An allergy or an allergic reaction is simply a presentation of your immune system reacting to any substance that is foreign. Allergies can develop at any time in your life, and can even go away at any time. It occurs when the antibodies within your immune system end up identifying any foreign substance as harmful to the body, even though it might not be. As a result, your body tries to warn you that it is in danger by breaking out into an allergic reaction. Allergies can be mild to severe and there are many different treatment options that you can choose from to treat your allergies.
The most effective way to both, treat and prevent your allergies from coming back is to mainly stay away from the substance that you are allergic to. An allergic reaction can also be treated with the help of medications. Some doctors may prescribe immune suppressant drugs to help treat the symptoms of the reaction. Emergency epinephrine is also an effective treatment for allergies.
Different treatments and medications suit different people so it might take a while to find the medicine that works the best on your body and your specific allergies. Allergies are a very common condition and you don’t have to worry about them.
In order to diagnose your allergy, your doctor will perform a few tests, even though most allergic symptoms can be confirmed on sight. If you are unsure of what exactly it is that you are allergic to, your doctor can administer a few tests to help you find out. The most common way to do so is with the help of a skin test wherein different proteins will be placed on your skin and monitored for an allergic reaction such as a raised bump. A blood test can also be conducted to help figure out what you are allergic to.
The best way to ensure you don’t get an allergic reaction is to avoid any exposure to the allergen. For instance, if you are allergic to tomatoes, you cannot eat any food items that have tomatoes in them. Your doctor will also prescribe anti-allergy medications. These help clear up all the symptoms of the allergy. If that does not work, immune therapy is often used as a treatment course. In this, you will be given a series of injections over a specified number of years. These injections contain extracts from the allergen and help you build some immunity to it.
Some people who have extremely severe allergies are given emergency epinephrine to carry around with them. These can be administered by yourself and can help get rid of the symptoms of the allergies.
Anyone who has an allergy to any substance is eligible to seek out treatment for it. This is because allergies can often cause a lot of discomfort, fever like symptoms, skin problems, and so on and its best to treat these symptoms rather than to live with them indefinitely.
If a series of allergy tests have been administered and the results show that you are not allergic to anything, then your symptoms may be caused due to another medical condition. In this case, you are not eligible to seek out treatment for allergies as the problem you have is something else. Your course of treatment will be to treat that specific problem.
There are no specific side effects to treating allergies. However, for people who are very vulnerable to multiple allergies, it is important to note that you may even be allergic to some of the ingredients that are used to create different medications. Therefore, if you experience anything unusual after taking your medication, you should report the same to your doctor immediately in case your symptoms begin to worsen.
The most important post treatment guideline is to stay away from the substance or substances that give you an allergic reaction. This is the best way to maintain a normal and healthy lifestyle.
The recovery period is very fast. Taking an anti-allergy medicine can help clear up the symptoms within a day or two. If you take emergency epinephrine, your symptoms will clear up almost immediately. With immune therapy, the course of treatment and recovery period generally lasts over a period of a few years.
Anti allergy medications cost anywhere between Rs. 50 and Rs. 150, depending on the brand of medication you are looking for and the total dosage.
The results of the treatment are permanent however, you can get an allergic reaction again if you are exposed to an allergen. In that case, it is considered a fresh reaction and not an extension of the older reaction that has already been treated.
It is suggested that certain patients can benefit greatly from acupuncture though there isn’t a lot of definitive proof on the matter. People who are allergic to dust can install air purifiers in their home to make sure the air they breathe is clean and free from mites and dust.
While a sizeable population suffers from allergy issues every year, treating them is often possible without an extensive diagnosis. However, diagnosis of the allergen becomes crucial when the problem recurs several times in a year.
The skin prick testing is a reliable means of diagnosing the IgE-mediated (immunoglobulin E) allergic disease in people who have asthma, urticaria, rhinoconjunctivitis, atopic eczema, anaphylaxis, and drug allergy.
It offers evidence for confirming the diagnosis of the type I allergy. The best aspect of allergy testing by skin prick method is that it is minimally invasive, inexpensive and the results are immediately available when carried out by trained professionals.
Why is skin prick test conducted?
Skin prick test is usually used for diagnosing the food allergy symptoms which are typically caused by the interaction between a food allergen and the IgE antibody. To diagnose a food allergy, the allergy expert may recommend you undergo a skin prick test for measuring the number of antibodies present.
What can you expect?
During the skin prick test, the allergist places a drop of solution which contains the food allergen on the back or the forearm. When testing the fruits and vegetables, food is used in place of solution. In this allergy testing method, the doctor would use a needle or a plastic probe for gently pricking or scratching the skin for allowing a small amount of solution to penetrate the skin surface. This method is not painful, and no bleeding is involved in it. Though many people think that the process would cause much discomfort, the reality is that it feels similar to a scratch caused by fingernails.
On the basis of the case history, a patient may need to be tested for just one or many foods. The results are almost immediate; You can get them within half-an-hour of the test. The positive results of the test are indicated by a wheal which causes a raised white bump encircled by a small circle of itchy red skin. Though the size of the wheal is not the accurate indicator, a large wheal generally indicates that the patient is affected by food allergy.
How accurate is skin prick testing?
The skin prick allergy testing hardly produces any false negatives which indicate that you are not allergic to a food. Having negative results is synonymous with not being allergic to the food for which you are tested. On the other hand, positive results are also not always accurate. About 50 percent of cases show false positives which mean the positive result is shown even though you are not allergic to that particular food.
This simple test can be the means of identifying the allergens which will help determine the allergy prevention plan. Consulting an allergist before undergoing the test is essential.
