Allergies are a reaction of the immune system to a foreign substance. The immune system overreacts to an allergen, causing symptoms such as sneezing, itching, or swelling. Allergens can be found in the environment, in food, or medications.
People with allergies react when exposed to allergens that can cause their bodies to release antibodies. These antibodies attach themselves to mast cells that release histamine and other chemicals into your bloodstream. These chemical reactions cause inflammation throughout your body and lead to allergic reactions such as itching or swelling around the mouth and watering eyes when exposed to an allergen. Severe allergic reactions can be life-threatening and may require you to visit an emergency room nearby for assistance.
Pollen allergies occur when exposed to pollen, the powdery grains produced by flowers. This is usually in the spring and summer and can cause sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, and other symptoms.
Dust mites are microscopic bugs that live off human skin cells shed from our bodies when we sleep or sit down on furniture made from fabric like velvet or suede. Dust mites can cause asthma attacks in children as well as adults who have asthma.
Animal dander is another common allergy trigger for many people who suffer from pet allergies, such as cats, dogs, and rabbits. Pet dander becomes airborne during petting sessions, resulting in an allergic reaction in sensitive people. While you might think that having an allergy to pets is just for kids who grow out of it, many adults also continue to experience these symptoms.
Food allergies are typically caused by a reaction of the immune system to a food protein. When you eat something you’re allergic to, your body mistakenly believes it’s under attack from outside invaders and releases chemicals called histamines. This can cause anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. Proteins can cause food allergies in foods that aren’t broken down in the digestive tract.
Allergic reactions may include itchy eyes, runny nose, or sneezing. If you experience any of these symptoms after eating a certain food, you may be allergic to that food.
If you have allergies and are unsure if a particular food item triggers your symptoms, talk with your doctor about what foods to avoid and how to manage your allergies.
It is important to know when allergic reactions become an emergency because some can be life-threatening if not treated promptly; therefore, seek allergic reaction treatment in Harker Heights promptly.
Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that can happen quickly and affect multiple body systems. It can be life-threatening if not treated.
Signs of anaphylaxis include:
Swelling of the tongue or throat (called angioedema)
Bronchial spasms (tightness in the chest) that make it difficult to breathe
Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
Visit an ER for allergic reaction immediately if you have any symptoms of anaphylaxis or if you think you are having an allergic reaction but aren’t sure if it’s severe.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend allergen immunotherapy. This treatment involves exposing a person to small amounts of an allergen to help them build up a tolerance to it. Allergy immunotherapy can treat allergies to things like pollen, dust mites, and pet dander.
The goal of this treatment is for the body’s immune system to stop reacting so strongly when exposed to an allergen. It may take several years of taking immunotherapy shots before you see results. Remember that it’s not always possible for your body to develop complete tolerance (meaning no allergic reaction), even with long-term treatment with allergenic extracts.
If you have a serious allergic reaction, take an antihistamine immediately and seek emergency care. Stay calm and hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid the allergen that caused your symptoms (if possible). If you have trouble breathing or swallowing water or if someone needs to revive you, it’s time to go to the hospital immediately.
Allergies are common in the U.S., affecting about 50 million Americans. However, many people don’t realize that allergies can be very different from person to person. If you suspect that an allergy might be causing issues with breathing or skin irritation, visit Express Emergency Room for assistance.