Almost everyone suffers from allergies at some point in their life. Sometimes, an allergy can be as mild as having a sneezing fit due to seasonal pollen irritating the mucus membrane of your nose or more severe and require immediate medical intervention. If you suspect you have allergies and they are bothering you, consider contacting a specialist who can help.
What is an Allergy?
Your body is a made up of many defense mechanisms to ward off viruses, bacteria, and other harmful substances. When your immune system detects a substance that should not be in your system, it begins to attack the invader in order to protect its host (you). However, if you happen to have certain sensitivities to foods, insect stings, molds, etc. your body can go into overdrive.
As your immune system works hard to rid your body of the offending substance, it releases several chemicals, one being antihistamine. During this process, certain symptom like coughing, sneezing, and wheezing can occur. In extreme case, life-threatening symptoms that require emergency medical attention can take place such as being unable to breath.
Causes of Allergic Reactions
There are thousands of substances that can provoke allergic reactions in certain people. Everyone is different and what your neighbor might be allergic to may not bother you at all. Some of the most common allergy-inducing substances include:
- Plant pollens
- Household dust
- Industrial chemicals
- Insect stings and/or bites
Who is Affected by Allergies?
Anyone, regardless of age or gender, can be affected by allergies. However, research has shown that children are more susceptible to allergies than adults are and can have their first bout with asthma or allergies at any age. Sometimes, allergies manifest in early childhood, subside for many years at a time, and then resurface during adulthood.
Doctors have not pinpointed the hereditary components that are involved with allergies yet, but there is proof that genetics do play a role. When someone suffers from allergies, factors like hormone levels, stress, cigarette smoke, and strong smelling colognes can aggravate symptoms.
Types of Allergic Reaction
Allergic reaction can occur anywhere within your body but the most common places tend to be the eyes, nose, throat, skin, stomach lining, and sinuses. Reactions that can occur in susceptible individuals include:
- Hay Fever – This type of allergy is also known as “allergic rhinitis” and affects the nasal area. Symptoms may include sneezing, congestion, runny nose, and itching of the nose, eyes, and roof of the mouth.
- Asthma – When airway muscles begin to spasm, the flow of air to the lungs and bronchial tubes become blocked. You might feel a tightness in your chest, labored breathing, and a lot of coughing and wheezing during an attack.
- Skin Allergies – Allergens can cause contact dermatitis, eczema, and hives to occur. These symptoms take a while to manifest, in most cases. Medications, insect bites, foods, animals, plants, and chemicals can cause rashes. Sometimes, emotional stress can bring on a case of hives.
- Anaphylaxis – Although rare, this type of allergic reaction is of the worst and can cause death if not treated right away. Anything can trigger anaphylaxis in a susceptible person like bug bites, food, or medicines. Symptoms include vomiting, drops in blood pressure, hives, restricted breathing, swelling of the throat and/or tongue, and loss of consciousness.
When to See an Allergy Doctor
When the symptoms of allergies are interfering with your daily life, it's time to seek out medical intervention. Did you know that you do not have to go through each day with sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and feeling congested? An allergist can provide you with medications that will help control these symptoms.
During your first visit to the allergist, a battery of tests will be performed to pinpoint the substances that bring on symptoms. Once it is determined what you are allergic to, a treatment plan will be devised and appropriate medications will be distributed.
Tri-City Medical Center is located in the city of Oceanside, California and is a Gold Seal approved facility. The center provides full-service, acute-care medical treatments in a hospital setting with two skilled medical institutes for cardiovascular and orthopedic care. The facility boasts 397 patient beds and over 500 physicians practicing in over 60 specialties. Having been open since 1961, Tri-City Medical Center has significantly grown over the years in order to meet the health needs of those residing in North County. Community owned and operated, the hospital is a leader in robotic surgery and minimally invasive techniques. For more information, please visit: http://www.tricitymed.org