An allergy is the reaction of the body's immune system to any foreign substances entering the body. The immune system is the security guard of your body, and allergies are how it protects the body. For different people, the factors that trigger allergic reactions might be different. The immune system will react to these foreign substances mainly by developing rashes, swells, sneezes, etc.

What is an allergy?

Allergy is the immune system's reaction to the foreign substance entering the body. The foreign substance which causes or trigger allergy is known as allergens. When the immune system detects any allergens in the body, it will produce antibodies to fight the allergens. Along with the production of antibodies, inflammation, swelling, itchiness, rashes, etc., are the body's reactions to an allergen. The intensity of the allergic reactions depends on the person's immunity system and the allergens. It can be a mild reaction and a life-threatening situation depending on different factors.

What are the causes of allergies?

Allergies can be categorized into different types based on the allergens. Some of the common causes of allergies are:

  • Food: In some people, certain food like seafood, citric food, peanuts, etc., may cause an allergic reaction.
  • Bee sting: The bee's venom is an allergen that induces an allergy.
  • Animal dander: Animal bodies produce a particular protein through their sweat glands. This protein sometimes causes allergic reactions in people.
  • Pollen: Pollen grains from plants are a potential allergen that can cause serious allergies in some people.
  • Dust mites: The small organisms thriving in the dust are known as dust mites, and this organism can induce an allergic reaction if exposed to it for too long.
  • Molds: Mold is a fungus that lives in a wet and damp area.
  • Medications: Certain medicines like penicillin can cause an allergic reaction in some people.

What are the symptoms of allergies?

The symptoms of allergies vary according to the allergen you are exposed to. Some of the typical symptoms of allergies are:

  • Rashes
  • Itchiness
  • Red or watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Swelling of face
  • Wheezing
  • Flake or peel
  • In some cases, the reactions might be severe, and the symptoms can also be life-threatening:
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Lightheadedness
  • A sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weak pulse

What are the diagnostic methods for allergies?

The doctor will inquire about the symptoms of the allergies and analyze your medical history. A blood test or skin test might also be taken to confirm the cause of your allergy. Once the allergen is identified, the doctor will start with the treatment options.

What are the treatment options for allergies?

The main drugs used to reduce the symptoms are antihistamines, corticosteroids, etc. Immunotherapy is also an option in which you will be given injections or shots over a few years so that your body gets adjusted to the allergens. If you have a chronic condition of allergies, your doctor might also give you epinephrine shots to use in case of emergencies.

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