Looking For A Challenge? Ever wonder what are the most challenging places for allergy sufferers to live? The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America wondered that too. So they’ve been researching and publishing a yearly report. Each spring and fall, they gather information based on 3 factors. They check the pollen scores, the number of allergy medications used and the number of allergy specialists per patient. Their report lists the top 100 places an allergy sufferer would find the most challenging. That’s just a polite way of saying the 100 worst places to live with allergies. Looks like Texas tops the list. They have 7 cities in the top 70. Austin is number 1 with a score of 100. This is one time a score of 100 and the number 1 spot isn’t a good thing. San Antonio isn’t far behind Austin with a score of 98.75. That puts it in second place. Third place is claimed by Oklahoma City, OK. They get a score of 96.25. But it’s not all bad in Oklahoma. Tulsa with a score of 83.00 is the only other city to make the list. Florida has 11 cities in the top 100, with Lakeland leading the way with a score of 93.75. Orlando is right below them with a 93.20. Los Angeles isn’t far down the list. It ranked 11th, scoring 82.75. And our nations capital ranked 70th with a score of 51.45. Seattle, WA. finishes the list with a nice low score of 25.45.
How Symptoms Of Allergies Manifest Themselves When You Have A Reaction Having an allergic reaction to a substance, whether it’s food, or pollen, or whatever material your body is reacting to, it can be mild and just plain annoying at best, and life-threatening at the very worst. Should you be affected by any specific allergies, you will likely find out because of several symptoms. But sometimes you can confuse other symptoms for just some common diseases like colds. There are some distinctions though, between allergy symptoms and other diseases. Subtle differences in conditions could let you identify if what you’re having is just a simple case of the colds or an asthma attack or if it’s really allergies. Between Colds And Allergies The cold is probably the first thing you’d blame if you don’t suspect that the sneezing, having a runny nose and being teary-eyed is caused by an allergic reaction to a substance. But this is easy enough to identify, since colds occur mainly during the colder months of the year. You should also check if you have allergic rhinitis, which would manifest itself in ways quite similar to colds. Some other allergies caused by airborne particles that your body is allergic to can cause asthma-like reactions, like coughing, wheezing, and having trouble breathing because the air tract is clogged up significantly. What you can do to distinguish between colds and allergies At some point you’ll be able to notice an underlying trend when it comes to the occasions in which symptoms occur. Then you’ll be able to test out your suspicions, and consult an allergist to confirm if you’re indeed allergic to a given substance. The allergist can conduct tests on you so that you’ll be able to confirm with your doctor what substances you’re allergic to. Once you’ve nailed it down, you’ll be able to get some firm advice on what to do to prevent or treat your allergies with, whether it’s antihistamines of some other form of treatment like immunotherapy for allergies. Avoidance Is Key No matter what the treatment being prescribed is, you’ll always be able to prevent occurrences of allergy attacks if you avoid the allergen material as much as possible. For example, in food allergies, if you’re allergic to shellfish or shrimp, it would be wise to steer clear of any dishes that contain this as an ingredient. No matter what you do, if you aren’t exposed to allergy-causing media, then you won’t have an allergic reaction. If you still are having allergy symptoms, then check again with your doctor, you might have other materials that you’re allergic to. You’ll probably have to have additional tests done, but still it’s better than having no idea what other materials you’re allergic to. There are some other treatment options when it comes to allergies, such as having shots for immunotherapy. In this scenario a doctor will give the patient a minute quantity of the allergen in question so that exposure is controlled and the subject’s immune system can slowly work its way around the allergen and develop immunity, reducing or totally eliminating allergic reactions to the substance. This procedure is spread out over a period of time, but the results are worth it when you think about not having to sneeze or cough or have any other unpleasant effects of being exposed to allergens.
Allergic To Food? Food allergies are the most common and prevalent type of allergy. Up to 12 million Americans suffer from some type of food allergy. The most common culprits are eggs, fish and shellfish, peanuts and other tree nuts. Children are most commonly allergic to the same foods but with the addition to milk and other dairy products. Corn and corn products also commonly cause allergic reactions in children. Most allergic symptoms are often only bothersome, but they can be life threatening. The most common symptoms are itching of the mouth, eyes and skin, hives, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, often but not always accompanied by stomach cramps and wheezing, shortness of breath or trouble swallowing. The more severe symptoms can include swelling. The swelling tends to focus on the face area causing swelling of the eyelids, lips, ears and tongue. Mood swings and depression is another symptom. The most severe symptoms can result in death. Around 200 deaths each year are reported from both the initial allergic reaction and secondary complications. There is currently no cure for food allergies. While allergy shots have been developed to help with many different types of allergies, none have been successfully made for food allergies. The people with the allergies usually avoid those foods that cause the allergic reaction. Epinephrine can relieve the symptoms, and is often carried by people diagnosed with food allergies to be used in an emergency. Some scientists believe genetic engineering may create vaccines, but that’s still years away.
