Coping With Allergies

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If you’re one of millions of people who suffer from allergies, you’re aware of the problems they can cause. You can experience a variety of symptoms from watery, itchy eyes and sneezing to more severe allergic reactions like skin rashes and breathing problems. If you have allergies, it’s important to manage your symptoms with the right prescription or over-the-counter medicines from The Canadian Pharmacy.ID-100112376

How Do Allergies Start?

Allergies can start at any age with no warning. They develop as part of your body’s defenses against a foreign substance that finds its way into your body. Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to this foreign substance by sending out antibodies to protect you from the threat. This threat could be pollen, pet dander or food, things that don’t cause an allergic reaction for most people. Once this allergic reaction has been triggered, your immune system will automatically react the same way every time this same substance enters your body again and again. It will send out an army of defenders to fight off the threatening allergen that it deems harmful, even though it isn’t.

The Most Common Allergies

The most common allergy triggers for most people include:

* Airborne Allergens – pollen, grass, weeds, mold, dust mites and animal dander
* Foods – eggs, milk, soy, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, fish and shellfish
* Insect Bites – spiders, bee and wasp stings, ticks and fleas
* Medications – penicillin and penicillin-based antibiotics and sulfur
* Chemicals – preservatives, formaldehyde and various carcinogens

Allergy Symptoms

Airborne Allergens

Most inhalants or airborne allergens create similar symptoms that usually affect the mucus membranes and upper respiratory system. Typical symptoms include: sneezing; coughing; itching of the eyes, nose, inside of the mouth and ears; stuffy or runny nose; swollen eyelids; watery, itchy or red eyes (conjunctivitis); hives; and breathing problems. For people with asthma, airborne allergens can complicate asthmatic symptoms causing tightness in the chest and more restricted airways.

Foods

Food allergies can cause a variety of symptoms that range from mildly annoying to physically debilitating. Food sensitivity and allergies can impact both your physical and emotional health. Typical symptoms include: tingling in the mouth; swelling of the lips, tongue, throat or face; skin rashes; hives; stomach cramps; bloating; vomiting; diarrhea; breathing problems; and anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition. An allergic reaction to cow’s milk, eggs and nuts is the most common type of allergy for most children and adults.

Insect Bites

Not only do insect bites hurt, they can trigger an allergic reaction in people with sensitivities that cause a variety of symptoms. Typical symptoms include: itching around the site; hives all over your body; swelling of tissue around the site (edema); coughing; wheezing; shortness of breath; tightness in the chest; and anaphylaxis. People who know they are severely allergic to spider bites or bee stings should seek immediate medical attention from an allergic reaction. An emergency trip to the hospital for a shot of epinephrine can prevent anaphylactic shock which can lead to death.

Medications

Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications can trigger an allergic reaction. Although the most common allergic reaction is to penicillin and penicillin-based antibiotics, there are many other triggers like sulfur, lactose, caffeine, preservatives and fillers found in many medications. Typical symptoms include: itchy skin; skin rash; hives; swelling of the face or tongue; wheezing; breathing problems; heart palpitations; headache; and anaphylaxis. Always inform your doctor of any known drug allergies to make sure you’re protected with prescription medications. When buying over-the-counter medications, always read the ingredients label to stay safe.

Chemicals

An allergic reaction can be triggered by a variety of chemicals used in cosmetics, personal care items and household products. Typical symptoms include: itching; hives; red skin patches; flaking or peeling skin; skin blisters; sneezing; coughing; and swelling at the point of contact, especially around the face, eyes, hands and genital areas. Chemicals used in many cosmetics, soaps, lotions, deodorants, perfumes and detergents can cause atopic dermatitis, also know as eczema. Chemical allergies often appear 24 to 48 hours after contact, but some can show up as late as one week after exposure.

Severe Allergic Reactions

Some types of allergies, especially to food, insect bites and medications, can trigger anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. Anaphylaxis can cause you to go into shock with severe symptoms that include: severe skin rash; nausea and vomiting; dizziness; blurred vision; severe shortness of breath; a drop in blood pressure; weak pulse; and loss of consciousness. Without proper medical attention, anaphylaxis can lead to death.

If you know you are severely allergic to certain things, you should carry an epinephrine auto-injector such as Auvi-Q or Epi Pen to give yourself an injection right away. Your symptoms will improve, but a visit to your local emergency department is still advised to make sure your symptoms don’t come back when the injection wears off. If you’ve experienced a severe allergy reaction or symptoms of anaphylaxis in the past, talk to your doctor, preferably an allergy specialist or immunologist.

Image courtesy of [Phaitoon] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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1 Comment

  • Brenda Lewis February 28, 2015 01.09 am

    Having an allergy is never easy but you just to sucked it up and find every possible ways to alleviate your allergy. Allergy Easy

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