How You Can Manage Your Allergies
April 11, 2023
Allergies are an extremely common health condition that can be very irritating to have to deal with.
An allergic reaction can range from mild to life-threatening, and even a seemingly mild allergy can develop into a more severe issue.
The fact that allergies are so common means that there are plenty of different medications out there to treat them.
There are also different types of allergies, so if you suspect that you have an allergy, it’s important that you find out what you are allergic to.
Here’s a quick breakdown of allergies and how you can manage them.
If you have an allergy, it means that your body’s immune system has become incredibly sensitive to a certain substance, known as an allergen.
Your immune system is designed to identify and destroy a harmful substance in your body. If you have an allergy, then your immune system identifies the allergen as dangerous.
Most allergens are safe for most people; the issue is that your immune system has an inappropriate response to them.
An allergy is a type of autoimmune disorder, as the way that your body responds to the allergen is harmful to your body.
While allergies are common, and many people experience mild symptoms, they can be severe or even deadly.
The most important step to managing your allergy is to determine what you’re allergic to. You can do this by going through an allergen or sensitivity test with a doctor.
This will help you to figure out what is causing your reaction, which allows you to avoid it.
Your doctor will check the most common allergens first.
This might include certain foods that cause a reaction when you ingest them, such as peanuts or shellfish. Some people are so sensitive to foods that they can’t be near them, whether they eat them or not.
Other common allergens are environmental and can include animal dander, pollen (hayfever), insect stings, perfumes, or latex. You may also be allergic to certain medications, such as penicillin.
Some common conditions are associated with allergies and sensitivities.
For example, someone with asthma may be particularly sensitive to cat dander, dust, or perfume. The asthma attack that follows is a specific autoimmune response, much like an allergic reaction.
However, some people with asthma can also have a response to cold air or other conditions. In any case, if you have asthma, you should check for other allergies.
Another condition associated with allergies is eczema. Eczema is characterized by dry, cracked skin or a red, irritated rash with raised bumps.
It is often caused by the skin simply being dry, but it can also be caused or exacerbated by an allergen.
Hayfever is a particularly common condition where there are symptoms like itchy eyes and a runny nose caused by pollen.
If you have hay fever, then you will find that you suffer more at certain times of the year.
Your immune system can respond in a variety of ways to an allergen. This partly depends on what type of allergen you react to, as well as the severity of the allergy.
However, you should bear in mind that allergic reactions can change.
Even if you normally have mild symptoms when reacting to a substance, you may develop more severe symptoms.
Repeated exposure can make allergies worse, so the safest option is always to avoid your allergen.
The most severe allergic reaction that you can have is anaphylaxis. When you have an anaphylactic reaction, your airways swell and close up, making it impossible to breathe.
If this goes untreated, it can lead to death very quickly.
However, most people have milder reactions. If you’re allergic to something that you’ve ingested, you can experience symptoms ranging from nausea, a rash, hives, or a swollen tongue.
The latter can also be dangerous, as if your tongue swells up too much, and it can block your airways.
If the allergen is environmental, you might get a rash or experience hayfever-like symptoms, like a runny nose or watery eyes. You may also start coughing, especially if you have a condition like asthma.
If you’re allergic to something you touch, it will likely cause a rash or hives. An insect bite can cause similar reactions or the area around the bite or sting may swell.
It crucial to state that even if you have a mild reaction, you should monitor your condition and act quickly to resolve it. If you have breathing difficulties, then call emergency services and use medication to control the reaction.
The best way to treat an allergy is to avoid your allergen as much as possible. This is the safest option as you won’t feel unwell and you won’t develop a dangerous reaction. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to prevent yourself from exposure to an allergen. The good news is that there are ways to treat it.
If you have a condition that is related to your allergies, such as asthma, then you likely have specialized medication that will relieve your symptoms and improve your condition. We can often treat Eczema with certain creams and moisturizers.
We can relieve most allergic reactions with over-the-counter medications called antihistamines that suppress your immediate immune system.
In more severe cases, doctors will use steroids for treatment.
If someone is having an extremely severe reaction, like an anaphylactic shock, then you will need to use something like an EpiPen to manage allergic reactions. And if you need to use an Epipen or similar emergency treatment, then you should still seek medical attention in case you need another shot.
If you have severe allergic reactions, then it’s important to keep an epipen on you at all times where you or someone else can access it.
This can save your life if you are exposed to your allergen. Yes, it’s expensive to replenish your medication, but it’s important not to delay when using it.
This way, you can enjoy a full and safe life even with your allergies. Contact us if you have any questions about your allergy needs.
Editing by AskAwayHealth Team
All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practicing Medical Practitioners on various healthcare conditions to help promote quality healthcare. The advice in our material is not meant to replace a qualified healthcare practitioner’s management of your specific condition.
To discuss your condition, please get in touch with a health practitioner or reach us directly
Image Credits: Canva
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