[GoodPharmNOWㅣPopular] Allergies: What You Need to Know

[GoodPharmNOWㅣPopular] Allergies: What You Need to Know

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Allergies are a common problem, affecting up to 30% of the population. They can be caused by a variety of things, including pollen, dust, pet dander, and certain foods. Symptoms of allergies can range from mild, such as a runny nose and itchy eyes, to severe, such as difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis.

What Causes Allergies?

Allergies are caused by the body’s immune system overreacting to a foreign substance. When you come into contact with an allergen, your body produces antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies attach to cells in your body called mast cells. When the allergen comes into contact with the IgE antibodies, it triggers the mast cells to release histamine and other chemicals. These chemicals cause the symptoms of allergies.

What Are the Symptoms of Allergies?

The symptoms of allergies can vary depending on the type of allergen and the person’s sensitivity to it. Common symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can be life-threatening. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the throat and tongue
  • Hives
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness

How Are Allergies Diagnosed?

Allergies are diagnosed through a combination of a physical exam and a medical history. Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and when they occur. They will also ask about your family history of allergies. Your doctor may also order allergy tests to confirm the diagnosis.

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How Are Allergies Treated?

There is no cure for allergies, but there are a number of treatments that can help to relieve symptoms. These treatments include:

  • Avoidance: The best way to prevent allergies is to avoid the allergens that trigger them. This can be difficult, but it is the most effective way to manage allergies.
  • Medications: There are a number of medications that can help to relieve allergy symptoms. These medications include:
    • Antihistamines: Antihistamines block the effects of histamine, which is a chemical that is released by the body during an allergic reaction.
    • Decongestants: Decongestants help to relieve nasal congestion.
    • Leukotriene modifiers: Leukotriene modifiers block the effects of leukotrienes, which are chemicals that are released by the body during an allergic reaction.
    • Nasal corticosteroids: Nasal corticosteroids are sprays that help to reduce inflammation in the nose.
  • Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is a treatment that helps to desensitize the body to an allergen. This treatment involves giving the person small doses of the allergen over a period of time.

How Can I Prevent Allergies?

There is no sure way to prevent allergies, but there are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of developing them. These things include:

  • Avoiding exposure to allergens: The best way to prevent allergies is to avoid the allergens that trigger them. This can be difficult, but it is the most effective way to manage allergies.
  • Washing your hands frequently: Washing your hands frequently can help to remove allergens from your hands and prevent them from coming into contact with your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoiding touching your face: Touching your face can transfer allergens from your hands to your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Using a humidifier: A humidifier can help to add moisture to the air, which can help to reduce the severity of allergy symptoms.
  • Vacuuming and dusting frequently: Vacuuming and dusting frequently can help to remove allergens from your home.
  • Wearing a mask when mowing the lawn or doing other outdoor activities: Wearing a mask can help to prevent allergens from getting into your lungs.
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Conclusion

Allergies are a common problem, but they can be managed with effective treatment. If you think you may have allergies, see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

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