As unusual as it sounds, allergies are bodily reactions very similar to the way our immune system responding to an infection. At the same time, we need to point out that allergies are hypersensitive responses; some people handle their allergies well, but others don’t. Substances that commonly trigger an allergic reaction include pollen, pet hair/fur, or bee venom, but it depends as everyone has an immune system that reacts differently.
Allergen is a term applied to a substance that triggers an inappropriate immune reaction. These substances–usually harmless to some– can range from food to anything in the environment. When a substance proves to be a source of an adverse reaction, then it can be an allergen for that person.
Studying how the body handles an allergy is a fascinating look at the human immune system. Normally when an allergen is detected, the immune system slowly develops sensitivity and defenses against the substance before overreacting.
Interestingly, this sensitization process may not get completed even after some months or several years. The patient may have some symptoms, but not develop an allergy. And some remain incapable of handling some allergic reactions.
Below is some information on symptoms, causes and risk factors for allergies. Take time to review them as it is said the number of people worldwide with allergies is increasing, and you could just possibly save lives with the valuable information you gain through study.
Let’s talk about the symptoms of allergies. It’s mostly different from person to person since it depends on what allergy the person has, and how severe it is. In some cases, preempting an allergic response by taking the medicine ahead of time may reduce the severity of the symptoms.
The common symptoms of food allergies are hives, fatigue, swelling, and nausea, among others. You need to see a medical professional immediately in case you develop an adverse reaction after a meal, but you’re not sure what brought it about.
Seasonal allergies are anticipated by most sufferers. For example, hay fever may seem like a spell of colds, with symptoms like irritated eyes, runny nose, and congestion. Home remedies can help to keep these symptoms in check, otherwise, see a specialist.
Allergy sufferers need to be aware of anaphylaxis. It is a severe allergic reaction that can be fatal. Anaphylaxis could be brought about by peanuts, insect stings, tree nuts, fish, milk, shellfish, and even medication. People experience throat or tongue swelling, get an itchy rash, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, vomiting, and low blood pressure. These symptoms may linger over minutes to hours.
Here are more substances that are known allergy triggers: cockroach waste (self explanatory!); allergy medicine (some people are sensitive to the dyes and additives found in the medicines); sweat (true for people with cholinergic urticaria, who react to too much heat or sweat); odor of Fish( also happens when proteins spread in the air when cooking fish); pool (considering pool water contains chlorine); post-pregnancy (it is a painful pregnancy-related skin allergy called pemphigoid gestationis); pancake mix (to be exact, not the mix but instead possible molds in very old mixes stored for too long in the shelf); wine (because of sulfites, or the compounds found in red wines and dark beers which trigger stuffy nose and itchy eyes); and tattoos.
What is the science behind an allergic reaction? The main culprit, so to speak, is a particular antibody known as immunoglobin (IgE), and it causes adverse allergic responses. Antibodies are responsible for fighting foreign and other possibly dangerous substances in our bodies. In the case that IgE is released, it homes in on the allergen to get rid of it and starts making and producing chemicals that trigger the allergic response (which are still part of the body’s plan to fight off the infection).
One of the chemicals involved in this reaction is called histamine (notice how many allergy drugs have this name in their trademark). Histamine causes the constriction of the walls of blood vessels and also the muscles in the airways too. The chemical also makes the lining of the nose make more mucus, essentially to start flushing out the allergens, like pollen for example.
Here is also some important factors that can make someone relatively more vulnerable to allergies: having a family history of asthma or allergies; being a child; having asthma; lack of sunlight exposure; and being born via Caesarian section. It is best to consult your doctor if you are experiencing allergic reactions every time you are exposed to allergy triggers so they can provide you the right allergy treatment.