An allergy associates the immune system‘s response towards a foreign matter that is not typically dangerous to the body. These foreign substances are known as allergens. Allergens could include pet dander, pollen, or some foods.
Note that it is the immune system’s role to keep the body healthy by fighting dangerous pathogens. Based on the type of allergen, the response may involve sneezing, inflammation, or other symptoms.
The immune system also assists an individual in adjusting to an environment. In some individuals, the immune system may recognize pet dander to be harmless. For individuals who are allergic to dander, their immune system will recognize the pet dander as a foreign and dangerous substance.
Symptoms of An Allergy
The symptoms you are likely to experience are based on several factors, such as the allergy type and its severity. Even if you take some medications before the expected response, you could still experience symptoms. However, pre-medication with antihistamines will evoke an allergic reaction with reduced intensity.
Allergies can be classified as food, seasonal, and severe allergies. Food allergies are associated with fatigue, nausea, hives, and swelling. It may take long before you realize you have a food allergy.
Symptoms of seasonal allergies are swollen eyes, runny nose, and congestion. You can effectively manage the symptoms using over-the-counter medications. However, it is advisable to reach out to your physician. The signs and symptoms of hay fever resemble those of the cold.
Severe allergies cause anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening emergency. It is associated with loss of consciousness, light-headedness, and challenges in breathing. Should you notice these symptoms, promptly reach out to your physician for assistance.
Skin allergies may be an indication of direct exposure to allergens. An example is a tingling sensation that you experience in the throat or mouth after consuming certain foods. Notable skin allergies are contact dermatitis, eczema, rashes, burning, itching, swollen eyes, hives, and sore throat.
Treatment of Allergies
The most dependable way to prevent allergies is by keeping off the precipitating factors. If prevention is a challenge, you may consider the following treatment options.
Antihistamines are effective in managing allergy symptoms. Some of the medicines are available over the counter, while others are prescription drugs. Your physician will recommend the most suitable medication based on the severity of your symptoms.
Apart from antihistamines, other effective medications include leukotriene modifiers, decongestants, cromolyn sodium, corticosteroids, and loratadine. ClariFix treatment is also effective in managing chronic rhinitis. Singulair, a leukotriene modifier, can only be recommended when other suitable options are not available.
The caution is necessary because Singulair predisposes users to mood and behavioral changes. Individuals on these drugs have been reported to develop suicidal actions and thoughts.
Most people may prefer immunotherapy. It entails several injections over a few years to assist the body in getting used to the allergy. Successful immunotherapy has proven effective in preventing the reoccurrence of allergy symptoms.
Individuals who often experience severe allergies are advised to carry emergency epinephrine shots. The shot is vital in countering the reactions before getting appropriate medical help.
Individuals who have asthma have challenges breathing comfortably and participating in some physical activities. It is because the condition is associated with inflammation of the airways and the lungs.
Symptoms of Asthma
Symptoms of asthma are whistling, squealing, or wheezing sound as you breathe. Other symptoms that could be associated with asthma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty in talking
- Coughing during an exercise or at night
Note that not every individual will experience these symptoms. However, if you notice any of the symptoms, it is advisable to reach out to your physician promptly.
It is induced by triggers found in the work environment. Some of the triggers include rubber latex, animal proteins, industrial chemicals, gases, fumes, dyes, and dust. Note that the irritants are distributed widely in manufacturing, woodworking, textiles, and farming industries.
It is experienced within a few minutes after the onset of an exercise and may persist for 10 minutes after completing the physical activity.
In nocturnal asthma, symptoms exacerbate at night. The triggers include dust mites, pet dander, or heartburn. It can also be triggered by the natural sleep pattern of the body. Others are allergic asthma, non-allergic asthma, and aspirin-induced asthma.
Treatment of Asthma
Based on the triggers, age, and type of asthma one has, the physician may recommend the following treatment.
Quick Relief Medication
The medications are only indicated when there is an attack or exacerbation of symptoms. Bronchodilators have a fast onset of action of minutes when taken in the form of nebulizers or inhalers. They relax muscles around the airwaves to provide immediate relief so that you can breathe again.
First Aid Treatment
If you suspect that someone is experiencing an asthmatic attack, assist them to get into an upright posture, then help them use their nebulizers or inhalers. About two to six puffs of the drug are proven to relieve the symptoms.
If the symptoms persist for over 20 minutes and the second round of medication seems ineffective, call for emergency assistance. Your physician will guide you on the most suitable drug for long-term relief of asthmatic symptoms.
Long-term Treatment of Asthma
Take the drugs daily to minimize the severity of symptoms. However, they may not be so effective in managing immediate symptoms in case of an attack. The drugs include anti-cholinergic agents, anti-inflammatory agents, biologic therapy, and long-acting bronchodilators.
The technique is reserved for individuals experiencing severe asthma. It relaxes the respiratory smooth muscles by heating the airwaves within the lungs. This method is not widely applied.
The exercises ensure proper inhalation and exhalation. With time, it increases your lung capacity and alleviates symptoms associated with severe asthma. An occupational therapist or physician will guide you in the breathing exercises.
In exacerbation of asthmatic attack, it isn’t easy to breathe because the bronchial tubes are narrowed, and the airways are swollen. Symptoms associated with exacerbation include agitation, tachycardia, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and hyperventilation.
Exacerbation may resolve without medication. However, it would be best if you inform your physician. It requires trips to emergency rooms because the persistence of exacerbations impair breathing.