Different Types of Allergies and Their Management

What is Allergy?

Allergy is the most commonly occurring chronic medical condition seen in today’s population. An Allergy is an immune response of the body to the foreign substance or the allergen (in medical terms). The allergen can be anything including dust, food, or pollen or even pet dander.

How Does An Allergic Reaction Occur?

The immune system of the body plays a role in protecting it from any foreign substances, which if it senses any leads to an allergic reaction. It overreacts to the allergen by producing IgE antibodies, which travel to the cells producing histamine and causing an allergic reaction.

What are the Different Types of Allergies?

Respiratory Allergies

Respiratory allergies occur when the immune system reacts to airborne substances, such as dust. Respiratory allergies also occur when there is sudden change of temperature. A respiratory passage such as nose, sinuses, bronchial tubes and lungs are affected during this respiratory allergic reaction. Some common types of respiratory allergies are:

Allergic Rhinitis. This is the most common respiratory allergy and commonly starts occurring at an early age of 2 years. The patients suffering from allergic rhinitis experience symptoms, such as congestion of the nasal passages, runny nose sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, frequent headache and often eczema like symptoms.

Allergic Sinusitis. In this respiratory allergic reaction, the tissue lining of the sinuses gets inflamed and swelled up. The symptoms of most of the respiratory allergies are same such as a cough and congestion, stuffy nose, facial pain, and nasal discharge. Other symptoms of allergic sinusitis would be fever, bad breath, fatigue and pain in teeth.

Asthma. Asthma is a form of respiratory allergy where there is inflammation of the lungs, airway and the constriction of the bronchial tubes. The trigger factors of asthma are the same as allergic rhinitis. The symptoms of asthma are. wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in chest and excessive cough.

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis. Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis is a rare respiratory allergy condition affecting the lungs. In hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, the interstitium of the lungs get affected, making it hard for the lungs to function properly. If not treated, hypersensitivity pneumonitis can lead to irreversible lung scarring, impairing its functioning. The symptoms of hypersensitivity pneumonitis include. fever, chills, muscular and joint pains, rales, weight loss, shortness of breath, fibrosis of lungs and clubbing of finger and toes.

Skin Allergies

Skin allergies are the most annoying and bothersome type of allergy. During a skin allergic reaction, the immune system sees a foreign substance and reacts developing a skin rash. Different skin allergies are contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, urticaria or hives.

Contact Dermatitis. This skin allergic condition is characterized by itchy rashes. Contact dermatitis is found occurring more commonly in adults than in children. Contact dermatitis occurs when the person comes in contact with the allergen such as animal fur, soap etc.

Atopic Dermatitis. Atopic Dermatitis is a long lasting chronic condition characterized by red and an itchy skin. A family history of eczema raises the risk of developing Atopic Dermatitis. And the children who suffer from eczema have an increased risk of developing other allergies, such as allergic rhinitis and even food allergies in later life. The presenting symptoms of this Atopic Dermatitis are. red and swollen rash, ooze from the rash, discoloration of skin in chronic rashes and dry and an itchy skin.

Hives or Urticaria. Hives are the large itchy bumps, which occur on the skin after an allergic reaction from the various factors such as food, drugs, temperature and even after stress. Hives are itchy and are not painful and can last for months to years. Hives appear most commonly on the arms, legs, and trunk.

Food Allergies

An abnormal immune reaction triggered by certain food item is known as a food allergy. For example, if the body recognizes dairy substance for some foreign particle, it launches histamine as a protective measure. This leads to inflammation, which is the resulting food allergy. Even a slight exposure might lead to an exaggerated reaction.

The symptoms of food allergies include. difficult respiration, low blood pressure, diarrhea, vomiting, hives, and swelling of tongue, mouth and face. The food allergy symptoms appear very quickly from 5 minutes of the food intake to half-an-hour. Sometimes the food intolerance is mistaken for food allergies.

Drug Allergies

Abnormal reaction of the immune system to some drugs calls are termed as drug allergies. Any kind of drugs, such as over the counter medications; and even herbal remedies can lead to a drug allergy. The symptoms of drug allergies are fever, rash or hives. The drug allergy symptoms can sometimes lead to life-threatening conditions.

Drug allergy differs from the side effects of the drugs. Both of these conditions should not be confused with each other.

What Are The Symptoms Of An Allergy or Allergic Reaction?

Various symptoms which show up during an allergic reaction or a person suffering from an allergy are. rashes, eczema, swelling, hives, itching, a sore throat and contact dermatitis.

Allergy Management. How to Manage an Allergic Reaction?

Allergy can be a cause of great discomfort. It is very important to find the best-suited treatment or any change in the lifestyle which can prevent an allergic reaction.

Antihistamines for Managing Allergies. Antihistamines give relief in most of the symptoms of allergy, such as runny nose, itching, hives, and sneezing. Antihistamines are greatly used in allergy management. However, giving relief from the symptoms of allergy, antihistamine drugs leave the patient feeling sleepy, dozed and drowsy.

Manage Your Allergy with Decongestants. Decongestants are the medicines, which provide relief from congestion, stuffy and blocked nose. The decongestants are capable of providing relief in short-term allergy and make a person feel better. Decongestant medications bear certain side effects and a doctor’s advice should be taken before using the for allergy management. Regular use of decongestants can lead to irreparable damage to the lining of the nose, which is why they should not be used frequently.

Allergy Shots to Manage Allergy. Allergy shots reduce the sensitivity to the trigger which leads to allergy. Allergy shots prove to be effective in treating seasonal allergies. Allergy shots involve injecting an increased amount of allergen over a regular interval. Allergies can also be prevented by avoiding the trigger substance. But if the trigger is seasonal, the above management techniques come in the help.

There are various are natural remedies, which vouch for completely treating the allergy. As natural or herbal remedies do not bear any side effects, they can be tried under professional guidance for a better result of allergy management.

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