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Allergic Reaction: Treatment, Cost and Side Effects

What is the Allergic Reaction? How is the Allergic Reaction treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the Allergic Reaction?

Allergy or allergic reaction is a condition occurring due to an overreaction of the immune system of the body to certain otherwise harmless foreign substances. The immune system of the body normally protects us from harmful foreign substances called antigens like disease causing pathogens, abnormal harmful substances in the body, etc. by producing antibodies. Antibodies target the foreign substance and destroy it with the help of the defense mechanisms of the body. In some cases, antibodies are produced against substances, called allergens, which are not inherently harmful to the body. Antibodies against allergens trigger a massive overreaction of the immune system which causes harm to the body, and may even cause death.

Allergies occur when substances called allergens are wrongly recognized by the body to be harmful due to a genetic predisposition. Allergens can be almost anything, including pollen, dust mites, some types of food, insect bites, animal hair, some plants, medications, some viruses and bacteria, as well as changes in temperature, stress, etc. Antibodies against allergens produce a diverse array of reactions by facilitating the body to release certain chemicals called mediators, histamine being a common example. Reactions may be localized rashes, uncontrollable sneezing, hives, difficulty in breathing, or may be systemic involving the whole body. In severe cases allergy can cause a massive reaction called anaphylactic shock which may even be fatal.

Allergy has no definite treatment. Various different modes of treatment exist and have different levels of effect on different people. Avoiding the allergens combined with immunosuppressants has so far been the most successful in keeping the condition under control.

How is the Allergic Reaction treatment done?

Treatment for allergy is based mostly on avoiding the allergens. In absence of allergens, antihistamines form the medicine of choice for allergy. Antihistamines are prescribed to target the mediator histamine and are useful to treat long term allergic reactions like rhinitis. For severe reactions, epinephrine is injected to counter anaphylactic shock by dilating the bronchii and increasing blood pressure. Corticosteroids are administered through intravenous tube to counter the more severe allergic reactions including inflammation. Corticosteroids can be applied as topical ointment to tackle allergic reactions of the skin, or may also be used as nasal sprays to reduce symptoms of stuffy or blocked nose. Epinephrine is used as an emergency treatment to reverse the effects of an allergic reaction. Both over the counter and prescription medications are available to treat an allergic reaction. Another treatment method used to treat mild allergies is allergy shots, where the patient is exposed to allergens in progressively higher doses over a period of time starting with a very low dose. This procedure sensitizes the immune system to that allergen so that it does not produce an allergic reaction.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Allergies can occur anytime, and allergens that trigger severe response in some may not trigger a response of similar intensity in others. In most cases, a mild reaction goes away once the allergen is removed from the vicinity. However, it is advisable to undergo treatment if symptoms of allergic reaction appear, especially if there has been a severe allergic reaction in the past. If symptoms worsen or persist even after removal of allergens, treatment needs to be started immediately.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Mild reactions usually go away on their own once the allergens are removed and treatment is not required. However, it is advisable to undergo treatment even if the symptoms are mild as an allergy can progress from mild to fatal in a very short time.

Are there any side effects?

Treatment procedures for allergy may have a small side effect of suppressing the immune system, making a person vulnerable to other small infections.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Post treatment guidelines include avoiding the allergens that causes a reaction, like pollen, allergenic food, dust, animal hair, etc.

How long does it take to recover?

There is no fixed period for recovery from allergies. Some people get better within a few hours after the allergens are removed, while some people may need extensive long term treatment to recover.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Price of treatment starts from as low as Rs. 50 and goes up to Rs. 5000 or higher for long term treatments.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Allergy is incurable and treatment is targeted towards reducing the symptoms. Once treated, results are permanent till the next exposure to the allergens.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Alternative treatment options for allergy include allergy shots, herbal medications, and also acupuncture. These treatment methods vary greatly in their efficacy and may be used along with the standard modes of treatment.

Popular Questions & Answers

I have skin problems. First I have some allergic reaction in my skin and after taking medicines it reduced. Now it in that place large no. Of pimple, acnes are forming. What to do.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MCh - Plastic Surgery
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Hello. The scars and the pigmentation on the face are treatable. It's better to get it examined first so that we can identify the type of skin, scars and if they are hyper pigmented, atrophic or ice pick scars. The treatment are of various kind li...

I am a female. Aged 21. Living in kolkata, WB. Problems are Itching and allergic reactions in hand and leg. Mostly in the leg and thigh region. Heavy itching. After itching it is spreading. Please help me with medicine.

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Dear Lybrate user You may be suffering from a fungal infection called Tinea. For correct diagnosis and treatment please consult a dermatologist. Do not apply creams containing steroid given by the pharmacist. Wash clothes in hot water and treatmen...

6 months before I was affected with viral diarrhea and along with that nose irritation and blowing nose and also sneezing. But since that blowing nose and sneezing like allergic reaction is continuing. Almost all days my nose becomes irritated and I start sneezing. Why this is continuing since last six months? What should I do?

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Nasal Allergy: It is very common now a days…it is of two types –Seasonal and perineal. Seasonal allergic rhinitis occurs according to changes in atmosphere . Antihistaminics and decongestants can help you.
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I'm having allergic reactions subsequently especially when I take cold and catarrh medicines. What should be the cause?

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It shows that your immune system is low. Follow ayush guide lines. Do every day exercise, take hot water. Don't eat cold drinks, ice-cream, milk and curd. Haldi you can take.

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