Nasty Allergies!

Nasty Allergies!

Allergies are an irregular immune system response to some substance. The substance that triggers allergic reaction can be: animal dander, pollen, mold and etc. It is called an allergen. Allergies are a common problem. For example, in America, 2 of 10 people are allergic to some substance.

Allergy starts when a person is exposed to an allergen, by swallowing, inhaling or getting it on their skin. At that time, an immune system starts producing lgE, specific types of antibodies, to destroy the allergen. These antibodies attach themselves to mast cells. They can be found in the airways, which makes those areas even more susceptible to allergens! Allergens react with lgE antibodies, which cause mast cells to release certain chemicals into the blood! Those chemicals are responsible for most of the symptoms. The most common chemical is histamine.

The common symptoms are: sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, rashes, feeling tired and hives. In a case of food allergies, additional symptoms such as: vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps can be noticed. In allergic reactions to insect’ sting, symptoms may include: redness, pain and local swelling.

Depending of your immune system reaction, symptoms can be mild (unnoticeable), moderate (similar as cold or flu) and severe allergic reactions (extremely uncomfortable).

The most severe reaction is called anaphylaxis! In this case, allergens may cause: hives and itching all over, tightness in the throat, tingling in the feet, scalp and lips. If this happens, medical intervention is mandatory! It is usually treated with the adrenaline shots. You should know that even a person isn’t allergic to anything, he/she can develop allergy to some allergen at any time!

 

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