Whether it’s dust, pollens, or different kinds of food, many people today are susceptible to having an allergy. An allergy is a reaction of the immune system to certain types of substances, which are called allergens.
Types of allergies
Allergy varies according to the compound that causes the immunological reaction. An allergic condition also often implies reaction against a combination of several substances. Common substances causing allergy are:
- domestic dust and mites in domestic dust
- moulds and mould spores
- chemicals in soaps and cosmetics
- animal hair
- medicines like anaesthetics and antibiotics
An allergic condition may periodically get better or worse according to the concentration of the allergen in the environment. A typical example is pollen allergy with peaks in the pollination season of grass or treas.
The allergy symptoms can appear in different parts of the body:
- Skin – itchiness, reddening and swelling of affected area.
- Lungs – constriction, wheezing and difficulty in breathing, which are sometimes signs of asthma.
- Nose – swelling of the mucous membrane resulting in a runny nose and sneezing.
- Eyes – redness, itchiness and watery eyes.
- Ears – swelling, a slight pain and even temporary impairment or hearing loss.
Allergy attacks vary in symptom and degree.
Mild allergy symptoms
Mild allergy symptoms can usually be seen on a specific area and do not spread on different parts of the body. This is indicated by a rash, itchiness, watery eyes, uncontrollable sneezing, or swelling in the affected area.
Moderate allergy symptoms
Moderate symptoms include allergic reactions that spread to the entire body. This is manifested by itchiness, numbness, involuntary bowel movement or difficulty in breathing.
Severe allergic reactions
A severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. It is a dangerous emergency state where the body’s reaction to the allergen is fast, sudden and does not hit only one area of the body. This allergic symptom can begin with a persistent itching followed by abdominal pains, vomiting and hives. Dizziness or confusion may also be a symptom because anaphylaxis causes a sudden drop in the person’s blood pressure.
One can win the battle against allergies by consulting with a doctor, who will recommend appropriate steps that will help alleviate the allergy.