Allergic reactions can lead to symptoms such as the inflammation of the skin, airways, digestive system and so on. Other symptoms of allergy include redness of the eyes, runny nose, difficulty in breathing, laryngeal edema, and so on. Physicians diagnose allergy based on the personal and medical history of the patient. However, tests could also be carried out, to confirm the diagnosis. Some of the tests include skin and blood tests. One of the ways of protecting people from developing allergies is by early exposure. The treatment plan of allergy includes avoiding the allergens, or substance you react to. Physicians also prescribe medications such as steroids and antihistamines. Allergy can sometimes be severe and can lead to death, if not adequately managed. In such cases, adrenaline should be used. Allergen immunotherapy is also an efficient way of treating allergic conditions such as hay fever, and reactions to insect bites
It might sometimes be difficult to know if you have an allergy, or if it’s just something else. Below are some general tips to help you know if you have developed allergies. Highlight the symptoms: One of the things to do, when you suspect you might have developed an allergy to something, is to make a list of the symptoms you’re manifesting. This would make it easy for your physician to diagnose you correctly. As an illustration, you should make a list of your symptoms if you have nasal problems. If your symptoms include fever, colored mucus, and pain in the muscles and joints. Then you might have a cold. However, if you present with symptoms such as sneezing, itchy and red eyes, clear mucus, and nasal discharge, then you might be dealing with an allergy. Time: The timing of the symptoms is crucial to correctly diagnose if you have an allergy or not. If your symptoms are lasting and persisting for about 2 weeks or more, then you most likely are dealing with an allergy. If this occurs to you at a particular season, such as winter, or spring, then you might have a seasonal allergy. Food allergies: People affected by food allergy don’t just present with gastrointestinal symptoms, but with symptoms that affect other systems of the body. Gastrointestinal symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, and so on. In addition, the patient would also present with other symptoms such as respiratory diseases, skin rash and so on. If you present with just gastrointestinal symptoms, then you probably have an intolerance to a food substance, which should not be confused with food allergy.
As earlier mentioned, an allergy occurs when the immune system abnormally reacts to a foreign substance. Examples of such substance could be smoke, dust, and pollens. The symptoms of the allergy largely depend on the cause of the allergy. Below are some of the common cause of allergies in humans. Food substances: such as peanuts, wheat, fish, shellfish, milk, egg. The patient might present with symptoms such as swelling of the mouth, face, and so on. Other symptoms include tingling of the mouth and anaphylaxis in severe conditions. Atopic dermatitis: This describes skin allergy. This might be in reaction to materials such as gold, nickel, latex and so on. Some of the symptoms include rash, itch, and redness of the skin, the skin might also peel and shed off. Air allergens: pollen, perfumes, metal dust, smoke, mold Medications: penicillin, and cancer drugs. Some of the symptoms of drug allergies include wheezing, rash, and itchiness of the skin, and also anaphylaxis in severe conditions
It is common to find pets in homes. According to statistics, about 62% of American homes have pets. However, pets could be a source of allergy. There are proteins in the skin, saliva, urine and so on, of animals, which can trigger allergic reactions. In addition, animal wools can also harbor materials that can induce reactions, such as dust, pollens, etc. Some of the signs and symptoms of animal allergy include nasal congestion, sneezing, itchiness of the skin, asthma, coughing, and swollen throat.
