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WHAT IS AN ALLERGY?

Basically, an allergy is a medical condition in which the body’s immune system reacts abnormally to a foreign substance. This happens due to the hypersensitive nature of the person’s immune system even to harmless substances in the environment. There are different kinds of allergies of varying nature and they present allergic reactions of various levels.

Some of these most common allergies include Drug Allergy, Allergic Asthma, Food Allergy, Skin Allergies, Latex Allergy, Mold Allergy, Animal Allergy, Seasonal Allergies and more.

WHAT CAUSES ALLERGY?

Allergens are the agents that cause allergies and the most common allergies are caused by dust, pollen, chemicals, medication and food in certain products. Insect bites, exposure to animal skin cells (mostly domestic), their fur, saliva, or exposure to certain proteins found in rubber or the chemicals in hair dyes, different body products, and regular household cleaners can trigger off allergic reactions. Certain food (e.g. prawns and other sea food) and suchlike can be a major source of allergy as well. Besides, allergies can manifest themselves as side-effects of certain medication, for instance, antibiotics such as penicillin. It is important to identify the allergy, else it may aggravate acne and cause breakouts.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ALLERGY?

The degree of an allergic reaction may vary from mild to severe. The body reacts differently to different allergens. Hence, the symptoms produced by one allergen may differ in degree and intensity from that of the other.

Typical symptoms experience in an allergic reaction are:

  • Itchy rash, typically hives
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Breathing difficulties such as breathlessness, wheezing and chest tightness
  • Asthma symptoms
  • Swelling of body parts exposed to the allergen
  • Stomach ache
  • Vomiting
  • Anaphylaxis is an extreme form of allergy, which needs immediate medical attention. Its main symptoms are: swelling of the lips, tongue and throat. It is accompanied by breathing difficulties like wheezing, short-breath, hoarseness of voice and in severe cases, may also lead to loss of consciousness and collapse.

Thus, in the event you are not sure, or the symptoms are not subsiding then consult a doctor online to discuss your problems.

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT OF ALLERGY?

The ideal solution is to stay away from the allergen that you know you are allergic to. However, this is not always possible as you never know if there is a new allergen that you have got exposed to!

The 3 main tests for allergy are the skin prick test, blood test and patch test.

There are numerous ways to deal with allergies. This includes medication to combat the symptoms, arrest the condition from getting severe and finally treating it. Antihistamines is a class of drugs that can be used before and during exposure to an allergen. However, once already exposed, decongestants and steroids offer short term relief. In the event you are not certain regarding the source of the allergy, the doctor can use a symptom tracker and recommend symptoms accordingly.

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