Whether it be a mild allergic reaction or a severe one, we all know that allergies can be a literal pain to deal with especially if we don’t know what is causing them. Allergies can cause us pain every day, worsen our production at work or school, and just make life more difficult than it needs to be. Allergic diseases are among the most common of health problems. Approximately 50 million Americans have asthma, hay fever, or other allergy-related conditions.
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What Causes Allergies?
Our immune systems are well equipped to fight things like viruses that get into our bodies, but sometimes the immune system will go overboard on something that is not usually harmful to us. When our body detects this foreign object, it will produce antibodies to defend itself which causes allergies to occur. Everyone's bodies are unique, and there are a whole host of different allergens that people's bodies can react to.
One may find that their allergies flare up at certain points of the year. This is due to the effects of weather on various allergens like pollen, ragweed, etc.
Types of Allergies
- Seasonal – Especially spring allergies like pollen, dust, and grasses.
- Food - Common foods include peanuts and tree nuts, dairy, shellfish, etc.
- Animal Dander
An allergic reaction can occur at any point in or on the body, but it usually occurs in places where the immune system is better equipped to fight off infection: the stomach lining, sinuses, throat, and skin. Common reactions include:
- Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever) - Allergic rhinitis is a general term used to describe the allergic reactions that take place in the nose. Symptoms may include sneezing, congestion, runny nose, and itching of the nose, the eyes and/or the roof of the mouth.
- Asthma - Asthma symptoms occur when airway muscle spasms block the flow of air to the lungs and/or the linings of the bronchial tubes become inflamed. Excess mucus may clog the airways. An asthma attack is characterized by labored or restricted breathing, a tight feeling in the chest, coughing and/or wheezing.
- Hives/Skin rashes - Atopic and contact dermatitis, eczema and hives are skin conditions that can be caused by allergens and other irritants. Often the reaction may take hours or days to develop, as in the case of poison ivy.
Anaphylaxis is a rare, potentially fatal allergic reaction that affects many parts of the body at the same time. Symptoms could include a combination of vomiting or diarrhea, a dangerous drop in blood pressure, redness of the skin and/or hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat and/or tongue, and/or loss of consciousness. At the first sign of an anaphylactic reaction, the affected person must go immediately to the closest Emergency Room or call 911.
There are many different allergy types out there and the best way to find out which allergens you are allergic to is to get tested. Although no allergy test is perfect, your doctor should be able to tell you what you are allergic to after being tested.What Am I Allergic To? I Need More Info About Allergy Testing
Allergy treatments include allergy shots and sublingual drops. Allergy shots are delivered in the office while sublingual drops can be placed under the tongue at home.Tell Me More About Allergy Treatments
If you need more info about what causes allergies or you are suffering from allergic reactions and don't know where to begin, Illinois Sinus Center can help. We will work with you closely to test for allergens and then treat them to help you start getting back to the life you deserve.Want More Info About What Causes Allergies? Schedule Today!