The Most Common Food Allergies * Milk * Being allergic to cow’s milk isn’t the same as being lactose intolerant. * Eggs * You can be allergic to either the whites of the yolk. This type of food allergy is more prevalent in children, but does affect some adults. * Peanut * Most people, adults and children with food allergies, are allergic to peanuts too. * Tree nut * More children have nut allergies than adults. The symptoms of nut and peanut allergies are the same, but being allergic to one doesn’t necessarily mean you’re allergic to the other. * Seafood * This is more common in, but not limited, to children. The fish allergens can be passed through the air by people eating or cooking fish near you. * Shellfish * Similar to seafood allergies. But having one doesn’t mean being allergic to the other. * Soy * People allergic to soy need to be especially careful when eating Asian foods or using Asian sauces. * Wheat * This is most commonly a food allergy, but can also be a respiratory contact allergy. In the United States these are referred to as "the big eight". Over 90% of U. S. food allergies consist of these foods. Allergens differ in other countries, but these 8 make the top 10 in many places through out the world. Food allergies may be based on contact. In East Asia where rice makes up a large part of the diet, rice allergies are more common, as are celery allergies in Central Europe.
Allergy’s Favorite Symptoms If allergies had a top ten list of their favorite symptoms what would be on it? Would they prefer life threatening or just really annoying? The most common symptoms, that may or may not be on their favorites list: Breathing problems. This one should be fun for an allergy. It really gets the persons attention. Nothing like the lack of oxygen to center a person’s attention on the allergy. Burning, watery or itchy eyes. This symptom falls into the really annoying category. It could cause additional problems if you can’t see where you’re going. Red, swollen eyes, also called Conjunctivitis. Certainly annoying, but most people can deal with this one. Coughing. This one gets old real quick. And a constant cough quickly becomes painful. Diarrhea. This one might start out in the annoying category, but left unchecked could switch to the life threatening section very quickly. Headache. Depending on the severity of the headache, this one might be tolerable. Hives. This symptom is not only annoying and uncomfortable (possibly painful) it draws the attention of strangers on the street. Itchy nose, mouth, throat or skin. Another in the category of really annoying. An itch that can’t be soothed is one of the most annoying things there is. Runny nose. Yeah, this one could cause problems with other people. No one likes to hear someone constantly sniffing or blowing their nose. Makes people wonder what germs you’re spreading around. Skin rashes. Possibly ugly to look at, but tolerable
Have We Become Too Clean? It seems the more advanced our society becomes and the cleaner we get, the more prevalent food and other allergies become. The occurrences of common allergies are much higher in more developed countries than in their lesser developed counter parts. And the numbers are increasing as industrialization spreads through out the world. According to the hygiene hypothesis, the modern methods of cleaning and sanitizing get rid of too many germs. The body’s natural immune system doesn’t have enough to do. In children, it doesn’t develop the way it should. And since allergies are an incorrect response of the immune system, childhood and adult allergies have become more prevalent. Studies also show that common allergic diseases like hay fever, eczema and food allergies are found less often in children from large families. Apparently being exposed to infectious agents (germs) by brothers and sisters is a good thing. It helps the immune system learn what it’s supposed to protect our bodies from. Antibiotic usage during a baby’s first year and the growing use of antibacterial cleaning products has also been linked to an increase in asthma and other allergies. The hygiene hypothesis explains that the antibacterial cleaning products and antibiotic drugs limit our immune system’s exposure to infectious diseases, parasites and other bacteria. This limits the immune systems development. Because of the lack of dirt and germs, the immune system doesn’t learn what it’s supposed to be protecting the body from and goes after the wrong things.
