Allergies refer to the immune reaction initiated by the body against substances to which most of the people don’t. Among those substances are bee sting, shellfish, pollen, dander.
Clinical features depend upon the type of substance that triggered the immune system ranging from mild to aggressive. If severity increase it can lead to life threatening emergency called anaphylaxis.
- It affects nasal sinuses and passages.
- Hay fever; presents as sneezing, runny and stuff nose, itchy nose and mouth, watery and swollen red eyes leading to conjunctivitis.
- Food allergy; presents as swollen face, lips and throat, tingling sensation in mouth, hives and anaphylactic reaction.
- Atopic dermatitis; presents as eczema. It involves skin causing it to get scaling, redden and itchy.
Symptoms arises when immune system of the body mistakes a harmless substance as dangerous antigen. Most common causes are;
- Airborne antigens like pollens etc.
- Latex and other substances that sensitize skin.
- Insect stings.
- Medications like penicillin, and certain foods.
Allergies increase the probability of any person to have various other medical issues like
- Anaphylaxis a severe complication of allergy which can leads to shock presents as unconsciousness, skin rash, shortness of breath etc.
- Asthmatic condition.
- Detailed medical and allergy history.
- General physical examination.
- Skin test to check for possible allergy from a substance
- Blood test to check for the antibodies in the blood for a particular antigen.
- To avoid allergens as much as possible.
- Take anti-allergic medication as prescribed in any form like eye drops, nasal spray etc.
- In cases when patient has severe allergic reaction epinephrine shots (Auvi-Q, EpiPen, others) is given.
- In order to improve symptoms of hay fever or sinusitis saline nasal irrigation is good to do.
- To reduce the exposure to allergens, take precautions at home by avoiding contact with pets and do deep vacuum cleaning with special filters.