Your immune system fights harmful pathogens by attacking and killing them. Allergy is the immune system’s exaggerated response to certain environmental substances that are not harmful. Allergens are foreign substances such as pollen, pet dander, or drugs that can cause severe allergies.
Generally, you do not experience a reaction when your body encounters an allergen for the first time. However, on subsequent encounters, the immune system recognizes such materials and attacks them. To fight such allergens, your body prepares and releases antibodies known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) in self-defense. In addition, the symptoms of allergies majorly depend on the type and source of allergens.
Types Of Allergies
- Food allergies- A food allergy is responsible for tingling in the nose, throat, and mouth. In addition, runny nose, nasal congestion, conjunctivitis (redness and swelling of eyes), and skin inflammation are the symptoms associated with it.
- Seasonal allergies- You must have noticed that some people develop reactions such as cold, nasal congestion, running nose, or watery eyes seasonally. Such allergic reactions occur in particular seasons.
- Severe allergies- When allergies take an ugly turn, they can become life-threatening. Light-headedness, mental confusion, difficulty in breathing, and loss of consciousness are some of the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis.
Symptoms Of Allergies
Allergic rhinitis- It is also known as hay fever. It causes inflammation of living tissues of the nose, ears, sinuses, and throats. Runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, and itchy nose and throat are associated with it.
Conjunctivitis- It is the inflammation of tissues covering eyeballs. Conjunctivitis is responsible for watery and itchy eyes with swelling and redness.
Eczema- Generally, it is seen in infants. It leads to drying of the skin of the face, elbows, and knees.
Hives- They are the red raised itchy spots on the skin. They cause intense itching and swelling.
Causes Of Allergies
Researchers suggest that there is a correlation between allergies and the genetic components of a person. That means, some allergies can pass on from parents to offspring. However, not all allergies are genetic. For instance, if a father is allergic to pollen, his child doesn’t need to be too.
Following is a list of common allergens.
- Animals and animal products including pet dander, cockroaches, or dust mite waste.
- Milk and milk products such as cheese and curd.
- Drugs including sulfa drugs and penicillin.
- Stings of insects like bees, mosquitos, and wasps.
- Dust and pollen of grass, trees, and plants.
- Certain food items including nuts, shellfish, wheat, egg, etc.
- Airborne spores of molds
Common Complications Arising Due To Allergies
Anaphylaxis is a severe life-threatening allergic condition that can occur within a few minutes of exposure to the allergens. In this condition, our body produces massive amounts of chemicals causing a sudden drop in blood pressure and weakening of pulse. Anaphylaxis can also cause severe skin rashes, vomiting, dizziness, and nausea.
Allergic sinusitis is a condition in which there is an inflammation of cavities and membranes of the respiratory passage. Exposure to dust, pollen, etc. is the primary cause of it. Nasal congestion, irritability, itchy eyes, throat, and sleep problems are the main symptoms of allergic sinusitis.
You are more likely to develop asthma if you have an allergy. Wheezing, sneezing, tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath are the common signs and symptoms of allergic asthma. Allergic asthma can cause excessive face swelling, hives, mental confusion, and anxiety.
What can you do to treat Allergies?
Technically, allergy is a condition in which the immunological system attacks a foreign body that is not dangerous to your body. So, doctors generally use skin prick tests to detect the presence of an allergy. In this test, the healthcare professional pokes a needle containing potential allergen into your skin. Thereafter, the presence of skin bumps or rashes indicates an allergy. Additionally, spirometry, peak flow test, and checking lung functioning help in detecting allergies. The common signs and symptoms of allergies include nasal congestion, irritability, itchy eyes, runny nose, skin problems, and inflammation of the affected area. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs help treat allergies. It is always essential to consult a healthcare professional to resolve the issue. In addition, it helps in reducing the severity of allergic infections.
