In the United States, statistics indicate approximately 20% of the population exhibit signs of allergies. Of this amount, about 50% have eye allergies or allergic conjunctivitis, a condition that affects millions of Americans. Like a few other kinds of allergies, eye allergies rarely stand alone. They are often associated with such conditions as hay fever and dermatitis.
This may make them appear to be a seasonal problem. It can also result in confusion, as the overlapping symptoms seem to indicate a different specific health problem. On your own, you may simply treat your hay fever and ignore any signs of another allergy – one that affects your eyes.
It does not help that the causal factors for eye allergies are similar to those found in hay fever and asthma. You can also simply have irritated eyes. These may result from coming into contact with an environmental irritant. This material could be in your cosmetics or cleaning products. Other medical conditions such as pink eye can produce symptoms similar to those of eye allergies.
However, it is not bacteria or irritants per se (though some individuals are allergic to such things as cigarette smoke and diesel exhaust) that causes allergic conjunctivitis. Eye allergies result from the exposure of your eye to substances that create an inappropriate response of your autoimmune system. The material that set off your reaction tends to be such things as mold spores, pet dander or pollen.
If you have eye allergies, your eyes will react in any of several ways. All will affect the eye and, therefore, your ability to see clearly. The five most common signs of eye allergies are:
If you suffer from any of these signs or symptoms, you may have an eye allergy. Before you undertake self-medication to treatment, talk to your doctor. If you do not consult a specialist, you may actually aggravate the condition rather than ease it.
Every year, 40 deaths in the United States result from insect stings. This is the result of an allergic reaction to certain insects. Overall, estimates conclude that insect allergies affect around 5% of the American population. While this is a small percentage of the total, it nonetheless is a concern. While few people do not have some sort of physical response to the actions of an insect, some do. The question is, how do you differentiate between a normal and allergic response?
Everyone has been bitten or stung. In our daily lives, even in urban areas, it is hard to escape. The most common suspects are the usual ones:
No matter who you are, your body will react to the injection of the insect’s venom. This confuses the matter. However, while many of the symptoms are similar, the extent of them may help differentiate between normal and allergic reactions.
A normal reaction tends to consist of pain and swelling. There may also be redness. However, it is usually confined to a specific area – the actual site of the bite or sting. What is also notably shorter and less severe than an allergic reaction is the duration. If you are not allergic to the insect’s venom, you will be itchy and sore briefly. The symptoms may disappear within minutes or even hours. At most, the site will be itchy for a day or two but not noticeably so.
However, allergic reactions do not adopt the same pattern. You experience redness and swelling, but the extent and duration differ substantially. It will depend upon the specific type of allergic reaction you have. It may fall into one of two categories.
If not addressed immediately, you may sink into unconsciousness or go into cardiac arrest or anaphylactic shock.These symptoms and the result make allergic reactions very different from those of the average person. If you feel you are at risk, talk to your doctor and consult a specialist.
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