when such food is introduced into their bodies, no matter how little the amount of that food is. When that food type gets into their bodies, there is always an abnormal reaction within the body that, in turn, makes such people feel sick.
Foreign substances that cause allergies are known as an allergen. Allergens range from foods to animals and to environmental factors. Also, the results of allergies are usually severe in some cases, while in other cases, it is mild and may not require medical attention. Allergies happen at first exposure. In other words, a person’s body begins to develop molecules against invading substances the moment the body gets exposed to that substance.
Discussed in this article are the different types of allergens that exist, the causes, symptoms, and management of each allergen. In other words, this very article can help you identify what your allergens are as well as how to manage them and avoid their triggers. In order to understand the breakdown and analysis of this topic of discussion, proceed to the other parts of this article.
Types of Allergies
This is a kind of allergy that is triggered by environmental and climatic factors. This group of allergies disrupts the respiratory process. Some of these respiratory allergies include:
- Summer allergy; is triggered by pollen from weeds.
- Spring allergy; some people tend to find it difficult to cope during spring. They feel so uncomfortable during this season of the year. Household habits and medications can help improve such conditions.
- Winter allergy: molds are common during winter, and people who are allergic to mold find it difficult to cope during winter.
- Dust allergy; mites in dust trigger allergy in humans
- Molds allergy; some people are allergic to mold.
- Dog allergy; people who are allergic to dogs cannot stand the presence of dogs. They sneeze and choke due to this allergen. Studies reveal that people who are allergic to dogs find it difficult to live in dog-friendly countries.
- Cat allergy; some people are allergic to cats and cannot endure the presence of cats around them.
- Milk allergy; most people who are allergic to milk experience constant wheezing, hives, and nausea. People like this are advised to avoid milk and milk-containing foods.
- Egg allergy; the egg allergy in people ranges from severe to mild. According to research, it is common in children than in adults.
- Wheat allergy; people who are allergic to wheat might find it difficult to settle for a particular diet or food plan because almost every food contains wheat.
- Soy allergy; just like wheat, soya bean is a common ingredient of processed foods. Most people who are allergic to soy products might find it difficult to eat out.
- Nut allergy; it is weird that some people suffer from nuts allergy. Nevertheless, it is important to note that avoiding nuts and nuts containing foods would help alleviate the effects of the allergen.
- Fish allergy; some people who are allergic to a particular kind of fish get confused as to whether to avoid eating that particular kind of fish or to stay away from eating fish completely. Avoiding fish completely means there is a need to get a healthy replacement for it in order to prevent malnutrition.
- Hives; this is when red, swollen, and itchy bumps begin to appear on the skin as a result of a skin allergy. Allergens that cause hives include; foods, skincare products, chemicals, and medications.
- Insect sting allergy; some people’s skin reacts abnormally to stings from insects. In some people, the reaction is mild, while in some, it is severe.
- Sun allergy; some people dare not expose their skin for long to the sun, else they will suffer from severe sunburns.
- Cosmetic allergy; some people’s skins react to cosmetic products applied to their skin. The effects of these cosmetic products, in most cases, are severe and require the intervention of dermatologists.
- Drug allergies; drugs are also capable of causing allergies, especially when they are overused or when they are expired. However, some people naturally react to some kinds of drugs. Some of these drugs include; penicillin, chloroquine, aspirin, and so on.
Ways Through Which Allergens Come in Contact with The Human Body
- Inhalation; pollens and dust that cause asthma
- Contact; this could be through the skin.
- Ingestion; is usually through the mouth. These allergens could be foods, medications, or harmful water content.
Risk Factors of Allergies
- Family history: People who have asthma in their family history are likely to suffer from asthma or allergy to dust and smoke. Similar is the case of those with hives and eczema in their family histories.
- Children: Being young and tenderly make them easily susceptible to suffer from allergies like skin allergies, food, and pet allergies. Their immune system tends to be too tender to fight off or correctly discern harmful substances from harmless ones.
Symptoms of Allergies
The symptoms of allergies depend on the allergen in question.
For Hay Fever;
For Food Allergy;
- Swellings and sores in the mouth and digestive tract
Insect Sting Allergy;
- Swelling on the area of sting or bite
- Itchy and painful skin
- Sneezing and wheezing
- Breathing difficulty
For Drug Allergy;
- Sneezing and wheezing
- Swellings and sores in the mouth and respiratory tracts
- Hives and itchy skin
Complications of Allergies
- Anaphylaxis: Common triggers of anaphylaxis include insect bites, foods, and medications. People who have allergies might suffer the risks of anaphylaxis if the allergy is not properly managed.
- Asthma: Studies show that you are likely to suffer from asthma if you have any underlying form of allergy. Some allergies are capable of blocking your airways and obstruct your breathing process.
- Sinusitis: Complicated hay fever and asthma can lead to sinusitis.
Treatments for Allergies
- For food allergies, try to avoid the triggers. If you are allergic to milk and soy products, adopt a healthy replacement for them.
- For skin allergies, use a cold compress on affected areas, take cod baths, apply lotions that can help reduce the pain and effects of the trigger. You can as well speak to a doctor about your condition to prevent complications.
- For dust/pollen allergies, weak masks to protect you from inhaling specks of dust, molds, and pollens from grasses. Use dust-free bed covers and curtains in your home and avoid every form of respiratory allergen.
- For insect bite allergies, try to identify the insect and report without hesitation to the hospital for professional intervention. Also, keep your surroundings free from such insects.
- For drug allergies, visit the hospital immediately with the drugs in order to give the Doctor a clue of treatments to administer.
Prevention of Allergy Episodes
- Try to avoid known triggers of your allergy. For instance, if you are allergic to dust, wash your beddings and curtains during the dry season, prevent dust from coming into your home, wear masks to prevent your respiratory tracts from coming in contact with dust, and stay indoors if there is nothing important you need to do outside.
- Have a diary. This can help you keep track of what you eat, drink, and rub. Monitoring your activities closely would go a long way in helping you prevent allergy triggers. Also, keeping a diary would help your Doctor identify your triggers and know what treatment to administer.
- Wear a medical alert bracelet if need be. This can help you get medical attention as fast as possible in a situation where you cannot communicate.
- Carry your inhalers along with you everywhere you go. This would help you manage asthma attacks immediately without waiting for it to weigh you down.
In conclusion, there are different types of allergies. Some seem to be weird, though, but identifying yours and having knowledge about its triggers and management would help prevent complications. Also, in cases when allergies seem to be getting out of hands, especially for respiratory, skin, and drug allergies, reports should be made to appropriate health care professionals to begin treatment immediately.