How to Treat Allergy: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Table of Contents
Allergies are the response of our immune system, whenever it finds any foreign particle inside the body. The foreign particles are considered harmful, even if they aren’t allergic reactions. So how to treat allergy? Allergies basically occur by the enter of airborne particles such as pollens, dust mites, and animal dander. Some people are allergic to certain food products such as dairy products.
But how would you know if you have an allergy? Don’t worry here you will learn everything about allergies. Often allergies are marked by excessive sneezing, running nose, swelling in eyes or any other part, and intense itching. This is the overview of allergy, but how to treat allergy is still a complex topic. As treatment needs the cause and an accurate medicine or remedy.
What Is An Allergy?
An allergy is an immune response of our body. As you know, our immune system looks after our body and fights harmful antigens. The immune system tries to make antibodies against the pathogen. During the response, sneezing, itching, running nose are the reflex actions followed by the immune system.
The body naturally adjusts with the environment, but if encountered with any pathogen, it threatens the body and shows the symptoms.
But overall, allergies are common. Several treatments are there to treat them.
Symptoms are not only itching or sneezing, as it depends on the type of allergy. Types of allergy include food allergy to drug allergy.
- For food allergy:- food allergies can switch swelling, nausea, fatigue, hives, and many more. Sometimes, it takes a while to recognize the food allergy. If you find a severe issue after eating some food, immediately consult a doctor.
- For seasonal allergy:- hay fever resembles the symptoms of a cold. They include swelling in the eyes, runny nose, congestion. Most of those symptoms can be treatable by home remedies or OTC drugs.
- For severe allergy:- this is an emergency condition that can cause anaphylaxis, a severe condition. It is a life-threatening condition characterized by shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, lightheadedness. If you experience such responses after coming in contact with harmful allergens, seek medical help immediately.
- For insect sting allergy:- swelling in large portions of the skin, itching, cough, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Anaphylaxis in severe conditions.
- For drug allergy:- itchy skin, facial swelling, hives, and wheezing. Anaphylaxis in severe conditions.
The signs for allergy vary from person to person and the type of allergen.
Skin allergy is one of the common types of allergy. The reason may be the direct exposure to the allergen. Rashes in the exposed part of the body are an indication of skin allergy. For example, touching any plant or product contaminated with an allergen, this type of allergy is called contact dermatitis. You may also experience tingling in the mouth or throat after eating something.
Types of skin allergies include:-
- Rashes:- the irritated and swollen areas of skin, sometimes painful.
- Eczema:- inflamed patches of skin, followed by intense itching and bleeding.
- Contact dermatitis:- red rashes on the skin, immediately after the contact with the allergen.
- Sore throat:- inflamed or irritated pharynx.
- Hives:- red, itchy, and raised bumps of various shapes and sizes on the surface of the skin.
- Swollen eyes:- watery and puffy eyes.
- Itching:- irritated and inflamed skin.
- Burning:- inflamed skin leads to unpleasant stinging sensations on the skin.
What Is Anaphylaxis?
Some of the allergies, by food, insect, or any other, can trigger severe medical conditions known as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition that may cause unconsciousness and anaphylactic shock.
Some of the major symptoms of anaphylaxis are here:-
- Drop-in blood pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Skin rash
- Weak pulse
- Nausea and vomiting
Causes Of Allergy
Whenever we are exposed to any foreign particle, which may be normally harmless, our immune system realizes it as an antigen and releases a chemical named histamine, which then causes noticeable symptoms.
Common allergens are:-
- Airborne allergens:- such as pollen, animal dander, and dust mites or mold.
- Certain food products:- wheat, soy, tree nuts, shellfish, eggs, and milk.
- Insect stings:- bees or wasp.
- Medications:- penicillin and penicillin-based antibiotics.
- Latex or any other substances you touch.
So, how would you prevent yourself from such allergies?
- Stay indoors, especially during windy days. The perfect time to go outside is after a mild rainfall so that particles will be clear out of the air.
- Controlled lawn mowing, gardening, and weed pulling.
- Remove the clothes you have worn while going outside and take a shower to wash out the pollen.
- Know your body responds to different environments
- Wear a mask
- Practice breathing exercises to clean your air passage.
These are some necessary steps to be taken while having sensitivity to the airborne particles, especially during the season of spring.
How to treat allergy with the best possible methods? Once you are diagnosed with any type of allergy, you should immediately take action. There are enough treatment options for allergies including home remedies for allergy as well as a medicinal treatment.
How To Treat Allergy?
The best method to protect yourself from allergens is to avoid such environments and weather obviously. But, if allergy occurs, the best medicines are listed below:-
- Antihistamines – diphenhydramine( benadryl)
- Cetirizine loratadine
- Cromolyn sodium decongestants
- Leukotriene modifiers (singulair)
The antihistamines drugs block the histamine receptors and prevent us from further allergic conditions.
How Will Your Doctor Diagnose Your Allergy?
There are some physical tests to diagnose allergic symptoms. So, as to detect they will examine the physical symptoms such as rashes and inflammation on the skin. Also, excessive sneezing and coughing is also a strong indication of allergy.
When To See A Doctor?
As the initial symptoms are so common such as coughing, sneezing, or itching. But sometimes the condition may be threatening. Especially anaphylaxis is the worst condition. When you feel unbearable pain, itching or excessive swelling immediately go to the doctor. There is no exception to going to the doctor in this case.
