What Is Allergy?

What Is Allergy?

Allergy is a very common condition caused when our immune system is hypersensitive towards the harmless substances present in the surrounding environment.  It can cause mild to severe reactions in our body when a person came in contact with an allergic substance. Sometimes allergies can be life-threatening. Susceptibility and severity vary from person to person.

Incidences of allergic diseases are increasing day by day.  Adult s are more affected by allergies than children. Due to anaphylaxis, a fatal outcome, less than five people in Hungary, 44 people in Japan, and 500 people died in China and the USA.

Common symptoms of allergy are rashes, shortness of breath, redness of eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and swelling on the body. We can inhale and digest allergen. Common examples of allergies are food allergies, pollen allergies, insect stings, and allergies resulting from medications.

The simple method of diagnosis is through family history and occurrence time. There is a possibility of developing an allergy at any time in your life. You can develop an allergy without any previous history.

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Now have a look at what happens when you came in contact with an allergen.  The immune system is a protective mechanism in the human body. It works to protect the human body from the foreign invaders that can be microbes and any harmful substance.

When a person inhales pollen, the immune system detects it as a danger and overreacts to protect us. It produces antibodies against it. The specific type of antibody is IgE, which produces an allergic reaction. This IgE antibody binds with the foreign particle and sends signals to the mast cell of our body. These mast cells produce inflammatory chemicals known as histamines.  Histamine produces inflammation and itching in the body.

The immune system is very specific in its action of detection. It will only act hypersensitive towards a particular type of allergen. People from every age group, gender, and socioeconomic status suffer from different types of allergies.

Some diseases are related to allergies. One is hay fever in which a person is detected with an allergic reaction in response to a substance present in the environment. Inflammation of nose is a primary symptom of hay fever.

Allergic asthma is a disease in which a person suffers from shortness of breath, and it is harder to breathe. In allergic dermatitis, there is redness, swelling, and itching on the skin due to inflammation reactions in response to allergens.

The most fatal and life-threatening disorder associated with an allergy is anaphylaxis. It has a rapid onset and severe nature. Common symptoms are shortness of breath, vomiting, swelling of the throat, very low blood pressure, skin reactions, and faintness. It is the most severe form of allergic reaction leading towards the death of the affected individual.

Food poising and food intolerance are not part of allergic reactions. Eight food items mainly contribute to allergy-causing reactions. These are eggs, peanut, milk, tree nuts, soy, fish, shellfish, and wheat.  About 150 people die per year due to food allergies.

For the treatment of allergy, a person should know about the possible threats associated with any item. He should have an idea of what type of allergy he is going through. Avoiding the potential terror and contact with the allergen is the most suitable option.

In severe cases, immunotherapy is recommended. In this therapy, a person is made repeatedly come in contact with the potential allergen, so his immune system gets adaptive and not overreacts. However, immunotherapy is only appreciated for hay fever and insect stings. Its use for food allergy is still unclear.

Until Next Time,

Team Doctor ASKY!


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