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Ravela Da Cruz

Allergies Study Guide

An allergy is caused when the immune system reacts to any foreign substance like pet dander, bee venom, or pollen. It could also be caused when you have food that causes a reaction.

Introduction

Allergies in the body are a response of the immune system to any foreign substance that is not necessarily harmful to the body, but is recognized as harmful by the immune system. These foreign substances are known as allergens. They can be food, pollen, or anything from the environment.

Allergy Source

What is an allergy?

The immune system works to keep the body healthy and to fight harmful pathogens. It does this by attacking anything that may harm the body. Depending on this, the body could respond by inflammation or sneezing. You may also see several other symptoms.

  • The body’s immune system usually adjusts to the environment. For instance, when the body encounters pollen, it should realize that the pollen is harmless.
  • However, people with allergies will have their immune system perceive it as an outside invader, and that the pollen may threaten and attack the body.

Allergies are not uncommon, and several treatments can help in controlling its symptoms.

Allergy symptoms

The allergy symptoms are caused because of many factors. This will include the type of allergy that you suffer from and the severity of the allergy. If you take a medication anticipating any allergic response, you may still experience the allergy symptoms but to a reduced extent.

Allergy Symptoms Source

Types of Allergic Reactions

Food allergies

Food allergy can cause your face to swell and block your airway. It could cause fatigue, nausea, hives, and many more symptoms. It may take some time for the person to realize that they have a food allergy. If you have any serious reaction because of a food allergy, then rush to the doctor immediately.

Seasonal allergies

Hay fever (also called allergic rhinitis) symptoms resemble a common cold. These will cause congestion, swollen eyes, and a runny nose. Most of the time, these symptoms are easily managed at home with over-the-counter treatments. If the symptoms are not manageable then, you need immediate treatment.

Severe allergies

Severe allergies can cause anaphylaxis. This is life-threatening and can lead to death. It causes difficulty in breathing, loss of consciousness, and lightheadedness. Seek immediate medical help if you face this kind of allergy.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis Source

Skin allergy

Skin allergy is a sign of an allergy. This could be a direct result of allergen exposure. So if you eat a food that you are allergic to, you could feel allergy symptoms like tingling in your throat and mouth. You may also develop a rash. Consult a doctor if the symptoms are severe!

Here are some allergic reactions and symptoms:

  • Rashes make your skin red, irritated, and swollen.
  • Eczema causes the skin to become inflamed, which could even bleed and itch
  • Contact dermatitis causes itchy and red rashes on the skin, which comes up as soon as you come in contact with an allergen
  • Sore throat causes the pharynx to get inflamed
  • Hives are itchy and red with raised welts and develop on the skin surface as an allergic reaction.
  • Swollen eyes with itchiness and water discharge is an allergic reaction.
  • Rashes are the most common sign of an allergy.

Allergy treatment

The best way is to avoid the substance that causes allergies. However, if that is not possible, here is the treatment for allergic reactions.

  • Medication Medications are used to control allergic symptoms. The medication could be prescribed or over the counter. The doctor will prescribe the medication depending on the severity of the allergy.

  • Immunotherapy Immunotherapy is another treatment for treating allergies. This involves injecting injections for a few years to let the body get used to the allergy. If the treatment is successful, it does not let the allergy return.

  • Emergency epinephrine If you have a severe case of allergy, then you will get an emergency epinephrine shot. This is usually given in the case of a life-threatening allergy.

  • Natural ways to treat allergy Many natural remedies are used to treat allergies or prevent them. However, some natural medications contain other allergens which may worsen your condition.

Prevention

Here are some ways to prevent allergies:

  • Avoid the known triggers. Even when treating your allergic symptoms, avoid the triggers that caused the allergy in the first place.
  • Keep a diary and try to identify what caused or worsened the allergy. Track what you eat, track your activities, and the symptoms that occur. This can help the doctor to identify the triggers as well.
  • If you have a severe allergic reaction, wear a medical alert bracelet.

Conclusion:

  • Researchers are still to find out why someone's immune system reacts to an allergen that is otherwise harmless to the body.
  • Allergies, however, have a genetic component attached to them which means that parents can pass it down to their children.
  • Specific body allergies, however, cannot be passed down.

FAQs:

1. What are the typical symptoms of allergies? Sneezing, itchy and red eyes, swollen lips, red rash, or hives are the common symptoms of an allergic reaction.

2. What are 3 types of allergies?

  • Food Allergies
  • Skin Allergies
  • Respiratory allergy

3. What are bad allergy symptoms?

Tummy pain, difficulty in breathing, and swollen face are the bad allergic symptoms.

4. Is a sore throat a symptom of allergies?

Yes, a sore throat is a symptom of allergy.

5. How long can allergy last?

Allergies can last till the allergen is there in the air. Usually, it lasts for two to three weeks.

6. What are the 4 types of allergic reactions?

Immediate, cytotoxic, immune-complex mediated and delayed hypersensitivity reactions are the four types of an allergic reaction

7. What is good to get rid of allergies?

The best is to avoid the allergens as much as possible. In severe cases, you may have to take medication.

8. Can allergies cause a fever?

No, allergies do not cause fever. These only cause rashes or other allergic symptoms.

We hope you enjoyed studying this lesson and learned something cool about Allergies! Join our Discord community to get any questions you may have answered and to engage with other students just like you! Don't forget to download our App to experience our fun, VR classrooms - we promise, it makes studying much more fun! 😎

Sources:

  1. Everything You Need to Know About Allergies. https://www.healthline.com/health/allergies. Accessed 30 Nov, 2021.
  2. Allergies. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/allergies/symptoms-causes/syc-20351497. Accessed 30 Nov, 2021.
  3. Allergies. https://flexbooks.ck12.org/cbook/ck-12-biology-flexbook-2.0/section/13.51/primary/lesson/allergies-bio/. Accessed 30 Nov, 2021. Accessed 30 Nov, 2021.
  4. Understanding Allergies. https://flexbooks.ck12.org/cbook/ck-12-biology-flexbook-2.0/section/13.51/related/lecture/understanding-allergies/. Accessed 30 Nov, 2021.