What are Allergies?
Allergies are caused by the body's immune response to inhaling, ingesting, or making external contact with substances called allergens. Allergens are everyday substances like food, grass, pollen, mold, insect bites/sting, medicine, latex, pet dander, household chemicals, plants, or dust mites. They are usually harmless but may cause allergic reactions in some people.
What Happens During an Allergic Reaction?
During an allergic reaction, the body produces antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE).
Upon making the first contact with an allergen, the person who is allergic will start to produce IgE that is similar to the allergen. The reaction to the substance does not occur until the second interaction with the same allergen as the body will now be able to produce the immune response.
The interesting thing about the IgE is their specific nature. For example, a person can be allergic to one type of grass, but not another.
Is an Allergic Reaction Life-threatening?
Symptoms of an allergic reaction depend on the type and amount of allergen as well as the way that the body's immune system reacts. Immune responses can be mild or life-threatening. The life-threatening reaction is known as anaphylaxis. It happens when the airways become restricted due to inflammation. The airflow is reduced making breathing difficult. This response requires immediate medical attention.
Who is susceptible to Allergies?
Allergies can affect anyone but are more common in children. A first-time occurrence can happen at any age, or recur after many years of remission. Environmental irritants like perfume can play a role in the development of the severity of an allergy.
What Are the Symptoms of Allergies?
Itchy, watery eyes
Runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion
Skin irritation, rash, dryness, hives
Inflammation of the tongue or throat
Stomach pain, diarrhea
How Do You Find Out What You are Allergic to?
Common tests for allergies are blood tests, skin tests, and elimination diets. The best way to manage and reduce your reaction to an allergen is to reduce contact with the substance or avoid it entirely. If you are prone to anaphylaxis, you should always bring your prescribed prevention medication wherever you go. It is usually prescribed by your healthcare professional and helps to free up your airways in case of emergencies.
Home Remedies for Allergies
Saline nasal irrigation
Air filters. Consider using an air filter in your indoor environments
Bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme found in papaya and pineapple
Air conditioners and dehumidifiers
Peppermint Essential Oil
If you need help managing your allergies, do not hesitate to contact your local Holistic Health Care Practitioner.