Whether it’s dust, pollens, or different kinds of food, many Americans today are susceptible to having an allergy. An allergy is a reaction of the immune system to certain types of substances, which are called allergens.
When the person with an allergy, for example animal dander, comes in contact with the allergen, his body will experience different types of reaction. Depending on the type of allergy, the person can experience rashes, difficulty in breathing, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes or involuntary bowel movement. In the most extreme cases of allergy attacks, the person can suffer an anaphylactic shock and can cause death.
What are the symptoms of an allergy?
Allergy attacks vary in symptom and degree.
· Mild allergy symptoms can usually be seen on a specific area and do not spread on different parts of the body. This is indicated by a rash, itchiness, watery eyes, uncontrollable sneezing, or swelling in the affected area.
· Moderate symptoms include allergic reactions that spread to the entire body. This is manifested by itchiness, numbness, involuntary bowel movement or difficulty in breathing.
· A severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. It is a dangerous emergency state where the body’s reaction to the allergen is fast, sudden and does not hit only one area of the body. This allergic symptom can begin with a persistent itching followed by abdominal pains, vomiting and hives. Dizziness or confusion may also be a symptom because anaphylaxis causes a sudden drop in the person’s blood pressure.
These allergy symptoms can appear in different parts of the body:
· Eyes – redness, itchiness and watery eyes.
· Nose – swelling of the mucous membrane resulting in a runny nose and sneezing.
· Lungs – constriction, wheezing and difficulty in breathing, which is sometimes signs of asthma.
· Ears – swelling, a slight pain and even temporary impairment or hearing loss.
· Skin – itchiness, reddening and swelling of affected area.
There are treatments for a person’s allergy, depending on the type of allergen he or she may be susceptible to. For an airborne allergen like pollen, animal dander, mold, dust mite feces and fur from cats or dogs, medicines like a nasal spray, decongestants or antihistamines can be sufficient to give immediate relief from the symptoms. Eye drops can also be used if the redness and itchiness becomes too much.
For an ingested allergen like an allergy to certain types of food, the best treatment is to avoid the food altogether. Food allergy can cause wheezing, hives, runny nose, swelling of the mouth area and sometimes, difficulty in breathing. For the rashes, a skin cream can applied to make it feel better. Antihistamines also reduce the other symptoms.
There are people with allergies to certain types of drugs and insect bites. Usually, they get their treatments through an injection of epinephrine (adrenaline) administered by a doctor. This will immediately reverse the allergy symptoms and save the person.
Most of the allergy medicines can be bought over-the-counter at the local drugstore. But before you get one, make sure that a doctor properly diagnosed the person with the allergy. A wrong treatment can kill a person.
Can an allergy be prevented? Sadly no. One cannot prevent an allergy attack but they can treat it by getting the right medicines. The person with an allergic reaction must also look at their environment and make the proper changes to reduce the symptoms in their body.
One can only win the battle against allergies but making a positive action. Do not fall victim to these allergens.