First of all, what is the meaning of allergy? What kind of allergies do people have? Isn’t allergy just sneezing in the dust? No! Let’s dive right into allergies, shall we?
An allergy is, simply, a reaction, the body has to a particular food or substance. Throughout the world, allergies are very common. Allergic diseases have become a health concern worldwide, with India being no exception. Currently, more than 33% of the total population of India is sensitized to different forms of allergens.
The growing prevalence of allergy and asthma in India has become a major health issue. With symptoms ranging from mild rhinitis to severe asthma and even life-threatening anaphylaxis.
Substances that cause allergies are called allergens.
What is an allergic reaction?
We know the meaning of allergy. We can now go to Allergic reactions. Allergic reactions happen quickly on exposure to an allergen present in the outside environment.
So how will you know when you come in contact with these allergens?
You would immediately experience the following symptoms associated with an allergy:
- A runny or a blocked nose
- Itchy, red, watery eyes
- Coughing and wheezing (cough with breathing problem)
- Or even symptoms of asthma or eczema.
This is a medical emergency that needs urgent treatment.
What exactly causes these allergies?
Again, substances that cause allergies are known as allergens. It can be anything, ranging from food to any external agents.
Allergies occur when the body’s immune system shows some reaction on exposure to that external agent. As if it were harmful to our body. Causing a start to a series of reactions that results in allergies. Allergies are thus a protective mechanism of our body but it’s long-lasting effects can be severe.
It is not clear yet why allergies happen to certain people. But it is observed that most people affected, have a family history of allergies or some closely related conditions. Such as asthma and eczema.
The number of people with allergies is increasing every year. The bulk of allergic disease mostly occurs in childhood, with asthma, allergic rhinitis, and eczema and food allergy.
Common Allergies and How You Can Tackle Them
Asthma is a condition that causes swelling and inflammation inside the airways of our lungs. Inflammation and swelling is present to a greater or lesser extent always in people with asthma.
It all means that the more the inflammation, the harder it becomes to breathe.
Eczema is an allergic reaction that involves a pattern of itchy skin rash consisting of tiny pink bumps. That may join together producing ill-defined pink or red patches. There are many types of eczema.
Dermatitis is the term used for eczema reactions that are caused by external agents/factors.
Prescription drugs undergo a rigorous process of testing to ensure safety. Despite this, a minority of individuals develop side-effects on the ingestion of these drugs. Side-effects are termed “Adverse Drug Reactions” by doctors.
If someone reacts to any food, they may have a Food Hypersensitivity (FHS). FHS reactions involving the immune system are known as Food Allergy (FA).
Rhinitis is the inflammation of the lining of the nose. It is, clinically, a symptom of a runny red nose. Manifested by itching, sneezing, and nasal blockage (congestion).
Many people are allergic to pets, especially dogs and cats. Sadly, when you are allergic to something you cannot afford to expose yourself to that allergen. But nothing to worry, if by mistake you come in contact with such an animal. You can control your allergic reactions by taking antihistamines.
The allergic process can affect the skin producing the main type of rash namely urticaria (hives, nettle rash).
It is a red itchy bumpy rash. That lasts for a short time period. Urticaria can appear in various shapes and sizes at any part of the body. It is extremely common, affecting 1 in 5 of the population at some time in their lives.
Recognizing and understanding food allergies and sensitivities is an important aspect of functional medicine.
Management of Allergies
There are ample chances that you might accidentally come in contact with any allergen. That your body concludes as harmful to it.
- The severe conditions include having anaphylactic shock and asthma, in these conditions, no delay should be made in contacting a doctor. Medical treatment should be done immediately.
- Avoid triggering food, as much as possible.
- Milder symptoms of allergies use antihistamine medications for treatment.
I hope that the meaning of allergies are clear to you. And now that you are familiar with meaning of allergies, some common allergies and ways to tackle them we hope that you’ll take care of yourself and everyone around you.
Wishing you loads of health!