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Allergies: Symptoms, Types, and How to Treat Them

An Allergy is caused by the response of the body's immune system to a foreign substance that is usually not harmful to the body. These external substances are referred to as allergens. Some of the common allergens include certain foods, pollen, pet dander, and pollen. Different allergens can cause a different type of Allergic reaction. Some allergens can affect the excretory tract. While other allergens may affect the skin. There are a few symptoms of allergy. Let’s have a look at some of these symptoms of allergy below:

Symptoms of Allergies

Symptoms of allergy usually develop within an hour or sometimes a few hours after exposure to allergens. Most of the symptoms are usually mild in nature and don’t disturb your daily routine, however, some allergic reactions may be severe in nature. Let’s have a look at a few of the common symptoms of allergies.

  • In the case of allergic rhinitis, the common symptoms are sneezing, itchy, or blocked nose.
  • In the case of conjunctivitis, red, itchy, and watering eyes are common symptoms.
  • Wheezing, breath problems, and cough.
  • In the case of hives, itchy and red rash which is raised is common.
  • Bulgy lips, tongue, face, or eyes.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Skin changes i.e. red, dry, and cracked in the skin.

Symptoms of Allergy

Picture 1: Symptoms of Allergy depend on the type of allergy (Picture Credit: Unsplash.com)

It is not necessary that all or most of these symptoms are present in any type of allergic reaction. Maybe only one symptom is present at a time depending on the nature of the allergic reaction and allergen.

Types of Allergies

Allergy can happen due to any reason and there are so many types of allergies to name. However, we will only list a few most common allergies here. The list of few Allergy types is given below

  • Asthma
  • Atopic eczemas
  • Drug Allergy
  • Food intolerance
  • Food Allergy
  • Rhinitis
  • Skin Allergy

Asthma

Asthma is a respiratory disorder in which the lungs’ airways become tighten due to certain allergens. These airways are necessary for normal respiratory function. During asthma, patients feel difficulty in normal breathing. Asthma is an allergic reaction due to specific allergens in the atmosphere. Three things happen when asthmatic patients come in contact with allergens

  • More mucus production in airways
  • Airways become tighten
  • Swelling in airways

Asthma is a common allergy having the following symptoms.

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Breath problem
  • Tightened chest

Coughing and breathing problems are most common in asthmatic patients. Allergic inflammation is common in the airways due to allergens. The chances of asthma attacks increase with an increase in exposure to specific allergens. Every patient doesn't experience the same symptoms. Symptoms vary depending on the kind of Allergic reactions and allergens causing it.

common symptom of Asthma

Picture 2: Cough is a common symptom of Asthma (Picture Credit: Unsplash.com)


The awareness of such allergens is essential for the patient so that the patient can avoid the exposure to them. In case of a severe reaction, see your doctor for treatment options. Doctors diagnose the allergy with some skin or blood tests.

Treatment of asthma varies depending on the allergens and severity of the reaction. Doctors may recommend relievers and preventers like Ventolin to treat the asthma attack immediately. These are inhalers, work effectively to regulate breathing, and also reduce the swelling of airways. Some preventers like Flixotide are also available in the market for the treatment of asthmatic attacks. These preventers decrease the infection of muscles and tightening of airways. Other treatment option includes Theophylline, Leukotriene, and combination inhalers.

Atopic Eczema

Eczema consists of an itchy skin rash containing small pink bumps. These bumps then further join together creating loosely defined red/pink strips. Dermatitis term also uses for this disorder when external agents cause atopic eczema.

Different factors can cause atopic eczema but the genetic disorder is the most common cause. Inherited disabilities with misplaced genes can cause this Allergic reaction on the skin. This Allergic reaction can easily aggravate with the use of soap, cold or ice, etc. Take the help of the doctor for the proper treatment. Doctors may perform a test to find out the cause of this disease and recommend treatment accordingly.

Different types of corticosteroid creams are available to reduce the itching and reduce the intensity of reddish patches. Some other non-steroid creams are also available to deal with Eczema.

