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What does allergies mean?

Allergies also called an allergic reaction, allergic disease or simple allergy is the response of the human body to potentially harmful substances. This response is usually triggered by the immune system which tries to protect the body from the substances it thinks are harmful to the body. Substances that cause the body to induce an allergic reaction are known as allergens. This reaction can be triggered by many different substances ranging from pollen from plants to everyday foods. Bodies of different people have a different reaction to allergies so causes and symptoms vary from patient to patient.

What are some common allergens?

There are all sort of things that can act as an allergen ranging from everyday food to medications. Listed below are some of the common allergens.

Common foods that cause allergic reactions

  • Cow’s milk (also known as lactose intolerance)
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Peanuts (the most common cause of allergic reaction in the US)
  • Meats (meat type differs from patient to patient)

Researchers have argued that processed food and genetically modified crops are the main reason behind the allergies from food. Excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers is also considered to be a cause.

Medicines as allergens

There are all sorts of medications to which people can develop an allergic reaction. Around 10% of the patients who are administered penicillin are allergic to it. On the other hand, there have been cases where people have suffered an allergic reaction from everyday medications such as aspirin and paracetamol. While patients also suffer from allergic reactions caused by opioids and benzodiazepines. Usually, the risk of an allergic reaction can be decreased by checking a patient’s complete medical history and a test dose before starting any medication.

Allergies caused by plants

Many different plants can cause severe problems for some people. The most common problem that plants cause is for asthma patients who suffer from severe pollen allergy. Pollen allergy has proven to be deadly for many patients and asthma patients usually take extra care during the pollen season. Apart from pollen allergic reactions can be caused by just touching some plants as they have certain toxins on their leaves, in this regard poison ivy is the most famous.

How to prevent allergies?

There is no sure shot method for the proper prevention of allergies. There are many different techniques that different doctors use, some work some don’t. One of the most common is exposing children to smaller amounts of allergens early in their childhood. Over time their bodies get used to the allergens and the risk of an allergic reaction is considerably decreased. Just try to be careful and consult a doctor before trying anything.

How are allergies treated?

Treatment of allergies can be as simple as taking one single pill or it can be complicated and long with procedures such as immunotherapy. Yet there is no guarantee of fully treating an allergy, it is just suppressed for a certain time, sometimes a few days up to a few years. Many patients who are unable to get proper treatment from their allergies are afraid to go out and as a result, suffer from depression and other mental illnesses.

Allergy treatment with medicine

Not all allergies are treatable with medicine. Yet some allergies such as pollen allergies can be treated with proper medication. In actuality the medications don’t cure the allergy, they just suppress the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Please consult your health specialist before consuming any medication. In case a patient suffers from regular allergic reactions, they should keep their medication around for emergencies.

What are symptoms for allergies?

Symptoms differ from one allergy to another and many other factors. Yet there are some common symptoms in different allergies that can help in identifying an allergic reaction.

Symptoms of food allergy

Patients with food allergies usually suffer from nausea, fatigue, hives, swelling (usually lips and tongue), or swollen eyes. If a patient suffers from an allergic reaction triggered by cooked food that contains multiple ingredients and the allergy-causing ingredient is not known, seek medical help as soon as possible.

Symptoms of skin allergy

Skin allergies can be caused by many different things such as soap, makeup, lotions, creams, and even makeup. Patients can suffer from rashes, hives, eczema, dermatitis, burning sensation, swollen eyes, itching, and sore throat.