More than 67 Million Americans Suffer from Allergy Symptoms, including Hay Fever. But, what is an allergy?
Normally, the immune system would only react if a harmful substance, such as bacteria, attacks the body. For people with allergies, their immune systems are working too hard and react even when relatively harmless substances, such as pollen, are present. The severity of an allergic reaction can vary from mild discomfort to life threatening situations.
Allergens can stimulate an immune response when you breathe in or touch the allergen, or by ingestion of food or beverage, or from injections of medication.
Common allergies include eczema, hives, hay fever, and asthma. You can get an allergic reactions from food, pet dander, airborne pollen, and the venom of stinging insects, such as wasps and bees. Treatments for allergies include avoidance, use of anti-histamines, steroids or other medications, and immunotherapy to desensitize the allergic response.
General Allergy Symptoms
When you have an allergic reaction there may be a combination of the following allergy symptoms:
- nasal congestion
- itchy, watery eyes
- runny nose
- itchy throat
- stomach ache
- itchy skin
How Can You Learn What Type Of Allergens Affect You?
The most common method doctors use to identify specific allergies is a skin test. By scratching the skin, or making an injection just underneath it, the doctor can observe your body’s reaction to various allergens.This skin test cannot classify all allergies, however it does cover major categories, such as common respiratory allergies, penicillin, food, and insect stings. Being aware of your allergy could prevent a future allergic reaction that could be life threatening.
The children of those with allergies have a greater chance of having allergies themselves. As a result, doctors often learn about a patient’s allergies based on family and personal medical records.
Finally, doctors find clues in the recent activities patients engage in by asking a battery of questions to gauge allergy information. For example, to determine whether your reaction is a result of food, airborne or chemical allergens, the doctor might ask, “Have you eaten anything unusual recently?”, “Have you been working or exercising vigorously outdoors?” or “Did you come into contact with anything which might have irritated your skin and eyes?” Your doctor will likely ask if you suffer from asthma, since allergies increase the risk of an asthma attack.