Allergies Causes, Symptoms And Types

Allergies Causes, Symptoms And Types

Allergies Causes, Symptoms And Types

allergies

Allergies are one of the most common medical conditions that affect the human population. An allergy is basically a chemical response of the body when it is faced with something that it mistakenly taken to be harmful. This substance may or may not be harmful but the body’s defense mechanism goes on high alert. Such allergy causing substances are called allergens and can be found everywhere in nature.

The allergen can enter the body through any of the orifices or even through just external contact. When the body starts reacting to the allergen, several chemical processes are triggered. The body releases a certain type of antibody into the bloodstream called IGE. This IGE seeks out specific large blood cells called mast cells that float around freely in the windpipes and the stomach. When the IGE fixes itself to the mast cells, the mast cells secrete various defensive substances.


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One of the substances is known as Histamine and is the main chemical involved in protection against an allergen. It is also the main reason behind manifestation of various allergy symptoms in a person. Anti allergy medication usually consists of chemicals that suppress the production and effects of histamine. This is why they are called antihistamines.  Allergies are usually easily treatable and are not very harmful. But if left untreated for a long period of time, they can even be potentially fatal.

It is essential to pinpoint the source of the allergic reaction and take conscious steps to avoid it. That is the only way a relapse of the allergy can be guarded against. Certain seasonal changes also make a person more prone to have an allergic reaction. This is why it is imperative to know the basic information about allergies like the types, causes and symptoms.


Types of Allergies

Here is list of the most common types of allergies.

Food Allergies

Allergies Causes, Symptoms And Types

food allergies

This is the most common yet most undetected type of allergy. Many people are allergic to certain foods and food groups even though they may not be aware of the fact. This is because the symptoms of food allergies may sometimes to be attributed to other underlying medical conditions. The most common culprits behind food allergies are shrimp, lobster, fish, milk, eggs, whole wheat and even honey.

Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is very often mistaken to be the common cold because of similar symptoms. This happens when the nose and the sinuses are affected due to a certain allergen. Such allergens include fungal spores, mold, dust mites and pollen. The nasal passage and the windpipe suffer from inflammation and swelling which results in symptoms like runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and coughing.

Medicinal Allergies

Certain medicines and drugs can also cause an allergic reaction in the body. Penicillin is one of the most common allergies causing drug. This is why a 24 hour test dose is always given to a patient before administering proper and full doses to see if he/she or reacts adversely to it. Drugs containing sulphur can also cause allergies.

Insect Sting Allergies

Allergies Causes, Symptoms And Types

insect sting allergies

Some people can also suffer from an allergic reaction after being stung by certain insects. Bee stings and spider bites can be the cause of an allergy because certain chemicals are released into the bloodstream through the bite or sting.

Fabric Allergies

Certain types of cloth like nylon and silk are also responsible for allergies. Some people need to be very careful about the composition of their clothes.


Causes of Allergies

The true and precise nature of allergies is not known but there are some factors that can make a person more susceptible to an allergic reaction. Here is a list of common causes of allergies.

Seasonal Changes

Spring and autumn months see the highest number of allergic reactions as compared to other times of the year. This is because natural pollution is at its highest during these months. Trees and other plants release pollen particles into the air during spring for the purpose of reproduction. Pollen is a common allergen. Trees shed leaves and there are dusty winds during autumn which can also cause allergies. Insects are also very active during these months and can bite or sting people.

Young Age

For some reason, kids are the most prone to having all sorts of allergies. This may be due to their undeveloped and weakened immune system. Some chronic allergies tend to go away on their own after a child hits puberty. Food allergies are also very common in toddlers and young children. This is why it is advised that kids should not be given eggs, cow milk and shellfish till they are at least two years old.

Chronic Asthma

Allergies Causes, Symptoms And Types

chronic asthma

Asthma can be both, the cause and the effect of an allergic reaction. People with asthma or any other respiratory problem are more at risk of having an allergy. This is because their respiratory system and lungs are already weak and damaged. Such people need to be very careful about not exposing themselves to allergens. Asthma patients are also prone to having skin problems like rashes and hives.

Hereditary Factors

Family history is a very strong factor that is responsible for a person being prone to having allergies. The genetic makeup of such people tends to be passed down from one generation to the next. The chance of you having a certain type of allergy is very high if a first degree relative also had the same problem.


Symptoms of Allergies

There are many common symptoms of allergies as listed below.

Coughing and Sneezing

Allergies Causes, Symptoms And Types

Coughing and Sneezing

Insect and seasonal allergies like allergic rhinitis can be recognized through constant bouts of coughing and sneezing. This is because the nose and throat are one of the first parts of the body to get exposed to things like dust and pollen.

Change in Bowel Movements

Food allergies can cause two opposite reactions in a person. He/she can either suffer from constipation or loose motions depending on their bodily reaction.

Rashes

Fabric and insect allergies tend to cause rashes and hives to appear on the skin. The affected areas are usually itchy and painful.

Eye Discharge

The eyes also react to allergens in different ways. You may notice either a thick, yellow discharge or a clear watery liquid that constantly runs out of the eyes.

Photo Credit: 
http://www.medicalook.com/Allergies/
http://www.pennmedicine.org/health_info/allergy/000057.html
http://healthcaretips-fact-guides.blogspot.in/2009/11/exercise-induced-asthma.html

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