Drug Allergy

In this kind of allergy, drugs promote allergic reactions. Though, most drugs go extensive testing and have no major side effects. However, occasionally, some drugs may cause a severe reaction which is termed as drug allergy. Some of the symptoms of drug allergy are as follows:

  • Swelling of throat
  • Swelling of face
  • Swelling of hands
  • Swelling of feet
  • Chest problems
  • Breath shortness
  • Rashes on skin
  • Pitting on skin

The patient should seek a doctor immediately if he noticed these symptoms after taking any drug. The patient should only use the recommended medicine to minimize the chances of drug reaction allergy. Drug allergy can be reduced by using some ointments and anti-allergy creams.

Food Allergy and Food Intolerance

A kind of allergy occurs by utilizing certain proteins, carbohydrates, or lipids due to which our body reacts immediately called food allergy.

About six percent of children are affected by food allergy. The ratio is four percent in the case of adults. Protein or other nutritious elements in food can cause food allergy. The symptoms of food allergy include severe swelling and fever.

Milk, egg, seeds, fish, tree nuts are generally food allergens. The first and most important option to prevent food allergy is to find and then avoid food allergens. Take the help of your doctor if you are unable to find the food allergen.

Rhinitis

Type of allergy in which the nose lining inflammation occurs due to specific allergens called rhinitis. Sneezing and runny nose are the common symptoms of this disorder. Some common reasons for Rhinitis exposure to pets like cats or dogs, seasonal factors like hay fever, molds, and house dust mites. The patient should avoid the allergens to protect the nasal cavity.

The best option to prevent Rhinitis is to avoid allergens. The patients can use drugs and other treatment options like Immunotherapy and surgery to treat Rhinitis.

Skin Allergy

Like other types of allergies, skin allergy is a reaction to an allergen. Some common symptoms of skin allergy include scaly, itchy skin, redness, and rashes. Skin allergens can be traced easily; avoidance is the best option to prevent skin allergy. A cool shower can soothe an itchy rash. Anti-itch creams are also available in the market to minimize the effects of skin allergy. However, it is important to ask your doctor before choosing any anti-itching cream. Drug therapy is another option to treat skin allergy.

Allergy Treatments

The treatment process is different depending on the types of allergy and allergens causing it. Though there are various treatment options available to treat the prevailing allergy, the best option is to find out the allergens and then avoid exposure to that allergen.

How Do I Avoid Allergens?

Different types of allergens can cause allergic reactions. Some of these allergens are:

  • Pollens
  • Dust
  • Micro molecules
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Fungi etc

common cause of allergy

Picture 3: Pollen is a common cause of allergy (Picture Credit: Unsplash.com)

The main path of these allergens is the respiratory path or direct contact with skin. Wearing a mask is recommended for the ingestion of these allergens. Hygienic practices like washing mouth and nose regularly and proper skin care are other steps to avoid the allergic reaction.

What Medicines I Can Take for Allergies?

Various medicines are available to minimize the effects of allergens. Some of these medicines include:

1) Nasal Corticosteroids

These are nose sprays. These sprays reduce the infection of the nasal cavity. These sprays prevent the swelling and itching of the nose. Nasal Corticosteroid is a highly recommended formula to treat nasal allergy.

2) Antihistamines

 This medicine is best to treat seasonal allergies. It prevents swelling, allergies, itching, runny nose, and sneezing.

3) Mast Cell Stabilizers

These are the nose sprays use for the swelling and itching of the nose. Effective treatment for rhinitis.

4) Decongestants

This medicine reduces the stuffiness and infection of the nose membrane. Use this medicine according to the doctor's advice because it can cause severe nose infection in case of the excess quantity.

5) Corticosteroids creams

This treatment option is used to reduce itching and infection caused by allergens. Best option to avoid the spread of allergy.

6) Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are best in dealing with an infection. It reduces the itching associated with swelling. Ask your doctor for recommended dosages.

7) Epinephrine

This medicine is used for the life-threatening infection anaphylaxis. Recommend to use immediately after diagnosing this infection.


Picture 4: Wearing a mask is helpful in dealing with air pollutants (Picture Credit: Unsplash.com)


What Immunotherapy Treatments Are Available?

There are two types of Immunotherapy treatments are available for certain patients.

  • Allergy shots
  • Sublingual therapy

An allergy shot is a process of giving injections regularly to prevent allergic reactions. This treatment option is useful for allergens like pollens, dust, and specifically for asthmatics. In Sublingual therapy, we don't use injections. In this process, we put some allergens under the tongue to increase the tolerance of specific allergy. Helpful in reducing the symptoms of certain allergies.


 

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