Food Allergies: Recognizing Which Food Products Aren’t For You Allergic reactions occur in most people in one form or another. But among the most common types are food allergies, which cause adverse immune system reactions when you ingest a certain food protein. It can be as simple as peanuts, or even shrimp, but the basic principle of reactions is the same. How The Body Reacts To Allergens In Food How much the body will react when exposed to a food allergen ranges from mild irritation to anaphylaxis, which has the whole body reacting to the allergen and even possibly causing death. Depending on the severity of your allergy, reaction to food allergens can occur from a few hours to even just a few seconds after ingestion of the food containing the allergen. In some types of reactions, it may be that there is just some mild tissue swelling, being itchy and irritating at the most. Of course, the swelling varies, so it can also cause obstruction in the air tract and causing difficulty breathing. Common Food Allergens At over ninety percent of all causes of allergic reactions, the most common food allergens have the bulk of the attention given to food allergies. They are divided into eight materials, and individually they are common enough that a person having an allergic reaction to these food materials better stay away from them to avoid having to undergo treatment. Being allergic to milk is pretty common, and so are peanuts, eggs, soy, and wheat to name some. These are found in everyday food products that a person allergic to them will have to pay careful attention to what he or she is eating to avoid having an allergic reaction. Seafood and shellfish are also quite common, though of course, it’s easier to spot these among the many food products out in everyday surroundings. Diagnosis, Testing, And Treatment If you suspect that you’re allergic to a certain food product, it would be best to consult an expert allergist. Your physician will be able to guide you in this area, and recommend someone you can go to. They can conduct tests to see what kind of material you’re allergic to. One common testing method is the skin prick test to see if a person is allergic from the media being exposed below the skin. Another would be the blood test diagnosis for another type of allergen. The final test type would be to have a blindfold test to see if the patient is allergic to the actual allergen or a placebo. This is usually conducted in the hospital setting where patients may be treated quickly if their reaction becomes severe. Once a patient has been identified as having an allergic reaction to food products, several treatment options can be taken at this point. There is no cure if you’re allergic to a certain food protein, and most doctors agree that injections or allergy shots don’t work for food allergies. The surest method for treatment of food allergies is avoidance, and with this you’ll just have to learn which food your allergen is present in, and avoid it. For accidental ingestions, epinephrine can be given to stabilize the patient’s system. Before you find yourself in this situation though, it would be best to make sure that you know just what to do before a severe reaction occurs.
What Is An Allergy? There’s a lot of talk about allergies. But just what is an allergy and what causes them? Why do some people have them while others don’t? And why are people with one allergy more inclined to have many? The immune system is set up to protect our bodies from harmful, foreign substances. Like viruses and bacteria (dirt and germs). Sometimes the immune system doesn’t develop properly or is just oversensitive and doesn’t react right. In these cases, it reacts to things that aren’t harmful and don’t usually cause people any problems. These things are called allergens. The term allergens is just an easier way to say "things that cause allergies". When the oversensitive or improperly developed immune system sees these allergens, it sends out chemicals like histamine. It’s the histamines that cause the symptoms that are common with allergies. Symptoms like itching, watery eyes, runny nose, swelling, hives or rashes. Different people have different symptoms, but the causes are the same. The symptoms that are displayed depend on the part of the body the allergen comes in contact with. Allergens that are breathed in, like pollen or dust cause coughing or wheezing, stuffy or runny noses and an itchy nose and throat. Plant allergies usually come in contact with the skin, so they cause rashes. Food allergies usually result in nausea, vomiting, stomach pains or in severe cases, life threatening reactions. Drug allergies tend to involve the entire body, so they have a variety of symptoms.
Here’s A Test To Fail To diagnose an allergy, the first thing your doctor does is talk with you. He’ll discuss your symptoms, any medications you’re currently taking, and your personal and family history. A physical examination is also necessary. The next step is the tests. There are 3 types of tests. The skin test, patch test or blood test. The skin test is the most common test used. It’s generally the most accurate and certainly the least expensive. With the skin test, a small amount of an allergen is put on your skin and then the spot is pricked or scratched with a needle. You can also have a little bit of the allergen injected into the outer layer of your skin. If you have an allergy to the substance that was used, you’ll have swelling, redness and itching in the tested spot within 20 minutes. The patch test is used to diagnose contact dermatitis. A small amount of allergen is put on your skin and covered with a bandage. Your doctor will check the spot in 48 hours to see if you’ve developed a rash. The third type of test is the blood test. This may be used if you have a skin condition or if you’re taking some type of medication that might interfere with a skin test. A blood sample is taken and sent to a laboratory. There they add allergens to the sample and measure the amount of antibodies that are produced to attack it.
