Allergies – Types, Risk Factors, Complications & Prevention

fight allergies

More common in kids, they can affect people of any age.
Allergies happen when our immune system in overreacting to substances called allergens. Major allergens include pollen, bee venom, and pet dander.

Allergies can be mild, severe, or — in some cases — life-threatening.

What Is IgE
When we are exposed to allergens our immune system produces an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE).

Body attempt`s to destroy the allergen by producing IgE.

These antibodies will signal other cells to release histamine but too much histamine can cause skin, nose, throat, and lung irritation.

Who Gets Allergies?
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, a total number of 50 million people have some type of allergy, which is one in every five Americans.

The sixth most common cause of chronic illness in the United States, are allergies with an annual cost of more than $18 billion.

Allergies are more common to children than adults are, and in the past years allergies in children have increased.

Based on FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education). About 1 in every 13 kids has food allergies.

In addition, each year two million kids missed school days.

Types of Allergies
Some are seasonal, and others occur year-round.

Most common are trigger flare-ups.

  • Pollen
  • Cockroaches
  • Mold spores
  • Dust mites
  • Foods (eggs, fish, milk, nuts, wheat, soy, shellfish, and others)
  • Insect stings or bites (from wasps, bees, mosquitoes, fire ants, fleas, horseflies, black flies, and others)
  • Pet dander or fur
  • Latex
  • Medicines (penicillin, aspirin, and others)
  • Household chemicals
  • Metals (especially nickel, cobalt, chromium, and zinc)

Risk Factors
You are more prompt to allergies if you:

  • Have asthma
  • Have a family history of asthma or allergies
  • Are a child under age 18

Allergy Complications
Anaphylaxis is a condition associated with allergies involving food penicillin, and insect venom.

Anaphylaxis symptoms are:

  • A drop in blood pressure
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Skin rash
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Rapid or weak pulse
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Severe wheezing

If you see these symptoms to yourself or someone else, call 911 or seek emergency medical help right away.

People with allergies are at risk of developing complications with:

  • Asthma (a respiratory illness that causes narrowing and inflammation of the airways leading to chest tightness, wheezing, and difficulty breathing)
  • Eczema (a skin inflammation)
  • Ear or lung infections
  • Sinusitis or sinus infection
  • Nasal polyps (growths on the lining of the nose or sinuses)
  • Migraine headaches

Preventing Allergies:
Avoid triggers: This is often difficult because there are allergens that are hard to dodge

For example: If allergic to pet dandler, stay away from animals. If allergic to pollen, wear a protective mask and stay indoors when pollen counts are high.

Go to a doctor: make sure you and the doctor do what is needed to check which allergens might cause or worsen your symptoms.

People with severe allergies may need to have epinephrine in them if anaphylaxis occurs

Ask your doctor if needed.


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