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Hypersensitivity: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Jul 20, 2024

What is the treatment?

Hypersensitivity, or what is simply known as allergies, arises when the immune system reacts in an abormal way to the presence of a foreign substance in the body. Allergies are of many type, with some of the commonest forms being drug allergy, food allergies, latex allergy, seasonal allergy, animal allergy, allergy to mold, contact dermatitis, allergic asthma and anaphylaxis. The thing about hypersensitivity or allergies is that not only do the different types manifest more or less the same symptoms but they also have more or less the same treatments. Usually self-care methods, avoidng the allergen as well as having certain medications in severe case is enough to provide relief from the symptoms. However, allergies cannot be cured and they are a lifelong condition.That said, certain types of allergies can be prevented or even cured with the help of a process desensitization. This process is also known as allergen immunotherapy or allergy vaccination. Moreover , this remedy is mostly recommended in case of environment induced allergies or those caused by mosquito bites.

How is the treatment done?

To treat almost cases of allergy, the first thing patients will have to do is avoid or get rid of the allergen immediately. For example, if it's food allergy, the patient will have to immediately stop eating the particular food item that caused the allergy and avoid eating it henceforth. The same holds true for seasonal allergies, allergic asthma, latex allergy, animal allergy, allergy to mold and drug allergy. Apart from self-care methods, medications are also administered to control the symptoms of allergy. Medications that are generally used to treat allergies include steroids, antihistamines, anti-inflammatory drugs and decongestants. However, the medication administered in the end will depend on the type of allergy one has. These medications will have to be taken immediately after the allergic reaction. These can be either taken orally or in the form of an injection, depending on the severity of the case as well as the type of hypersensitivity one is experiencing. For contact dermatitis, patients may even be prescribed topical antiseptic creams as well as self-care methods such as ice compress and application of sunscreens or moisturizers. Lastly, desensitization is also used as a treatment method and in this procedure, patients are given regular injections of anti-allergic medications.

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

All patients of mild hypersensitivity are eligible for self-care methods. For severe cases, medications as well as desensitization are necessary.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

If the allergic reaction is coupled with other severe complications, then self-care methods and medications will not be enough and the patient will have to be taken to the emergeny care unit of a hospital. Pregnant women may not be eligible for these medications either.

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Are there any side effects?

Self-care methods have no side effects but the medications used do. These side effects include dizziness, dry mouth, drowsiness, lassitude, nausea, headache, vomitting and blurred vision among other. The side effects of desensitization hives, sneezing and nasal congestion. In severe cases wheezing, swelling in the throat and chest tightness may occur.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The most important post treatment guideline is avoiding the substance that is responsible for hypersenstivity. Other than that, patients do not have to follow any other guidelines as such.

How long does it take to recover?

Recovering from a bout hypersensitivity does not take very long once the treatment options have been employed. It'll take about half an hour to an hour for the allergy symptoms to wear off, and about a day for the side effects of the medication to wear off.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Anti-allergy drugs cost around Rs. 30. As for allergy vaccines or what is also known as desensitization, the average cost is Rs. 1500 per month.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results of desensitization may be permanent. However, those of the medications are not, and hypersensitivity can recure if the patient is exposed to the allergen again.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Homeopathy is an alternative to medications and drugs used for the treatment of hypersensitivity.

References

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Written ByDr. S.Sagin Raj Diploma in Diabetology,CCRH (certificate in reproductive health),MBBS,F.F.M(family medicine)General Physician
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Reviewed ByDr. Bhupindera Jaswant SinghMD - Consultant PhysicianGeneral Physician
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