Nasal Allergies - What They Are And What You Can Do Nasal allergies are better known by its common name, allergic rhinitis. This type of allergy is extremely common. But, if these reactions only happen during specific periods of the year, then you have a seasonal allergy, usually caused by pollen grains being spread out in the air at about the same time as your allergies. There are also perennial allergies that can happen no matter what day of the year. But the good part is that you and your doctor can work out a treatment for you that will minimize the occurrences and keep your allergy in check. Nasal Allergy Manifestations A nasal allergy reaction is a bit like getting a sudden bout of the colds. You’ll sneeze, have watery eyes, have a runny nose with a clear liquid discharge, and all the other unpleasant side effects coming in with colds like having a sore throat and cough. This may seem like just an irritation, but there’s more to your nasal allergies than just that. Common Causes All allergy attacks are triggered by an allergen, which is the substance that your body recognizes as an outside threat and will attempt to block it. A common allergen during the summer months when flowers are in bloom is pollen, which can float around in the air and end up entering your respiratory tract. Mold also does the same thing, so you can really feel like you’re having a mix of irritants, which is probably also the case. The last common sources of nasal allergies are animals, whether it’s from dust mites or pet dander from your dog. These can all trigger allergic reactions from your body. Diagnosis of Allergies A simple evaluation by your doctor of your nasal symptoms can define the best way on how to diagnose if you have a nasal allergy. Then you can undergo tests to determine the best method of treatment for your case. It would also be very helpful to your doctor if you provide some medical background and history on your allergies, such as when it started, which periods of the year it occurs, and heredity factors. A physical exam could also test your body parts for faults. Once it’s all finished, you and your doctor can plan a way on how to treat your allergies with medication, allergen avoidance, and possibly immunotherapy so that you won’t have to endure those allergies forever. The most effective treatment of allergies, however, is to avoid being exposed to it as much as possible. If you’re allergic to pollen grains, then it might be a good idea to limit your time in parks during the summer, where there are lots of trees and other plants who spread pollen quite well. Depending on the medical advice your doctor gives, you just have to follow it to make sure that your nasal allergies are minimized and possibly avoided entirely. Animals are also good sources of nasal infection, so keep your surroundings clean of pet hair and other materials by cleaning and vacuuming often. You won’t have to do so many complicated things just to avoid a simple allergen material, and common sense still applies. Wherever your allergen is bound to be grown or found, better keep yourself away from it.
Skin Allergies: The Reason Behind The Itchies You Have The hardest part of having red, itchy skin, hives, or swollen spots on your skin is trying to concentrate on making your day as normal as possible while avoiding scratching the itchy parts. Sometimes you have to concentrate so much on that that you sort of forget what’s the reason behind the itching, which would really be the thing you should focus your attention on, so that it won’t happen again. Allergies are most often the cause of skin rashes and such, and some of them are quite common. Read on to find out what they are and what you can do to avoid them. Diagnosing Skin Allergies An allergist can test if you’re allergic to substances or if your skin reacts to different possible allergens by conducting a skin test. In a multiple-test method, the allergist will prick your skin to introduce various media in microscopic amounts, to see which pricks elicit a reaction from your skin. The material type that your skin reacts on can be retested using different methods to confirm if the material in question is indeed your allergen. The allergist can also check to see how severe the reaction to your allergen is, and can range from mild to life threatening, using increasing concentrations of the allergen to measure reaction times. Types Of Manifestation Different forms of skin allergy reactions can be found in people. Occurring most often in small children, eczema, specifically known as Atopic Dermatitis, appears in the form of a red rash, and blistering of the skin is quite common. The skin can break from being scratched aggressively, and will usually cause scarring. Treatment usually consists of applying a topical solution on the site of the rashes to ease the itching, and your doctor will be able to prescribe treatment that is calibrated in strength to match your rashes. Another common manifestation of skin allergies is the raised, red-colored bumps on the skin known as hives. While it is quite aesthetically disturbing to some, hives are not so itchy that you’ll break the skin by scratching really hard. Hives are common enough that people of all ages are affected by it at one point or another. A third form of allergic reaction is called contact dermatitis, and this is a common reaction to a substance which will cause a similar reaction to a rash when you come into contact with it. The symptoms have more in common with Atopic Dermatitis, but the usual areas that the rash manifests itself are only where you’ve touched or come into contact with the substance. A good example of this is when you’ve touched poison ivy, and there are even common cases of people getting rashes because of their jewelry. What To Do Once a rash breaks out on your skin, as much as possible, try not to scratch it, since scratching could break the skin and introduce dirt and bacteria to below the skin level and you’ll have more trouble if it gets infected. A common solution to allergic rashes would be to apply an allergy cream to soothe the inflammation and to remove the itchiness. But the most important thing is that in the first occurrence, you’d be better off consulting your doctor on what to do just to make sure.
