The body’s response to a specific food or substance is termed an allergy, and they happen every now and then. In fact, 1 out of every 4 persons in the UK is said to have an allergy in their lifetime.
Allergies are typical conditions in children. Some may disappear as the child matures; most are long-term. For adults, allergies can start at any point, even if it wasn’t present before. Being allergic can be disturbing and would hamper daily living; however, many allergies are not serious and can be managed effectively.
Though rare, chronic allergic reactions can happen sometimes.
The usual allergies
An allergy is triggered by exposure to an allergen – a substance that causes an allergic response.
The usual allergens are:
- Dust mites
- Tree and grass pollen – this causes an allergy called hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
- Dander from pets – very small flakes of skin or hair
- Food – most commonly milk, egg, shellfish, fruits and nuts
- Stings and bites from insects
- Drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin and some antibiotics
- Latex – a material utilised in the production of sexual protections like condoms. It is also used to make gloves
- Mould – formations that can launch dangerous breathable particles into the air
- Household chemicals found in hair dyes, detergent and other products
If you are not allergic to many of these allergens, they won’t pose any danger to you.
In minutes, one can have an allergic seizure from contact with an allergen. When you do, the symptoms could be:
- A rash that itches and turns reddish
- Runny or blocked nose
- Eyes that are watery, itchy and red
- Coughing and wheezing
- Eczema or asthma symptoms that are severe
You can take an allergy test in London to know whether or not you are allergic to something.
In the majority of cases, allergies are not severe. However, anaphylaxis – a serious allergic reaction – can happen sometimes. It is considered a health emergency that should be treated right away.
What to do when an allergy happens?
You or your child should contact a healthcare provider or GP when you believe you respond allergically to certain things.
Other conditions can trigger allergy symptoms.
By consulting a GP, you can know if you have an allergic reaction. For cases of a less serious allergy, the GP can give useful advice or treatment to keep the allergy in check. Where you have a specific, serious allergy or your allergy cannot be diagnosed, the GP may refer you to an allergist. They are specialist doctors that can diagnose and treat allergies.
Keeping allergies under control
Most of the time, allergies are better managed by avoiding exposure to the potential allergen as much as you can.
For example, read the food label for allergic ingredients prior to purchase or consumption if you are allergic to food.
Again, several medications can keep allergy symptoms in check, which include:
- You can take these as an allergic reaction when symptoms are present or before coming in contact with an allergen, so a reaction doesn’t occur.
- As the name implies, these are products that free a blocked nose – one of the common symptoms of an allergy. Decongestants are available as capsules, tablets, nasal sprays, or liquids. Their effect doesn’t last for a long time.
- Creams and lotions. Including moisturising creams that can alleviate red or itchy skin.
- Steroid medicines. These are available as tablets, inhalers, creams, drops, or sprays. They lower how red and itchy the skin becomes due to an allergy.
People whose allergy is very chronic can be relieved by immunotherapy. This is a procedure for treating an allergy by exposing the patient to the allergen under controlled conditions for several years. They no longer experience a serious response to the allergen as they have become used to it.
What is the cause of an allergy?
When the body’s immune system reads a substance as dangerous and responds to it, an allergy is a resulting effect.
The reason for an allergy occurring is not obvious; however, for many persons, their family history includes an allergy or related conditions, like eczema or asthma.
Each year, more and more people develop allergies.
Why? This is not clear; however, a primary theory suggests that allergies arise from living in a spick-and-span environment; thus, the immune system has fewer germs to fight. So, the assumption is that when harmless substances reach the immune system, they respond unnaturally.
Allergy vs sensitivity vs intolerance
This is the body’s reaction to an otherwise safe substance initiated by the immune system.
When the usual impact of a substance is overrated. For instance, the caffeine contained in coffee can trigger serious symptoms like shivering and palpitations.
The body becomes intolerant to a substance by presenting signs that are not pleasant, like diarrhoea, but this is without the participation of the immune system.
Those who can’t tolerate some foods usually can cope with a little amount of that food(s) and won’t have an issue.
All these terms are different, and the body may exhibit any one of them at some point.
Whatever the case, you must seek treatment from a reputable healthcare provider to be healthy and happy.
It is important to know what allergy you have, especially if you have symptoms. Our specialist doctor are highly skilled allergist in London. Doctors tell more about allergy and how it can be treated, and lifestyle techniques you can adopt to lower the effect of your allergy.
With an allergy test, your doctor can tell you what type of allergy you have, give clearer information about the possible symptoms and offer appropriate treatment.
Would you like an allergy test London? Don’t hesitate to contact our clinic today. We offer one of the finest diagnostic tests for allergies that can help you.