What are Allergies?
Allergies are hypersensitive immune responses to substances that either enter or come in contact with the body, such as pet dander, pollen or bee venom. A substance that causes an allergic reaction is called an “allergen”. Allergens can be found in food, drinks or the environment. Most allergens are harmless, i.e. the majority of people are not affected by them. If you are allergic to a substance, such as pollen, your immune system reacts to it as if it were a pathogen (a foreign harmful substance), and tries to destroy it.
You can’t cure allergies, but you can treat and control the symptoms. It may take a little work. You’ll need to make a few changes to your surroundings or figure out how to stay away from things that trigger allergy attacks.
Types of Allergies
Medication will ease your symptoms, but you may still have a reaction when you’re around an allergen. Kids, on the other hand, sometimes outgrow allergies, particularly with food. You might try a type of treatment called immunotherapy. You’ll get a bit of what you’re allergic to in the form of shots, oral tablets, or drops. It isn’t a cure, but it can weaken your reaction.
Food allergies or food intolerance affect nearly everyone at some point. People often have an unpleasant reaction to something they ate and wonder if they have a food allergy. One out of three people either say that they have a food allergy or that they modify the family diet because a family member is suspected of having a food allergy. But only about 5% of children have clinically proven allergic reactions to foods. In teens and adults, food allergies occur in about 4% of the total population.
Symptoms of a skin allergy include:
Red, bumpy, scaly, itchy or swollen skin – any of these signs may mean you have a skin allergy. Skin allergies are painful and unpleasant, but there are things you can do to treat and prevent an allergic skin reaction. The most common allergic skin conditions are: eczema, hives and angioedema, and allergic contact dermatitis. It is important to track when the allergy starts and what were you doing when it started. Also with today’s technology you can take a daily picture of your skin to compare allergy progress.
Airborne allergies can be trigger by microscopic particles that travel thru the air and absorbe by our bodies. Air pollution such smoke or mold spores can really make a impact not just for the regular known allergy surfer but for every one that is exposed to them. The respiratory system will react those particles and start fighting them making the air track sand the lung tissue to swallow and obstruct air and this combination can be life treating. Allergic reaction to a pollutant can also cause Asthma or asthma symptoms and some times the continue exposure can slowly develop into chronic respiratory illnesses.
Indoor and Outdoor Allergies
Approximately 40 million Americans have indoor/outdoor allergies as their primary allergy.
Approximately 4% of allergy sufferers have latex allergy as their primary allergy.
Approximately 7% of allergy sufferers have skin allergies as their primary allergy.
Approximately 4% of allergy sufferers have insect allergies as their primary allergy.
Approximately 6% of allergy sufferers have food/drug allergies as their primary allergy.
Approximately 4% of allergy sufferers have eye allergies as their primary allergy.
The causes of symptoms, such as pollen, molds, and dust mites, cannot be totally eliminated. Exposure can be reduced, however, by environmental control measures prescribed by your allergist. Remember, you don’t need 100% avoidance to improve – just enough to get you feeling better.
Medications are generally divided up into two categories–those to prevent your symptoms, and those to treat your symptoms. It is reasonable to infer that prevention medications must be used regularly to be most effective. Prescription medications can be very expensive; however, we will work with you and your insurance company to find the most effective therapeutic alternatives covered by your plan.
The allergic response is an overreaction to a harmless substance. When the allergic patient comes across something to which they are sensitive, the allergic cascade begins, often leading to misery. The non-allergic person will breathe in the same thing and have no adverse response. The goal of allergy shots is to gain this tolerance to harmless substances which are mistaken for dangerous invaders.