health challenges - allergies

 

Millions of people around the world suffer from allergies and its resultant symptoms. Allergic reactions are as simple as the fact that if you find yourself sniffing in the summertime or sneezing while spring cleaning, it may be because you are allergic to something in the air.

Many people never bother to seek a definite medical diagnosis for their allergies, because these may not be serious enough, and may not require medical treatment. As many allergic reactions can be fatal, it is a wonder why most people are not worried about what they could be allergic from.

For most of us who sniffle and sneeze our way through life our symptoms just doesn’t bother us much. However for many millions of people in the world these same symptoms and reactions to substances and these allergies may seriously interfere with their ability to enjoy life and may prove to be fatal in cases, hindering them in many ways in the course of their lives.

Naturally such people usually want some form of treatment, perhaps an over-the-counter remedy, which might possibly help them lead a normal life. There are also a few people, for whom allergy is a serious, and a very dangerous condition that needs expert medical attention and constant vigilance in order to prevent a life threatening allergic reaction, due to some allergen.

The diagnosis of allergies has however been very hard even though they are quite common and many people seem to be affected. Because allergies may often be mistaken for other chronic and debilitating conditions such as digestive and intestinal failures, a proper diagnosis must first take care of correctly pointing out the cause.

Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance — such as pollen, bee venom or pet dander — or a food that doesn’t cause a reaction in most people.

Your immune system produces substances known as antibodies. When you have allergies, your immune system makes antibodies that identify a particular allergen as harmful, even though it isn’t. When you come into contact with the allergen, your immune system’s reaction can inflame your skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system.

The severity of allergies varies from person to person and can range from minor irritation to anaphylaxis — a potentially life-threatening emergency. While most allergies can’t be cured, treatments can help relieve your allergy symptoms.

Symptoms

Allergy symptoms, which depend on the substance involved, can affect your airways, sinuses and nasal passages, skin, and digestive system. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe. In some severe cases, allergies can trigger a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.

Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, can cause:

  • Sneezing
  • Itching of the nose, eyes or roof of the mouth
  • Runny, stuffy nose
  • Watery, red or swollen eyes (conjunctivitis)

A food allergy can cause:

  • Tingling in the mouth
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, face or throat
  • Hives
  • Anaphylaxis

An insect sting allergy can cause:

  • A large area of swelling (edema) at the sting site
  • Itching or hives all over the body
  • Cough, chest tightness, wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Anaphylaxis

A drug allergy can cause:

  • Hives
  • Itchy skin
  • Rash
  • Facial swelling
  • Wheezing
  • Anaphylaxis

Atopic dermatitis, an allergic skin condition also called eczema, can cause skin to:

  • Itch
  • Redden
  • Flake or peel

Anaphylaxis

Some types of allergies, including allergies to foods and insect stings, can trigger a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis. A life-threatening medical emergency, anaphylaxis can cause you to go into shock. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • A drop in blood pressure
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Skin rash
  • Lightheadedness
  • A rapid, weak pulse
  • Nausea and vomiting
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