What are Allergies?

Allergies are an overreaction by your immune system to a substance or food that is not considered harmful to most other people. Substances that cause allergies are called allergens or “triggers”.

What are the Symptoms of Allergies?

Allergy symptoms, which depend on the substance involved, can affect your airways, sinuses and nasal passages, skin, and digestive system. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe. In some severe cases, allergies can trigger a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.

Allergy symptoms, which depend on the substance involved, can affect your airways, sinuses and nasal passages, skin, and digestive system. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe. In some severe cases, allergies can trigger a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.

Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, can cause:

  • * Sneezing
  • * Itching of the nose, eyes or roof of the mouth
  • * Runny, stuffy nose
  • * Watery, red or swollen eyes (conjunctivitis)

A food allergy can cause:

  • * Tingling in the mouth
  • * Swelling of the lips, tongue, face or throat
  • * Hives
  • * Anaphylaxis

An insect sting allergy can cause:

  • * A large area of swelling (edema) at the sting site
  • * Itching or hives all over the body
  • * Cough, chest tightness, wheezing or shortness of breath
  • * Anaphylaxis

A drug allergy can cause:

  • * Hives
  • * Itchy skin
  • * Rash
  • * Facial swelling
  • * Wheezing
  • * Anaphylaxis

Atopic dermatitis, an allergic skin condition also called eczema, can cause skin to:

  • * Itch
  • * Redden
  • * Flake or peel

Anaphylaxis

Some types of allergies, including allergies to foods and insect stings, can trigger a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis. A life-threatening medical emergency, anaphylaxis can cause you to go into shock. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • * Loss of consciousness
  • * A drop in blood pressure
  • * Severe shortness of breath
  • * Skin rash
  • * Lightheadedness
  • * A rapid, weak pulse
  • * Nausea and vomiting

What Causes Allergies?

An allergy starts when your immune system mistakes a normally harmless substance for a dangerous invader. The immune system then produces antibodies that remain on the alert for that particular allergen. When you’re exposed to the allergen again, these antibodies can release a number of immune system chemicals, such as histamine, that cause allergy symptoms.

The most common allergens are:

  • * Airborne allergens, such as pollen, animal dander, dust mites and mold
  • * Certain foods, particularly peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, eggs and milk
  • * Insect stings, such as from a bee or wasp
  • * Medications, particularly penicillin or penicillin-based antibiotics
  • * Latex or other substances you touch, which can cause allergic skin reactions

An allergen for one person may not cause any problems in another person. There is a link between allergy and asthma.

Risk Factors of Allergies

You might be more likely to develop an allergy if you:

  • * Have a family history of asthma or allergies, such as hay fever, hives or eczema
  • * Are a child
  • * Have asthma or another allergic condition

When Should I See a Doctor for my Allergies?

Many allergies can be effectively treated with over-the-counter medications. See your doctor if you have persistent allergies that are interfering with your day to day life if you have severe reactions, or over the counter, remedies are not effective.
People who develop anaphylaxis should always carry an epinephrine auto-injector 24 hours a day and know how to use it. People should also visit the emergency department after using the auto-injector to ensure symptoms don’t return when the effects of the injection wear off.

How Are Allergies Treatment?

Treatment depends on what is the most troublesome or predominant symptom. Treatments may include:

  • * Antihistamines (oral, nasal, topical)
  • * Corticosteroids (oral, nasal, topical)
  • * Decongestants (oral, nasal)
  • * Saline nasal rinses
  • * Immunotherapy.

People with known allergies should try and avoid known triggers and wear a medical alert bracelet (or necklace) that lets others know that you have a serious allergy in case you have a reaction and you’re unable to communicate.

List of medications for allergies (Best medicine for allergies)

Allergy Medicine Allegra (Fexofenadine)

* Allergy Medicine Zyrtec (Cetrizine)

* Allergy Medicine Claritin (Loratadine)

* Allergy Medicine Clarinex (Desloratadine)

* Allergy Medicine Xyzal (Levocetirizine)