Allergy - Causes, symptoms, relief & prevention

What is allergy?

An allergy is an abnormally high sensitivity to a certain substance, such as dust, pollens, foods, or drugs. Symptoms of allergies commonly include inflammation, sneezing, itching, and skin rashes.

What causes allergies?

Allergies are caused by allergic reactions that occur when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance from the outside world. These foreign substances can come from dust mite wastes, pollens, molds, and many other objects. When these foreign substances stimulate the immune system to send out antibodies, then the foreign substances are referred to as "allergens," and you will experience the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

What are the most common allergens?

The most common allergens include dust mites, molds, pollens, animal dander, cockroaches, peanuts, latex, penicillin, etc.

What are the most common allergic diseases?

The most common allergic diseases are asthma, eczema, contact dermatitis, hay fever, food allergy, etc. Allergic diseases can be classified by the type of allergen that causes them or by the part of the body that is affected.

How are allergies treated?

Allergies can be treated with medicine that alleviates symptoms or immunotherapy (allergy shots) that desensitize the patient to specific allergens with weekly shots over several years. However, the best method of treating allergies is allergen avoidance. If you're allergic to dust mites, for instance, your most effective path to wellness would be to eliminate the dust mites from your home.

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How many people are affected by allergies?

Allergic diseases affect as many as 40 to 50 million Americans. That may be because, in a recent survey, it was found that over 50% of homes in the US had at least six detectable allergens present.

Can allergies be inherited?

According to research, if one parent has an allergic disease, the estimated risk of a child to develop an allergy is 48%. The estimated risk grows to 70% if both parents have a history of allergies.

What is the allergy season?

The symptoms of some allergies are only experienced during a particular time of year. This is because certain allergens are only present in the air in a particular season. Most pollen allergies are experienced during the spring season. However, grass and weed pollen allergies are experienced during summer and ragweed and mold allergies are experienced during autumn. Some allergies can be experienced year-round, which are typically caused by indoor allergens like dust mites, mold, cockroaches, and pet dander.

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What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the lungs characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, etc. Asthma occurs often in response to a trigger such as exposure to an allergen, exercise, or emotional stress.

Can asthma be cured?

Some people stop having asthma attacks as they get older, but for most people, asthma is a chronic disease that requires treatment. The best way to treat asthma is to avoid allergens or triggers that can cause an asthma attack. Drug therapy is also advised because it is not always possible to avoid allergens. Anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce inflammation and swelling and bronchodilators to open up constricted airways.

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What kind of foods can cause allergic reactions?

The most common foods behind allergic reactions include nuts, peanuts, milk, egg, wheat, and soybean proteins. Some common food preservatives like metabisulfite and monosodium glutamate (MSG) can also cause allergic reactions. MSG is often listed on the ingredients label by another name such as glutamic acid, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, or yeast extract.

 

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