Allergies can be a considerable nuisance to those who suffer from them, and the symptoms can be debilitating and recurrent. An allergy, by definition, is a hypersensitive reaction developed by the body to one or multiple substances. For example, pollen, mold, pet dander, insect stings, medications, and certain foods can cause an overreactive immune response. The immune response is initiated through an antibody called immunoglobulin E or IgE. The body develops IgE in response to specific allergens. When the allergen is consumed or comes into contact with the body, the antibody, IgE, is released, causing symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Allergic reactions can vary from a minimal response, such as watery eyes, runny nose, or rash to a significant anaphylactic reaction. Anaphylaxis is evidenced by mouth and throat swelling, which can cause difficulty breathing, and in severe cases when left untreated, death. When diagnosing allergies, the physician will conduct a physical exam, discuss past medical and family history, and finally, conduct an allergy test. There are a variety of ways to conduct allergy testing, but the most prevalent method is called a skin test. When participating in a skin test, allergens will be placed on the skin, and then the area is scratched, which will push the allergen underneath the skin. A reaction will develop within a few minutes to determine if an allergy is present.
After proper diagnosis, treatment options can be discussed with your physician. There are a variety of allergy medications ranging from inhalers, nasal sprays, pills, and eye drops. Allergy shots can also be utilized as a treatment option. The shots inject a small amount of the allergen into the fatty layer of your skin to slowly build up immunity to the allergen. Other ways to reduce allergy symptoms include minimizing the use of rugs and carpet, vacuuming regularly, washing bedding and pillows frequently, and finally, being aware of high allergen seasons.
Speak with a physician today at SHifa4U to discuss allergy testing or allergy treatment options available to you. Tomorrow, stay tuned to address a common allergy response and how to treat it naturally.