To understand allergy you must know about the immune system. The immune system is the body's way to defend itself from viruses and bacteria. It protects us from diseases. Ironically, allergy is due to an over reaction of the immune system. The body learns to react to allergens as if they were harmful. (Or) If you have allergies you have a sensitive immune system and your body reacts to harmless substances or allergens like animal dander & dust mites. Once you are exposed to the allergen that causes a reaction the more likely you are to develop an allergy to it.
Who gets allergies & when does it occur?
If you suspect you have allergies you are not alone. An estimated 40 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. Children's Allergies are very common. Allergies also have a tendency to run in families. However, anyone regardless of age, race or gender can get allergies at anytime. Like asthma, allergies usually occur in childhood. Eczema, dry scaly patches of skin and food allergies are the most common allergies seen in children. Allergic rhinitis is more common in adolescents. Symptoms of allergic rhinitis are sneezing, nasal congestion, stuffy, itchy nose, eyes & throat.
What causes an allergic reaction?
Allergens are common substances that can trigger an allergic reaction. Common allergens or triggers are animal dander, mold, grass & tree pollen, dust mites, foods, stinging insects and some drugs.
Types of Allergic Reactions
Allergic Rhinitis - an inflammation of the mucus membranes in the nose throat, sinuses, and or ears
Differentiating between a cold and allergies can be difficult due to similar symptoms. Like symptoms are sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, watery eyes, fatigue and headache. Colds do not cause itchy, scratchy feeling in the throat or eyes. Symptoms from a cold often appear one after the other.
The best way to tell the difference between a cold and allergy is in the length and the frequency of the symptoms. Cold symptoms are known to run 7 to 10 days. Allergy symptoms can disappear after you remove exposure from the allergen.
Do you have allergies?
Ask yourself these questions:
Do you have cold/allergy symptoms seasonally/yearly?
Does your cold/allergy symptoms effect your school or workplace prodcutivity?
Do you take over the counter sinus medications regularly?
Have you taken over the counter medication for more than 3 months?
Have you experienced side effects from your over the counter medication?
Is the medication you are taking not working like it use to?
If you answer YES to any of these questions you may have allergies. Check with your physician or allergist to confirm the diagnosis in order to live a healthy normal life.
Is there a cure for allergies?
There is no cure as yet. Even though we don't have a cure for allergies, we now have the best possible tools and treatments available. With these appropriate treatment, You Can Have a Life Without Allergies, An allergist can help you...GET TESTED! GET TREATED! GET BETTER!
What are allergy tests?
Allergy tests identify allergens to which you have sensitivity. It is a simple procedure. A droplet containing the susceptive allergen is placed on a small scratch on the arm or back and your sensitivity to the susceptive allergen is measured.