How To Tell If Baby Allergies Are Signs Of Intolerance Any allergy, from whatever media it might come from, begins with the same reaction. The body mistakenly assumes that an particle, whether it's pollen, or in the case of food allergies, a food protein, as a harmful threat. The immune system then releases immunoglobin E, otherwise known as IgE into the bloodstream, triggering a chain of events that release histamines in the body to attempt to combat the foreign particle. A skin rash, runny eyes, sneezing, whatever the manifestations, they still have the same first steps. Baby Food Allergies A baby will typically have an adverse reaction toward a food product, and one can often easily see what these reactions are. An example of an intolerant reaction to a food product would be from lactose intolerance, where people who are intolerant cannot break down the sugar in dairy products. Spotting Trouble Signs A potentially dangerous allergy in infants can be seen because of the reactions from the food being eaten. A common example would be an infant having loose bowels after eating, and may even vomit the food in an effort to expel it from the body. The throat may also close up or the lips and face may swell up. On the infant's skin, rashes or hives may appear, among other unusual occurrences in the skin surface. An intolerance is different than an allergy, and usually has more to do with intestinal trouble than reaction to any particular allergen. How to avoid allergy troubles When introducing a new food product to your infant, be sure to try only minute quantities at first so that you can see if there are any unpleasant reactions to the food, and afterwards you can slowly increase the amount you are feeding when there are no apparent reactions. During the course of introducing new food to your child, you should be able to see as well if your child likes it. If there are no negative reactions present, then you can safely increase the quantity given to a normal level. The timing of introducing new foods should also be considered, and you'll want to feed your child with new food early in the day so that you still have ample time to take your child to the pediatrician during clinic hours and disrupt your baby's daily routine the least. Ninety percent of all allergic reactions come from just eight food sources, and they are common enough to be found in foods everywhere. These are the kind of food products that you'll want to check up on for your child, just to make sure that there is no reaction whatsoever. Milk is one of the most common, and you should check with dairy products should there be an adverse reaction. Eggs are the second on the list of allergen foods. Peanuts and tree nuts are some common allergens right up to adulthood, and they'll have to manage these allergies all their life. Fish and shellfish allergies can be outgrown, however. Soy and wheat are the last two materials that round out the list, and children can often outgrow these allergies as well Having an allergic reaction is somewhat a bit of a bother, but with proper management, avoidance, or treatment, your child can outgrow these allergies, or manage to live with it at the very least. Consult with your family physician when you aren't sure of whether your child is allergic or not.
Types Of Allergies It’s estimated that 60 million Americans suffer from some type of allergy. That’s 1 out of 4. It’s the 5th highest chronic disease in America and the 3rd most common chronic disease in children. Many people suffer from more than one allergy type. Pollen from trees, grass and weeds are in the indoor/outdoor allergy category. Other common indoor/outdoor allergy triggers are mold spores, dust mite and cockroach allergen and cat, dog and rodent dander. About 75% of people with allergies have indoor/outdoor allergies. The most common pet allergy is cat dander. Skin allergies are another common allergy. The most common causes of skin allergies are plants like poison oak, ivy and sumac. Allergic reactions can also be caused by skin contact with latex, cockroach and dust mites and even some foods. Skin allergies are the main allergy for about 7% of allergy sufferers. While we here a lot about food and drug allergies, they’re the primary allergy of only about 6% of allergy sufferers. Food allergies are more common in children. Peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish are responsible for 90% of all food allergies. Food allergies claim over 200 lives yearly. When it comes to common drug allergies, penicillin is the winner. Almost 400 Americans die every year from allergies to penicillin. Latex and insect allergies both claim around 4% of allergy sufferers. Latex allergies result in 10 deaths a year and nearly 100 deaths a year are the result of insect allergies.
What Soy Allergies And How You Can Deal With It Among the many food types that cause all allergies, over ninety percent is caused by just eight possible sources of allergens. Among these is Soy, also known in the UK and other countries as Soya. Like any other allergy, contact with this food protein type will result in the immune system falsely recognizing the protein as a threat, and will activate its systems in an attempt to combat it. These ordeals are often painful, and it’s no joke when an allergic reaction occurs. Millions suffer from the same condition, and because of this there have been exclusion diets built up so that those allergic to Soy can avoid any and all food products containing the offending material. How The Body Reacts The bodily reaction of those allergic to soy may go from mild to wild, depending on their individual case. At the extreme end of soy allergy reactions, and all other allergies for that matter are anaphylactic reactions, resulting in difficulty breathing, shock, and low blood pressure, all quite able to be life-threatening in a matter of minutes. A common way to combat this extreme body reaction is to inject epinephrine and an antihistamine into the body to stabilize all systems. A medical professional should also watch over victims of allergic reactions during this time just to make sure the reaction doesn’t turn fatal. Common Soy Sources In Food It’s quite scary to think about when you have Soy allergies, but most of the major fast-food chains use soy protein when making bread products like hamburger buns. Canned goods might also contain the same ingredients, so check before you buy the canned product. Asian-cuisine restaurants will also usually have soy in their basic ingredients, so even before ordering, you’ll have to ask if any soy is present in their offerings so you can see which ones you should avoid. Even food additives are not exempt from soy ingredients, as some chicken broth products may contain elements of soy. Flavoring, including buillon cubes, might also contain soy, so when you’re shopping around, it’s a good idea to take a look at the ingredients to check for soy. How Much Soy Is Present Before The Body Reacts Soy is typically more benign than most other forms of food allergies. In fact, dosages for soy to elicit reaction from the body’s immune system are much higher than it would be for other types of food allergens, which often require just a few mg to get an adverse reaction from the body. That is good for those allergic to soy, meaning that if quantities in their food products containing soy are miniscule in proportion to the whole product, then they might not have to worry about eating it at all. Having an allergic reaction to soy need not be such a pain in the neck. Consult with your physician to see what he or she can recommend to you when it comes to diet modification, treatment, or immunotherapy to make sure that you won’t have unpleasant reactions when you accidentally consume soy products. It all depends on the individual case so you should have your doctor come up with a treatment tailored for your case, making your life easier than having to watch out for soy all the time in everything you eat.
