Allergies are no fun at all!
Watery eyes, runny nose, itchy skin and a scratchy throat are some of the symptoms of people who suffer from allergies whether it be occasionally or on a regular basis.
Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance such as pollen, bee venom and insect sting, chemical substances, food and pets.
Your immune system produces substances known as antibodies. Some of these antibodies protect you from unwanted invaders that could make you sick or cause an infection. When you have allergies, your immune system makes antibodies that identify a particular allergen as something harmful, even though it isn’t. When you come into contact with the allergen, your immune system’s reaction can inflame your skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system.
The severity of allergies varies from person to person and can range from minor irritation to anaphylaxis — a potentially life-threatening emergency. While most allergies can’t be cured, a number of treatments can help relieve your allergy symptoms.
Allergy symptoms depend on your particular allergy, and can involve the airways, sinuses and nasal passages, skin, and digestive system. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe. In some severe cases, allergies can trigger a life-threatening reaction in your body known as anaphylaxis
When to see a doctor
You may want to see a doctor if you have symptoms you think may be caused by an allergy, especially if you notice something in your environment that seems to trigger your allergies. If you have symptoms after starting a new medication, call the doctor who prescribed it right away.
An allergy starts when the immune system mistakes a normally harmless substance for a dangerous invader. The immune system then produces antibodies that are always on the alert for that particular allergen. When you’re exposed to the allergen again in the future, these antibodies can release a number of immune system chemicals, such as histamine, that cause allergy symptoms.
Common allergy triggers include:
Airborne allergens, such as pollen, animal dander, dust mites and mold
Certain foods, particularly peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, eggs and milk
Insect stings, such as bee stings or wasp stings
Medications, particularly penicillin or penicillin-based antibiotics
Latex or other substances you touch, which can cause allergic reactions
Your doctor may also recommend one or both of the following tests:
Skin test. In this test, your skin is pricked and exposed to small amounts of the proteins found in your potential allergen. If you’re allergic, you’ll likely develop a raised bump (hive) at the test location on your skin. Allergy specialists usually are best equipped to perform and interpret allergy skin tests.
Blood test. A blood test that’s sometimes called the radioallergosorbent test (RAST) can measure your immune system’s response to a specific allergen by measuring the amount of allergy-causing antibodies in your bloodstream, known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. A blood sample is sent to a medical laboratory, where it can be tested for evidence of sensitivity to possible allergens.
Allergen avoidance. Your doctor will help you take steps to identify and avoid your allergy triggers. This is generally the most important step in preventing allergic reactions and reducing symptoms.
Medications to reduce symptoms. Allergy medications can help reduce your immune system reaction and ease symptoms. The drugs you use depend on the type of allergy you have. They can include over-the-counter or prescription medications in the form of oral medications, nasal sprays or eyedrops. Some common allergy medications include corticosteroids, antihistamines, decongestants, cromolyn sodium and leukotriene modifiers.
Immunotherapy. For severe allergies or allergies not completely relieved by other treatment, your doctor may recommend allergy shots (immunotherapy). This treatment involves a series of injections of purified allergen extracts, usually given over a period of a few years.
If you would like to make an appointment to see Dr. Thanawat Khreuakhlai (Allergy Specialist) or would like more information on allergies then please contact Phyathai Sriracha Hospital on International direct line no: 087 – 1000990 Email: [email protected] www.phyathai-sriracha.com