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Allergies, or allergic reactions, are common occurrences, which are caused by unnatural reactions between your body's immune system and foreign substances, which have gained access into the body. When these substances, known as allergens, enter your body, your immune system produces antibodies, which are responsible for warding off unwanted substances like harmful viruses or diseases and helping in the body's overall resistance.
However, when antibodies identify a particular allergen as harmful, when it really isn't, a reaction occurs which may lead to inflammation or infection of the skin, sinuses, the digestive tract and the respiratory tract, among others. Allergies usually differ from individual to individual and can vary from mild skin irritations to fatal life-threatening emergencies.
Symptoms of allergies depend upon a wide range of factors, which are subjective and vary from person to person and from allergen to allergen. Depending upon the type of allergen involved and the nature of the allergy, symptoms may include any of the following:
- Running nose
- Severe itching
- Swollen or red and watery eyes
- Facial swelling
- Flaky skin which can peel off
These symptoms are common in mild to moderate allergies, such as atopic dermatitis, hay fever, drug or food allergies. There are certain rare cases (say, scorpion stings), however, in which the allergic reaction turns out to be potentially life-threatening. This type of reaction is known as anaphylaxis. Here are its signs and symptoms:
- Intense shortness of breath
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of consciousness
- Skin rashes
- Weak pulse
- A significant drop in blood pressure
The main cause of allergy is the uncontrolled reaction between the immune system's antibodies and harmless allergens. Allergic reactions are triggered when antibodies, like histamine, come into contact with particular types of allergens. These may include:
- Airborne allergens: Pollen, mold, or dust mites
- Insect stings: Bee stings or scorpion stings
- Certain eatables: Peanuts or sea food
- Medications: Penicillin or penicillin-based antibiotics
- Latex: Latex or other substances, which are responsible for causing allergic skin reactions. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Homeopath.
I have pain in left chest from six month. I have visited many doctor earlier. But there is no change. What can I do now?
Hi Sir, Can I mix jaggery and milk and boil it together? And have it in the morning how is it helpful and what is the best time to use it? Please suggest.
Allergic rhinitis is a type of inflammation in the nose, which occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the air.The signs and symptoms of allergic rhinitis include a runny or stuffy nose; sneezing, red, itchy, and watery eyes; and swelling around the eyes. The nose fluid is typically transparent. Also, nasal congestion, postnasal drip, sore throat, anosmia, coughing, frequent headaches, eczema-type symptoms, such as extremely dry, itchy skin that often have blisters and hives can also be seen.
Symptom onset is usually within minutes post exposure. It can affect sleep, the ability to work, and the ability to concentrate at school. Those people whose symptoms are due to pollen typically develop symptoms during specific times of the year. Many individuals with allergic rhinitis also show asthma, allergic conjunctivitis, or atopic dermatitis.
Rhinitis can be classified into two types:
- 1. Allergic rhinitis: It occurs due to a weak immune system and due to allergens, such as pollen, dust, mites, etc.
- 2. Nonallergic rhinitis: In this case, rhinitis is not due to allergens and characterized by a runny nose and nasal blockage throughout the year.
According to ayurveda, allergic rhinitis is compared with Vata-Kapha pratishaya. The concept of Ama (toxins) and Virudhaahara (incompatible foods, such as fish with milk, fruit juice with milk, clarified butter with honey, ice cream after night meals, etc.) leads to allergic rhinitis. The main motive behind the treatment of all diseases is to keep the doshas in equilibrium.
In ayurveda, there are three steps in treating any disease, namely samsodhana (cleansing process), samsamana (palliative measures), and nidanaparivarjana (treating the cause). Pathya (diet regimen) is given, and also, Shodhan chikitsa is advised. It is essentially a body purification therapy which eradicates toxins and refurbishes the tridhoshas, namely, Vatha, Pitha, and Kapha, to a balanced condition.
Following ayurvedic treatment procedures are used to treat allergic rhinitis:
- Shiro abhyanga: During this treatment, either specific oils or herbal preparations are applied on the forehead.
- Mukha abhyanga: It is a classical method of facial massage and detoxification, which is done by using an herbal cream.
- Swedana: It involves sudation or sweating.
- Nasya: It involves the introduction of medicines through the nose.
- Lepa/Talam: It involves an application of herbal medicines in the form of a paste, which is applied externally.
One should also keep the following diet and lifestyle modifications in mind:
- Have freshly-prepared, warm food.
- Avoid stale and junk food.
- Kapha-aggravating foods, such as dairy, wheat, sugar, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, bananas, oranges, and grapefruits, should be avoided.
- Cover your nose in dusty or cold surroundings.
- Whenever you feel slight congestion, take a steam inhalation treatment.
- Avoid sleeping in the open and cover yourself properly before going to sleep.
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