Does Food Make You Sick? Do you often suffer from strange symptoms after eating certain types of foods? Do you get itchy, break out in hives, swell up or actually vomit? You could be suffering from a common food allergy. It’s estimated that over 12 million Americans suffer from food allergies. Most allergic reactions are mild, but around 30,000 visits to the emergency room are reported each year because of the reactions. As many as 200 deaths each year are attributed to food allergies. Studies report up to 8 percent of children have an allergy to some type of food. The numbers are slightly smaller for adults, only around 4 percent. Many children will outgrow their food allergies. But some will carry these allergies into adulthood and suffer from them their entire lives. Eating prepackaged foods, out in restaurants or even friends homes can cause problems. It’s often hard to tell what’s added to the foods we eat. You hate to ask the cook "what’s in this?", but sometimes you just have to. Especially when asking can mean the difference between an enjoyable meal and a trip to the emergency room. With the increased cases of peanut allergies, most packaged foods have started including on the label the use of peanut oils and even if the processing of nuts is handled in the same factory. There’s no cure for food allergies. So the only thing you can do is avoid the foods that cause the reactions you can’t deal with.
Eye Allergies And How The Body Reacts To Them The most common notion about having allergies is that they would occur mainly in the skin, or break out in some other form, like having indigestion or something equally unpleasant. But one thing that is often overlooked is the human eye, since it too contracts allergic reactions quite easily. There are often symptoms that can let you know that you’re having an allergic reaction to a substance, identifying whether it’s from an allergy or something else that’s causing your eye irritation. Signs Of Trouble In Your Eyes A lot of common symptoms can be associated with multiple diseases. Itchiness in the eyes, redness, swelling, a burning sensation, it can all possibly be part of some other disease. Another common sign is known as pink eye, which has the entire clear membrane of the white of your eyes going pink, and possibly getting itchy as well. You can find out the source of the irritation if it’s from a viral, bacterial, or allergic source. If it only affects one eye, then the most likely cause is viral. A bacterial source of pink eye will also show because there is often a discharge coming out of the eye. However, if it’s not exclusively the eye that’s affected, then the source will most likely be allergic in nature. The doctor will most likely rule out all other possibilities once he or she finds out about the exact circumstances of the irritation. Sources Of Eye Allergies The eye, although protected from the outside by its lubrication, can still sometimes come into contact with possible allergens. The usual culprits in eye allergies include pollen, which occurs during the spring and summer months at its peak. An unpleasant reaction to chemicals that enter your eye such as medication with side effects or eye drops can also cause an allergic reaction. Also quite common is having allergies associated with pets, so be sure to check these sources. What you can do Of course, being an allergic reaction, the best thing that you can do to avoid having an unpleasant reaction to your allergen is to avoid it. You’ll have to make sure that you keep your surroundings clean from most airborne allergens, like vacuuming regularly around your house to keep dust, pollen, and pet hair from getting airborne and into your eyes. But still, you can’t avoid being exposed to other environments, so if you’re allergic to airborne particles, you’ll have to check with your doctor to see if you can benefit from using over the counter medicines that you can carry around. These can possibly alleviate the symptoms you have through their active ingredients. You can also probably find products that have antihistamines in them, lessening the allergic reaction and calming down things a bit when symptoms manifest themselves as swelling and redness. A direct application to the symptom site will have a faster reaction time than if you were to take the medicine in oral form like capsules or tablets. However, consult your doctor on the effects of prolonged use of your medicinal treatments, as your eyes might become dependent on your medication. You don’t want to have your blood vessels being dependent on eye drops to become small again when they swell up during an allergy attack.
