Allergies: What Are They?

If you are a US citizen, it is nothing short of a miracle to be immune to allergies, as it is rare.  Allergies rank on number 6 when it comes to causing chronic illness in the country. Every year, allergies affect over 50 million residents in America, and it would be no surprise if you are one of them.

Allergy must be a familiar word to you, but what it is? Have you ever come across this thought that why allergies happen? What causes allergies to spread, and how do they affect us?  If these questions pop-up in your mind, then spare a few minutes and find all the answers here.

What is An Allergy?

Our bodies have a strong built-in defense mechanism, i.e., our immune system which protects us from foreign invasions. However, sometimes, your guard may consider a harmless substance as an invader and react abnormally.  This invader that triggers allergic symptoms is the allergen.

When your body feels it is under attack, it retaliates by producing Immunoglobin E (Ig E) bodies. These antibodies come in contact with the cell, thereby releasing histamine and other chemicals such as leukotrienes, causing allergic symptoms.

Causes of Allergies

There is no specific answer as to why some of us develop allergies to a particular substance, and others don’t. Some allergies run in the family. It does not matter if you are in your early teens or you are an adult, allergies affect people of all ages.  However, Asthma patients and children are more vulnerable to develop allergies than others.

Some common allergens that are responsible for causing allergenic reactions include

  • Airborne allergens – pollen, dust, animal dander, and mold
  • Drug allergens – sulfur & others
  • Some food items – such as milk, soy, peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts, eggs, wheat, and fish.
  • Insect stings – such as bee or wasp stings.

Symptoms of Allergies

Allergies are so common in the US that they have become a part of daily discussion. Different allergies exhibit different symptoms, but some are so common that you might get confused. How a certain allergen reacts on your body depends on the type of allergy you are encountering. The reaction may be mild to severe.

Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever)

It is the most common type of seasonal fever that hits millions of Americans every year. Hay fever may start with a little itching on the nose or eyes.  Sneezing and coughing without rest, shedding tears and running nose are common in Hay Fever. But, do not take this lightly and see the doctor.

You must avoid unnecessary outing when the pollen count is high as it is the main cause of spreading allergies.

Food Allergies

If you are a food lover, it must be difficult for you to avoid the edibles causing you allergies. Food allergies are complexed and can occur at any time. Consuming a food item, you are allergic to may cause you a sore throat and tingle in the mouth. The reaction may swell your face, lips, and tongue.

Anaphylactic Reaction

Severe food or drug allergies lead a person to anaphylaxis –a life-threatening condition. You may feel dizziness, headache, and become unconscious. Your blood pressure may drop, and your heart may beat irregularly.

Conclusion

Allergies can be managed and controlled. All you need to do is to take precautionary measures and consult a doctor immediately if any allergenic symptom appears. Contact us and schedule an appointment with the best Immunologist at Dr. Sneeze in NYC.

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