Food is a necessity for humans to stay alive. Thus, it makes it really important for us to eat the best and the right. Often, food might prove to be allergic as well. This might be because your body type is not tolerant to some food components. Several food items cause allergies in the human body. These are usually known as food sensitivities or intolerances. The human body can be sick because of the ingestion of allergic food components. When you eat something that your body has an allergy to, your immune system fights back to protect you. Thus, you should be known about any food allergy you might have.
These might cause some sort of allergy in the form of mild skin rash, or itchy eyes, or a reaction of breathlessness. Food allergies can be serious, but some precautions can be taken to manage them. One of the ways is to avoid the trigger foods. You should know your body, and the food that your body can handle, without any kind of allergy.
Food Items That Cause Allergy
Every human body is unique. Thus, no one knows exactly who might be allergic to something. Several food items can be allergic to your body. Every human body reacts differently to different food items. However, we have tried to list some common food items, people are allergic to.
Peanut allergies are most common and can cause severe reactions in the body. This allergy is one of those that pass on through generations. It is also an increasing concern in children. You may experience problems in breathing, and they could be lifelong. Even a little allergy to peanuts is a concern, and you need to consult a doctor for treatment. Further, you should avoid eating peanuts if you feel abnormal any day. You might find out the way so that the allergy should not pass away.
Tree nuts may cause allergies to many, as these nuts and seeds come directly from the trees. It is the most common food allergy, and it includes Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, pine nuts, walnuts, pistachios, and many more. You must avoid ingesting in every form until you get a treatment and get proper treatment. You might experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, breathing problems, and anaphylaxis. Avoiding the nuts might be the best way to get out of this trouble. Do not forget to consult a doctor.
Fish allergies are one of the most common food allergies, which affect up to 2% of adults. It may cause reactions leading to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and anaphylaxis in rare cases. Fish allergy is a common allergy and it can develop at any age. Even if you were eating fish in the past, you might develop an allergy now. The allergy could be with any kind of fish, not one fish in particular. Moreover, the vapors while cooking fish, or touching the fish can also be a source of allergy to some.
In babies and young children, an allergy to cow’s milk is often seen. The reason behind the cow’s milk allergy is the protein generated from it, especially at the age of six months. If the allergy is detected, then the milk and its products should be avoided. The allergy might be life-threatening and must be taken seriously. You should ask your doctor if you feel any symptoms or reactions to your body. While avoiding milk products might not be the best way to keep your children out of an allergy. Thus, getting the right treatment for them is necessary.
The most common allergic food component in the human body is egg, mostly in children. Allergy to eggs may lead to some symptoms like digestive distress, rashes or hives, respiratory problems, and anaphylaxis (rarely). Egg-free food must be consumed to get rid of such an allergy. The protein contained inside an egg, when enters your body, the body might recognize it as an opponent. And the body might try to defend the body by releasing certain chemicals. Besides, the reaction of such chemicals with the protein causes the symptoms, thus allergy from eggs.
How to get tested for Food Allergy?
A test for food allergies consists of a blood test that helps to figure out if your body is allergic to specific foods and which ones. Even if you doubt any food that causes something or any symptom, allergy testing is the way to get sure.
First of all, you have to contact an allergist. They will take a survey by asking questions about your body or the kinds of symptoms you are facing. Several times may prove to be difficult to find out the problem food, even the doctor might suggest some tests. Allergy testing is not the final or last way to find out the allergic food, but you need to be patient to get the right diagnosis.
The doctor will take a sample of your blood and skin, and expose it to different food items to find the allergic food for your body. The procedure might take a week or more, though these tests are sent to the lab. It is not possible to predict how severe a food allergy reaction may be, even after skin or blood tests.
Apart from the above five most common food items that lead to allergy in the human body, there are several other food items out there. These include banana, garlic, mustard seeds, aniseeds, kiwi fruit, peach, linseed, avocado, and many more. Thus, it depends from person to person. Therefore, it is necessary that you eat right, and always be cautious while you consume anything.