All About Allergies And How They Affect The Human Body If you’ve ever tried inhaling some pollen from plants, or eating something and finding out afterwards that you’re covered in red blotchy spots or some other nasty effect after you eat, then you’ve experienced firsthand the effects of Allergies. In common usage, an allergy is an adverse reaction toward what is called an allergen, or specifically, the material that causes the allergic reaction. What Happens When You Come In Contact With An Allergen? When you ingest something that causes an allergic reaction in your body, the immune system is said to be hyperactive to this material, and with that, the immune system activates to quash what it sees as a threat. But it’s actually not, and is quite harmless and garners no excess bodily reaction in other people. Once the body’s immune system releases antibodies as a response to the allergen, it causes the release of histamine into the bloodstream, which is what causes you to get teary-eyed and have a runny nose or whatnot. Common Allergens In People Probably the most common source of allergic reactions in most people is in their food. Whether its shellfish, or mushrooms, or even something mundane like a vegetable, allergic reactions from food are quite common. And if you’ve been stung by an insect and notice excessive swelling from the locality of the bite, then you’ve got an allergic reaction from that bite. There are even cases of extreme allergic reactions to bee stings, resulting in anaphylactic reactions. Chemicals and medicine also fall into the category of being a common source of allergic reactions. If you’ve got to have antibiotics as prescribed by the doctor, make sure that your body doesn’t have an allergy to materials in your medicine. Treatment and avoidance of allergies Should you suspect that you’re having an allergic reaction to something, consult your doctor so that he or she can refer you to an allergist, which is a type of specialization for doctors in the field of allergies. He or she can do the testing on your suspected materials and verify your suspicions and prescribe medicines or give your advice on what to do about your reaction. But sometimes, antihistamines are not enough, though that’s the most common medicine to combat allergic reactions. Sometimes you have to avoid contact with the allergen at all costs, as enough exposure could possibly lead to disastrous results in your body. Make sure you know exactly what materials you are allergic to so that you can avoid even trace quantities of it in other things. Avoidance is also a good method of preventive treatment, since you won’t have allergic reactions when you aren’t exposed to allergens. One method of treating allergens is to give a person immunotherapy, exposing the person with the allergy to minute quantities of his or her allergen. The immune system learns to cope with these materials, developing immunity and preventing future allergic reactions. This is particularly effective for airborne particles, less so for food allergies, which might cause reactions even though you’ve undergone treatment. Almost all people have allergies of one sort to another, and it varies widely when it comes to what they’re allergic to. Once you find out your allergen, you can avoid it and prevent unpleasant reactions from your body, or even get treatment so that you can develop immunity and remove the allergic reaction from your body.
Important Things To Know About Milk Allergies Milk allergies occur because the immune system mistakenly sees milk protein as something that is dangerous for the body and tries to fight it off. It starts as an allergic reaction causing a child to be fussy and irritable along with an upset stomach and other symptoms. Breastfeeding lowers the risk of the child developing a milk allergy. In many cases however, the allergy is said to be genetic. Normally, by the time a child reaches the age of three to five years old, the allergy goes away all on its own. People who have milk allergies should really pay good attention to what they are eating because a lot of foods nowadays are made up of milk and other milk products. A milk allergy is different from lactose intolerance and without extra caution, a milk allergy may turn into a severe illness due to direct contact with foods that cause it. Milk Allergy And The Immune System A person who has a milk allergy reacts to the proteins in the milk. The substance known as Curd which forms the chunks that can be observed in sour milk contains 80% of the milk’s proteins while Whey which is the watery part holds 20% of the milk’s content. If a person who has allergic reactions to milk eats food that contain milk products, the immune system will fight the milk proteins because it mistakenly sees them as invaders thus harmful to the body. The immune system protects the body from these milk proteins by creating antibodies known as immunoglobulin that trigger the release of chemicals into the body such as histamine. The release of these chemicals affect the different parts of the body such as the gastrointestinal tract, the skin, the respiratory system and the cardiovascular system which then causes the allergy symptoms like nausea, headache, wheezing, itchy hives and stomachache. The Common Symptoms Just like any other food allergy reactions, the symptoms occur within ten minutes to a couple of hours after eating the food that caused the allergy. The symptoms may sometimes last for less than a day affecting any of these three body systems: the skin, the gastrointestinal tract and the respiratory tract. Milk allergy manifests in the skin in a form of red rashes, redness and swelling in the areas of the mouth or eczema. The gastrointestinal tract on the other hand is affected in the form of belly cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The respiratory tract has symptoms ranging from itchy and watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing to asthma attacks coupled with wheezing and coughing. A severe reaction known as anaphylaxis may also occur to some patients. It causes the swelling of the mouth as well as the throat and airways that lead to the lungs leading to the inability of the patient to breathe. There is also a dangerous drop in the blood pressure which cause the dizziness and passing out and sometimes immediately lead to shock. Going To The Doctor Once your doctor suspects that you might be having a milk allergy, you will be referred to a specialist that is equipped to better treat your allergic reactions. The allergy specialist will then ask you some questions that may cover information about how often these reactions occur and the time that it usually takes before the allergy manifests itself in your system. He or she will also ask you if there are members of your family who has the same case of allergic reactions that you have. An allergy specialist performs a skin test on you and this test will involve a placing of liquid extracts of milk protein on the patient’s forearm or back. The skin will be pricked a bit and the allergist waits if there would appear reddish spot forms thus indicating the allergic reaction.
