Have you ever suffered an allergic reaction? The primary function of the immune system is to protect you from bacteria and viruses. In particular cases, your immune system may react to substances that are not necessarily threatening to the human body. Such substances, called allergens, cause an allergic reaction. Diagnosing and treating allergies can help keep the conditions from escalating into a life emergency. Here are the main causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment for allergies.
Causes of Allergies
The underlying cause of allergic reactions is still a mystery. Nonetheless, there is an association of allergies with genetics, meaning parents can pass the condition to children. Notably, allergies can develop at any stage of life, mostly from childhood, with the likelihood of outgrowing allergies.
Below are the primary triggers to allergic reactions:
- Animal products like pet dander
- Inhaling spores from mold
- Insect bites from bees and wasps
- Reaction from plant pollen and resin
- Reaction to medicines like aspirin
- Some foodstuffs like milk, eggs, and nuts
Symptoms of Allergies
There are many symptoms of allergies depending on the allergen involved and seasons. However, allergic rhinitis, also called hay fever, is a common form of allergy with cold-like symptoms. A person with hay fever will exhibit sneezing, running nose, nasal congestions, and sore throat. In addition, allergies can produce skin reactions such as rash, itching, and hives. Lastly, one can develop a sudden and severe reaction called anaphylaxis. In this case, one may experience a drop in blood pressure, inability to breathe, diarrhea, dizziness, and unconsciousness. People experiencing anaphylaxis should seek emergency help.
Diagnosis for Allergies
Typically, the doctor considers your medical history and performs physical tests. In such a case, the doctor can recommend a skin test to see how the skin reacts to an allergen. Also, diagnosis can involve a challenge test that removes particular food items from the diet. Lastly, blood tests can help observe how antibodies react to an allergen. Thus, consider consulting a medical doctor for the diagnosis of any allergic conditions.
Treatment for Allergies
The most effective treatment is preventive care after allergy discovery. This approach involves avoiding exposure to an allergen such as foodstuff or pollen. More so, preventive care may include keeping a diary to identify the cause of allergies and wearing a medical alert bracelet to get support in case of anaphylaxis.
On the other hand, medical treatment includes medicine and immunotherapy. There are multiple over-the-counter and prescription medicines such as antihistamines for allergy treatment. Besides, one can opt for immunotherapy injections that build body immunity to allergens in the long run. Finally, natural supplements can alleviate allergic conditions when used under a doctor's consultation.
Allergies are normal medical conditions managed through avoidance and medication. However, allergies can escalate to emergencies if not well managed. Consulting a specialist doctor will help you understand the risk, complications, and treatment strategies for your allergy.