Childhood allergies: Allergies are quite common in children. Some of the things you should look out for, as a parent is when your child presents with symptoms such as a cough, development of skin rash, abdominal ache, cramps, nausea, vomiting and so on. This might be a sign that the child has developed an allergy to something. Studies have shown that children with a family history of allergies have a high risk of also developing allergies. Detecting allergies while they are still young, is important to manage the condition successfully. Some of the common allergies in children include pollen, insect bites, animal allergy, peanuts, milk products, and perfume. Allergic rhinitis is also common in children. Anaphylaxis: This is a severe allergic reaction that occurs rapidly and life-threatening. It leads to signs and symptoms such as shortness of breath, body rash, itching of the skin, vomiting, hypotension, shock and so on. Some of the common causes of anaphylaxis include food, medications, insect bites, exposure to some chemicals and so on. The treatment of anaphylaxis is epinephrine injection. This should be administered as soon as possible. Other medications can also be used alongside epinephrine. They are antihistamines and corticosteroids. Conjunctivitis: This is a condition in which there is an inflammation of the outermost layer of the eyes. This disease makes the eyes reddish or pinkish. Patients might also present with symptoms such as pain, burning sensations, itchiness of the eyes. Conjunctivitis is mainly caused by infections. The most prevalent cause of is viral infections followed closely by bacterial infections. This disease can be prevented by maintaining good Regularly washing your hands, is a way of reducing the risk of developing conjunctivitis. This disease could also be caused by allergic reactions. In this case, symptoms present as a result of the release of histamine and other substances from mast cells. This disease self-resolves in most cases, however, antibiotics are prescribed after 7 days, if it doesn’t resolve. It’s important to know that antibiotics would only work if the disease is caused by bacteria. Allergy to mold: This type of allergy occurs when the immune system is hypersensitive to molds. Mould produces spores, which can be easily inhaled. This ordinarily shouldn’t cause a reaction. However, people with mold allergy will react to it. Some of the signs and symptoms of this condition include a cough, itchiness, and redness of the eyes. Other symptoms include dry skin, watery eyes, sneezing, stuffy nose and so on. It’s important to know that the symptoms presented usually varies in people. In addition, the severity of the symptoms also varies. You should consult your physician if you notice any of the above symptoms. Some of the factors that increase the chance of developing this allergy include family history, living condition, occupation and so on. Anyone that comes from a family with a history of mold allergy has a high risk of also developing the disease. Also, people that live in houses with high humidity also have a high risk of developing the disease. Some of the complications that might occur if the disease isn’t well managed include asthma, aspergillosis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis and so on. Physicians do prescribe medications such as nasal corticosteroids, antihistamines, and decongestant, for the treatment of this disease. Venom allergy: This occurs when an individual is stung by an insect. Examples of insects that can bite and set off an allergic reaction include bees, soldier ants and so on. The area bit usually becomes red and swollen. The person might also develop itchiness in the area. These are normal reactions to insect bites. However, some people are allergic to this. At this first bite, the patient’s body would produce antibodies, which are called immunoglobulin E. However, the patient would develop an allergic reaction on the second bite. This can sometimes be life-threatening. This condition is known as anaphylaxis. This is usually a medical emergency and needs prompt treatment by a physician. What Is Anaphylaxis? This is a condition in which there is a severe reaction to an allergen. It usually occurs rapidly, and is life-threatening, especially when it’s not promptly managed. Some of the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include swelling of the tongue, vomiting, hypotension, and shortness of breath. These symptoms manifest shortly after the exposure to the allergen. Some of the prevalent causes of anaphylaxis include foods, drugs, insect bites, exposure to chemicals, physical exercise and so on. The most effective and common treatment of anaphylaxis is adrenaline. This is administered intramuscularly. Patients might also be given intravenous fluids while keeping the patient in a flat position. Other medications that are used for the treatment of this condition include antihistamines, steroids, and so on. Below are some of the symptoms of anaphylaxis according to each body system. Respiratory system: Some of the symptoms of the respiratory system include wheezing, stridor, and shortness of breath. The symptoms may make it difficult and impossible for the patient to breathe well. Cardiovascular system: Patients do present with low blood pressure. Other symptoms include tachycardia. The sudden reduction in the blood pressure may cause the patient to become lightheaded and even lose consciousness. Other conditions associated with a cardiovascular system that might also occur include myocardial infarction and cardiac arrest. Gastrointestinal system: Patients might present with symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal discomfort, or diarrhea. Patients might present with anxiety. Other symptoms: Some of the other symptoms that patients might present in anaphylaxis include a headache, confusion, and pain in the pelvis. References Cold, F., Health, E., Disease, H., Management, P., Conditions, S., Problems, S., Disorders, S., Checker, S., Interviews, E., Boards, M., Answers, Q., Guide, I., Doctor, F., Medications, M., Identifier, P., Interactions, C., Drugs, C., Pregnant, T., Management, D., Obesity, W., Recipes, F., Exercise, F., Beauty, H., Balance, H., Relationships, S., Care, O., Health, W., Health, M., Well, A., Teens, H., Kids, F., Pregnant, G., Trimester, F., Trimester, S., Trimester, T., Baby, N., Health, C., Vaccines, C., Kids, R., Cats, H., Dogs, H., Metabolism, C., Eat Less, L., CDC, A., Heart, N., Women, S., Boards, M., Blogs, E. and Center, N. (2018). Allergies. [online] WebMD. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/allergies/default.htm [Accessed 24 Mar. 2018]. Journal search results – Cite This For Me. (2006). 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