The Coming Of Spring Spring is just around the corner. And with it comes all the lovely pollen. Lots of people have no problem with spring. They welcome it with open arms. But for thousands of people, spring means runny noses, itchy eyes and congested breathing. These people suffer from an allergy. Probably the most common allergy, affecting the most people is the allergy to pollen. Spring brings new growth and with this new growth, plants have the urge to produce fruit or seeds. Basically, pollen is created by the male plant parts and taken to the female plant parts. While some plants depend on insects to do their pollinating, many use the wind. The pollen grains are carried by the wind to other plants to keep the species alive and flourishing. Most people are just annoyed by the collection of pollen on their automobiles, porch, patio and everything else that sits around outside. But for the people allergic to pollen, their problems are more than annoying. The most common symptoms of an allergy to pollen can be seen every where. Runny noses, itchy watery eyes, sneezing and coughing are yearly evidence that spring is in the air. The pollen irritates the areas that come into contact with air. That means eyes, nose, throat and lungs. As the pollen blows on the wind, it causes problems that turn the joy and beauty of spring into anything from a nuisance to a nightmare for the thousands that suffer from this allergy.
Peanut Allergies: Learning To Cope With Your Allergy Allergic reactions appear from many types of materials present in everyday surroundings. But among the more common causes of allergies are food products, with eight of them causing over ninety percent of all food allergies. At the middle of the list is peanut allergy, which is something quite troubling because some everyday dishes have peanuts among their ingredients, along with other household products containing peanut powders or extracts. Being allergic to peanuts often manifests early in life, but while most allergies are outgrown as children grow up and get used to the food proteins in other allergen types, peanut allergies are often carried until adulthood. You can also find reactions to peanuts from mild up to having an anaphylactic reaction, which can possibly be life-threatening. Symptoms of Peanut Allergies Within minutes, a manifestation of peanut allergies will begin to appear, whether coming from stomach pain along with vomiting or diarrhea, or skin rashes and hives breaking out on the skin, you can really feel when you’ve become exposed to hazardous material when you have a peanut allergy. It’s bad enough when you have to deal with those things when you get exposed to peanuts, but it can possibly be lethal when you factor in anaphylaxis, and your air tract will close up, you’ll have difficulty breathing and possible have to deal with shock and dizziness. Peanut Allergy Triggers In an allergic reaction to peanuts, the body will recognize peanuts as a threat, and signal the body to produce histamines which will trigger the allergic response in the body. Three methods of exposure are possible when it comes to peanut infection. The first would be direct contact with the material in question, like eating food containing peanuts for example. Even just touching could possibly trigger an allergic reaction. The second would be a cross-contact with peanuts wherein a product without peanut content will accidentally mix in peanut powder or proteins in it. The third would be contact through airborne peanut materials, like inhaling peanuts in a powder form. Another common route would be from aerosols with peanuts in it. Things You Can Do When Peanut Allergies Occur Your family doctor will be able to see if your symptoms are allergy-related or through some other cause. As much as possible, you’ll want to see your doctor while the symptoms are still manifest on your skin or body. A skin prick test from your local allergist will confirm if you really do have an allergy to peanuts, and the test will isolate the area of your skin where you come into contact with the peanut allergen. Blood tests can also be done during this time to see how your immune system reacts with peanut proteins. Unfortunately, there is no one-size solution to solve peanut allergies, apart from avoiding the material entirely. If you have mild reactions to your peanut allergy, there still might be some possibility that your reaction can become severe at one time so you’ll need to prepare for that eventuality. Living with peanut allergies can be done however, and you can discuss options with your doctor for your particular case, and get whatever treatment and screening tests are appropriate for your allergies. You’d also be better off knowing exactly what to do when a reaction occurs.