Allergy symptoms

Having allergies can be anything from mildly annoying to very inconveniencing to even life threatening. Some allergies are to foods, others to animals or to flowers. Some occur only during spring when the pollen is high and many different plants are blooming. Some are reactions to chemicals or other particles. Truly, just about anything can trigger an allergy. Some are common things like mold, dust, dander, and insect stings. Others are less common, such as allergies to odd foods like parsley or drugs like aspirin.

There are many, many different symptoms that allergies can trigger. Some of them are very mild while others can be very severe. A mild allergic reaction may only cause annoying things like watery or itchy eyes, a rash, or congestion. Often, these mild reactions do not spread to any other parts of the body. For example, if you touch something that you are allergic to, the rash generally only appears on the area of your body that came into contact with that item.

With a moderate reaction, you’ll experience more severe symptoms. These symptoms may spread to other parts of your body and can include difficulty breathing and itchiness. Poison ivy is an example of an allergic reaction that spreads across your body. Other types of allergies that often produce modern reactions include allergic reactions that cause asthma. If you breathe in something that you are allergic to, it often quickly spreads into your lungs and makes you cough and wheeze until you use an inhaler.

Then there are the several allergy symptoms. These symptoms, which are known as anaphylaxis, are a very rare yet life-threatening condition in which the body suddenly and violently reacts to an allergen. This reaction affects the entire body at once, and it can be very severe. Often, the only warning you get is a sudden itching of the eyes. Within just a few minutes, you may experience vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, abdominal pain, swelling in any area of your body, including your throat, dizziness, or mental confusion. If the swelling occurs suddenly in or around your throat, you may find it very difficult to breathe. In fact, this is often fatal if medical attention does not occur soon.

There are several common things that cause anaphylaxis. Some food that triggers these deadly reactions includes shellfish, nuts, sesame seeds, and dairy products. Sometimes, a reaction will not occur until you exercise after eating one of these foods. Other causes are certain insect stings such as those by a bee or a wasp. Some medication such as penicillin or substances like latex can also cause reactions that are very similar to anaphylaxis, although they are not caused by the same thing. Thankfully, most inhaled allergens like pollen or mold very, very rarely cause anaphylaxis.

There is no real cure for anaphylaxis and, in fact, there is only one really effective treatment. That is an injection of epinephrine. This adrenaline rapidly spreads through the body and reverses most of the severe symptoms of anaphylaxis. Once a person has been stabilized, they are often given steroids and antihistamines to help further control and reduce the symptoms.

While there is no real cure for allergies, there are ways of treating and dealing with them. Some of these are simple over-the-counter medications like antihistamines and decongestants. They can handle basic allergies and provide relief for thousands of sufferers every year. Then there are the more powerful prescription medications. Many of these are high-powered versions of the over-the-counter medications, and they’re often required to handle more severe allergies. Some people need to get allergy shots every few months. One example of this is those who want to have pets but are allergic to pet dander.

Last updated on Feb 20th, 2010 and filed under Immune System. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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