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All About Allergies
For a long time, scientists and doctors alike couldn’t figure out what led to some symptoms that patients often displayed. Nowadays there is increasing evidence to support that a lot of mystery symptoms actually come from allergies. Some, of course, were more obvious to diagnose like allergies to shellfish which typically can cause tightening of the throat. The link there was fairly easy to make but other allergies like swelling or reddening of eyes or even rashes remain difficult for the medical fraternity to figure out. Our page on Allergies and Rashes gives more information about how those two are linked.
In its simplest form, an allergy is an adverse reaction produced by the immune system. This reaction is produced as a response to some type of foreign substance. What’s remarkable about that is that most times the foreign substance is not typically dangerous to the human body. Some of the most common allergies stem from pollen, fur or in many other cases certain types of food
Allergies can trigger a myriad of symptoms. For example, a food allergy could include symptoms like nausea, swelling and fatigue. When it comes to seasonal allergies that arise because of an abundance of pollen, a person may experience a runny nose, some congestion as well as swelling and itchiness of the eyes. Some seasonal allergies, like Hay Fever, can even mimic the cold so you’re not even aware that you have an allergy.
All of these can usually be managed with OTC drugs and eventually the symptoms fade. That’s not to say that there aren’t more severe cases of allergies. In these cases, hospitalisation might be needed. In the most extreme cases of allergies, a person can suffer anaphylaxis. This condition is quite serious and can cause a loss of consciousness, breathing difficulties and loss of breathing capacity. The loss of breath should not be confused with Allergies and Asthma which we will delve into on other pages.
The real mystery behind allergies is that it’s still unknown what causes a person’s immune system to react in such a manner. Some allergies have been found to be genetic and can be passed down from generation to generation. However, these are not specific. This means the immune reaction may be passed on but not for the same trigger. At this point, scientists and researchers have at least identified the trigger behind allergies. The causes are usually labelled as allergens.
Different Types Of Allergies
What’s interesting to note about that is that there are hundreds of items that can be attributed to the allergens list. They include but are not limited to drugs, foods, insect stings, animal products, mould, plants and even latex. Seasonal allergens are mostly derived from pollen. Identifying what your allergen is and then staying away is probably the easiest way to avoid having an allergic reaction. This is not always possible and there are now many drugs on the market that can help people deal with the symptoms. Some of the more popular ones include antihistamines, corticosteroids, cetirizine and decongestants.
More recently some people have begun to use herbal or plant-based therapies including dried tea leaves to help them combat the allergies that must face. The very first step when it comes to understanding your allergies is identifying your trigger and we can help you with that.