Immunotherapy which is also known as allergy shots is a type of treatment which has long-term benefits. Immunotherapy helps in reducing the chance of different kinds of allergic issues to develop later in life. The chance of having allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, stinging insect allergy and even conjunctivitis are all diminished with the help of these allergy shots. Allergy shots help your body become immune to different allergens which can later trigger an allergic reaction. Any individual, who notices symptoms for more than 3 months in a year and does not see the medicines make any significant headway, should definitely consider taking immunotherapy.
What is the Immunotherapy Treatment?
The treatment of immunotherapy allows the doctor to inject small doses of whatever substance you are allergic to, also known as allergens, under your skin. This procedure helps your body get used to the allergens which in turn help in reducing the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. For allergy shots, your doctor first carries out a test to determine which allergen is the patient allergic to. The doctor might then use weed, pollen or dust mites, molds and even animal dander as allergy shots.
In the beginning of the treatment, the doctor may give these allergy shots once or twice every week, depending on the need. Once the patient reaches the point of maintenance doses, the same dose is injected in the patient’s body every 2-4 weeks for up to 6 months. Once the 6 month period is also over, the dose is reduced to once a month. A checkup will be done by your allergist after a year to see whether the symptoms have become less severe or not. If there is no remarkable change witnessed then the doctor does not prescribe continuing the same treatment, however, if there is an improvement then you may have to continue taking the shots for up to 3 to 5 years.
Results of the Treatment
There is no definite assurance of being completely cured after taking immunotherapy as the allergy might return for some within a few years. For others at the same time, the allergy might show no sign of returning and the patient can be completely cured. Most of the times, this treatment is absolutely safe when given correctly. However, symptoms of asthma, hives and low blood pressure can be a matter of grave concern as it can be a life-threatening reaction. Emergency care should be provided immediately in such a case.
A drug is used to treat a health issue or a disease, but it can rarely happen that the drug itself can cause an allergic reaction. Read on to know more about important things you must know about drug allergy.
What leads to a drug allergy?
The body’s immune system identifies any trigger as an antigen and produces “antibodies” to fight the antigen. It can, however, rarely happen that the drug itself can turn out to be an antigen and trigger the production of antibodies. There is a slight difference between side effect and allergy caused by a drug.
While a side effect will be seen in almost any person who takes it, the allergic reaction to a drug is based on the person’s immune system. A weakened immune system has a higher chance of triggering a drug allergy. For instance, steroids have the side effect of increasing sugar levels, whereas penicillin causing anaphylaxis is an example of a drug allergy.
A side effect may sometimes be positive too; however, a drug allergy is almost always negative.
Another aspect also is to note that a drug allergy may disappear over a period of time.
Possible drugs causing allergies:
Kinds of drug allergies: While there are many drugs which can cause minor allergies like a rash, there are some which could have a life-threatening effect. Anaphylaxis, for instance, can be very dangerous, and if not immediately attended to, can even cause death. Most often though symptoms include irregular heartbeat, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
Treatment of drug allergies:
For mild drug allergies, if the drug is critical for improving health, then the doctor can choose to continue the drug and give another drug to control the reaction.
However, if the reaction is severe, then an alternate needs to be given so that the health is taken care of, without causing a severe allergic reaction. Some common agents used to treat drug allergies are listed below:
Be frank with your doctor and tell any reaction you might notice. When having future surgeries, including dental, let the doctor know about your allergy. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Products derived from plants are widely used as herbs and spices, often across the world and in many cuisines. Though spices and herbs are used in small quantities to add flavor to the food we eat, they can still trigger an adverse reaction. As per a presentation at the 2012 scientific meeting of ACAAI (American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology), 2-3% people across the world have an allergic reaction to spices. The percentage may seem quite less, mostly because of the lack of reliable tests.
Unfortunately, spices aren't regulated by FDI (Food and Drug Administration), which is why they are not listed on the food labels, making it extremely hard for consumers to determine what products to avoid. Not only food but these spices are also used in cosmetics, toothpaste and various other dental products. Sami Bahana, former president of ACAAI, said during the meeting that; as more and more people have started to use cosmetics and spices in the United States, it is likely that they will soon start developing allergies to these substances. Common spice allergies are usually observed towards black pepper and garlic and vanilla. Then there are spice blends, which are even more difficult to regulate.
Symptoms of spice allergy
Treating spice allergy
Food allergies can be defined as a sign of danger given by the human body when it considers some particular food items as harmful. This is basically an allergic reaction to some food proteins. As per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4 to 6 percent of kids and 4 percent of adults worldwide are affected by different types of food allergies. The most interesting fact about the food allergies is that you can develop an allergy to a particular food at any age. Also, one can develop an allergy to a particular food even when you have been eating that food with ease all these years.
Food allergies can be categorized into main types:
Remove food items that can trigger allergy
It is obvious that food allergy is pertaining to a particular food and thus it is advisable to remove the triggering food items from your diet. It is also advised to remove the byproducts of such food items. This will minimize the danger of food allergy. There are some common food items which can trigger the food allergies which are:
Try to stock your pantry with alternatives to the allergic food items. There is no need to make your taste buds suffer by removing food items which can activate allergies. You can try alternatives to such food items and have a healthy life. Read the label on food while shopping for groceries as most of the triggering ingredients are common in many of the food items. Thus, it is advisable to read the ingredients on the food labels before you buy them. You can also look for these common names for allergens:
Write down your meal plans
Preparing your own meal can minimize the risk of food allergies. Thus, try to make your own food and keep a memo of what you would like to eat in a meal. This way you can eliminate the dishes which include triggering ingredients. These above-mentioned methods can surely help you in preventing food allergies effectually. However, if the symptoms of food allergies are severe, do not hesitate to take medical help.