Have you ever experienced itchy watery eyes? A stuffy nose? A rash? Trouble breathing? Have you been able to pinpoint what is causing these symptoms? If you haven’t, allergies may be to blame.
Allergies are a number of conditions that occur due to the immune system being hypersensitive to something in the environment. The body releases the chemical to counter the effect of the allergen which is what causes allergy symptoms. Allergies are a nuisance but can be managed effectively with proper treatment and limiting exposure to triggers.
Most Common Allergies
Allergies can be triggered by many different types of allergens which include certain foods, airborne particles, certain materials, insect stings and medications. Often these allergies are not a serious health issue but can cause annoying and bothersome symptoms.
Common Causes of Allergies
- Pet dander
- Insect Stings
Getting a Diagnosis
If you suspect that you have allergies keep a diary of what your symptoms are and when they occur. Keeping this diary can help you and your doctor to pinpoint what the allergen may be and how to treat it. When you visit your doctor he or she may perform a skin or blood test to determine if you have an allergy.
Common Symptoms of Allergies
- Watery eyes
- Stuffy nose
- Itchy eyes
- Sore throat
- Peeling skin
Some people have severe allergic reactions which cause more intense symptoms. Severe allergic reactions may be caused by bee stings, food allergies and more. This severe reaction can be life threatening and is known as anaphylaxis. It includes serious symptoms including shortness of breath, nausea, body rash, drop in blood pressure and loss of consciousness. In cases of severe allergic reactions immediate medical attention is required. People who suffer from life threatening allergies will often carry a medication auto-injector to ensure that they get the medication that they need in a timely matter.
The easiest and most affordable way to treat an allergy is to avoid or minimize exposure to the allergen. If you are allergic to a certain type of metal wear a substitute or if you are allergic to a certain type of food remove it from your diet. If you cannot completely avoid contact with the allergen you can try to minimize it. If you are allergic to dust or certain airborne particles found in the home you can invest in an air purification system which will keep the air more clean. Being diligent about cleaning your home including vacuuming regularly and dusting can also limit the amount of exposure you have to an allergen.
Medications are another common treatment option which may be prescribed or available over the counter. These medications come in many different forms including oral medications, nasal drops and eye drops. Allergy shots which help to boost the immune system may minimize the severity and duration of symptoms.
When a severe allergic reaction occurs it is crucial to receive the right medication immediately. If you doctor determines that you do have severe allergies they will equip you with an emergency shot that can help to treat symptoms until medical treatment is received.
Your allergies can be managed effectively if you follow the doctor’s treatment plan, keep your immune system healthy and do your best to avoid or limit exposure to triggers.