Allergy is a common and sensitive issue for everyone. The immune response of our body creates this reflex action when any foreign particle enters our body. The particles are airborne like pollens, dust mites, and many others. Consequently, the person feels intense itching and a runny nose. The symptoms depend on the type of the allergy such as food allergy, seasonal allergy, or any other. The prevention from allergy is to avoid the windy environment and take care of cleanliness during the spring season, as this is the season of pollens. Go to your doctor immediately if you feel unbearable symptoms. Anaphylaxis is the worst condition of allergy as it causes unconsciousness and short breathiness. Your doctor will address you about how to treat allergy by some precautions and medicines including antihistamines, which will block the histamine receptors. Though allergy is not a big issue but taking precautions and immediate actions will make it easy to tackle.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I remove skin allergy at home?
There are a variety of things you can use to remove skin allergy at home:-
Cold compress:- it is one of the easiest and fastest ways to prevent pain and itching. You can either take a cold shower and wipe with a damp cloth for relieving the intense itching.
Aloe vera:- aloe vera is a widely used ingredient in the healing of small cuts, wounds works as an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant. You can apply the thick layer of aloe vera to the affected area regularly.
Coconut oil:- is an excellent oil for the skin, as it promotes healthy skin. Coconut oil is extracted from the milk of coconuts, high in saturated fats, and possesses antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Baking soda:- is another widely used ingredient in the kitchen and being used as a household remedy for skin issues like itching and rashes. It balances the acid-alkali level of the skin and maintains the skin’s ph.
What are some home remedies for food allergies?
If you are dealing with an allergy from a particular food then you should:-
Stop eating that food:- if you get a sudden allergic reaction after eating a particular food, just stop eating it and don’t wait for a more severe condition. Repeated exposure to the same food will only worsen your health.
Antihistamines:- you can take some over-the-counter medications that will help in lessening your symptoms such as Benadryl is an effective medicine in combating hives and itching. But if the hives occur suddenly, this may be the starting of anaphylaxis. And in the condition of anaphylaxis, no over-the-counter medicine will help and only an injection of epinephrine will work.
Acupuncture:- some studies show that acupuncture is a possible treatment for food allergies. This old Chinese practice using small painless needles in “meridian points” all over the body has been shown effective in treating issues from weight loss to severe pain. Although, more research is needed on acupuncture for treating food allergies.
How long does a food allergy last in your system?
The food allergy should not stay for more than two days usually. And according to FARE, the second wave of food allergy symptoms may occur within four hours after the initial reaction, well it’s rare. If you observe a severe reaction for more than two days, call your doctor.
What are three symptoms of a food allergy?
The symptoms of the food allergy are given below:-
- A tingling sensation and itching in the mouth
- A raised and itchy hives, or maybe itchy without a raised rash
- Swelling of the face, mouth, throat, and other parts of the body
- Trouble swallowing
- Short breath or wheezing
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Abdominal pain or diarrhea
- Symptoms similar to hay fever- itchy eyes or sneezing
What is the first step an allergist will take to diagnose a food allergy?
As a first step in the diagnosis of your food allergy, your doctor will ask you about the specific reactions you dealt with while having the sudden allergy will ask about the medical history of such reactions. Also, your doctor will conduct a physical exam to check for the severity of the symptoms. A blood test and skin prick test can be done to check the reactions from a particular food.
What are the 4 types of allergic reactions?
The four types of allergic reactions are:-
Anaphylactic reactions:- this reaction is initiated by the proteins called IgE antibodies produced by the immune system. These antibodies are produced in response to the allergens such as pollens, dust mites, or certain foods. This brings the release of histamine chemicals causing swelling and inflammation.
Cytotoxic reaction:- the antibodies involved in cytotoxic reactions damage cells by activating an immunity component called the complement system.
Immune Complex reaction:- the antibodies in this reaction, interacts with allergens to form a complex called immunocomplex or antigen-antibody reaction.
Cell-mediated reactions:- these reactions are the delayed hypersensitivity reaction as they occur after at least 24 hours of the disclosure to the allergen. Cell-mediated reactions take 48-72 hours or longer to emerge after contact with the allergen.
Can allergies be cured permanently?
As yet there is no permanent cure for the allergies. Although, some over-the-counter medications help in relieving symptoms. Well, the most important method is to avoid contact with the particular allergen you are allergic to. For a more chronic condition, your doctor may suggest immunotherapy, a process involving exposure to a large number of allergens for a better immunity response.
What is anaphylaxis and why does it occur?
Anaphylaxis is the severe condition of allergy from certain medications, venom, or food. Largely the condition is the result of bee stings or eating certain foods that are known to cause allergies. Anaphylaxis causes a series of reactions including skin rash, low pulse, and shock, or anaphylactic shock. Shock is the most severe condition that could be fatal if not treated by time.
If you have been diagnosed with anaphylaxis, you would be given epinephrine, a medication for severe allergic reactions, as it will prevent further reactions in the future that could be life-threatening.
How long can anaphylaxis take to occur?
Anaphylaxis can occur within 20 minutes to 2 hours after contact with a particular allergen. The best way to prevent anaphylaxis is to avoid exposure to allergens. Signs and symptoms may be mild at first and worsen over time. A small number of people develop anaphylaxis severely without mild to moderate symptoms.
However, the mild to moderate signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include swelling of lips, face, and eyes, skin rashes, tingling in the mouth, abdominal pain with vomiting or diarrhea.
The severe symptoms include shortness of breath, swelling of the throat and tongue, difficulty in breathing, and dizziness which stays persistent.
Can you survive anaphylaxis without treatment?
Anaphylaxis happens vigorously and produces severe symptoms all over the body. Immediate treatment is needed for such conditions, or else it will lead to a serious health condition and even death. Allergic reactions are important to treat before getting worse, and reliable treatment options are available for it from home remedies to medical treatment and immunotherapy.