Sunday, December 6, 2020

Allergies

Various kinds of allergies and disease associated with allergy like allergic rhinitis, eczema, food allergy , pollen allergy (hay fever) ,asthma are very common today. It’s a disease that has no age bound, and is found in all age groups.

What are allergies ?

Allergies are conditions in which the immune system reacts abnormally to a foreign substance.

Such foreign substances are called Allergens. Allergens include 

  • foods 
  • pollen
  • pet dander.

The main function of the immune system is to keep you healthy by fighting off harmful pathogens.

When allergens enter the body, our body’s immune system shows response by inflammation, sneezing, or a mix of other symptoms.

Allergies are common. Several treatments can help you to avoid these symptoms. 

Symptoms of allergies

Symptoms are the result of several factors. For example in almost all types of allergies, you can see visible symptoms.

Symptoms of different allergens are:-

  • Rashes-: Areas of skin are irritated, red, or swollen, and can be painful or itchy.
  • Eczema-: Inflammation of skin patches associated with peeling of skin,itching and start bleeding.
  • Sore throat-: Irritation or inflammation in the throat takes place.
  • Hives-: Red, itchy, and raised welts of various sizes and shapes develop on the surface of the skin.
  • Swollen eyes-: Water starts coming out from eyes , which can be associated with puffiness 
  • Itching-: Irritation or inflammation of the skin.
  • Burning-:Skin inflammation leads to discomfort and stinging sensations on the skin.

Different types of allergies 

1)Food allergies

  • Swelling
  • Hives
  • Nausea 
  • Fatigue

Note-: After taking a meal if a serious reaction takes place in your body and you are not able to figure out the reason then you should immediately contact your doctor. 

 2) Seasonal allergies

  • Congestion 
  • Runny nose 
  • Swollen eyes

Most of the time you can manage the symptoms at home but in serious conditions medical attention is needed.

Seasonal allergens that are pyrogenic in nature are called as hay fever. Caused due to release of pollen by plants. It cause-:

  • Itchy eyes 
  • Watery eyes 
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing

3) Severe allergies

It can cause anaphylaxis. This is a life-threatening emergency that can lead to-:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Light  headed feeling
  • Loss of consciousness

Causes of allergies

Till now there is not much research done ,which explains why the immune system causes an allergic reaction when a normally harmless foreign substance enters the body.

There is a genetic component related to allergies. But specific allergies are not passed down. For example- If your mother is allergic to shellfish, it does not necessarily mean that you will be, too.

Common types of allergens include:-

  • Animal products
  • Drugs 
  • Foods 
  • Insect stings
  • Mold
  • Plants

 Medication

Stay away from those things that triggers the allergic reaction in the body. But if you get exposed to the allergens then allergy medication include-:

  • Antihistamines
  • Corticosteroids
  • Cetirizine
  • Loratadine
  • Cromolyn sodium
  • Decongestant
  • Leukotriene modifiers

Other methods of medication

Immunotherapy

Doctors give injections over the course of a few years to help the body get used to your allergy.

Emergency epinephrine

Emergency epinephrine shots counters allergic reactions are given until medical help arrives.

Frequently Asked  Questions (FAQ)

Q)How can we diagnose allergies?

Ans:- There are several ways to diagnose-:

  1. Doctors ask for symptoms and do some physical examination.
  1. He can ask you about what   you have eaten recently or any allergens that you may have contacted .
  1. Lastly a blood test or skin sensitivity testing can be done.

Q)What are preventing symptoms we have to follow?

Ans:- We cannot prevent allergies but we can prevent symptoms. Those preventing symptoms are-:

  1. Avoid allergens that trigger allergic reactions.
  2. For avoiding food allergens, thoroughly read food labels before and ask questions about the food that you are eating.
  3. If you have an allergy from dust then install proper air filters in your home, wear a mask during travelling.

Q)What are complications of allergies?

Ans:- Allergies are frequent sniffles and sneezes that come around every season and some of these allergic reactions may be life-threatening.

For ex- Anaphylaxis, it is a serious reaction to the exposure of allergens. 

Allergen which cause appearance of anaphylaxis signs are-:

  • Airways become narrow due to any reason
  • Increase in the heart rate
  • Possible swelling of the tongue and mouth

When allergy symptoms appear then immediately contact the doctor because they will determine the reason of appearance of symptoms and also help in understanding the difference between a sensitivity and full-blown allergy. Doctors can also teach you how you can manage the allergic symptoms , so that you can prevent the complications from getting worse.

Q) What is the relation between Asthma and Allergies ?

Ans:- Asthma is a common respiratory condition. We face difficulty in breathing and narrow the air passageways in your lungs.

There is a close relationship between allergies and asthma. If a person is suffering from asthma and also allergy occurs then it can make the existing asthma worse. In some cases, allergy can trigger asthma in a person who never had the any problem of asthma.

In a person, when both conditions occur together then this condition is called allergy-induced asthma. 60% of people in the United States suffer from allergy-induced asthma. This statistics is given by Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America.

Q) How can we differentiate between symptoms of cold and allergies?

Ans:- Generic symptoms of allergy and cold are mostly the same. For example- runny nose, sneezing, and coughing, these symptoms are common in both allergy and cold. 

So, for differentiating between these two we have to compare between the additional symptoms of both. For ex- rashes on skin and itchy eyes are caused by allergies whereas body aches, fever are caused by cold.

Q) What is Allergy cough ?

Ans:- Hay fever can produce symptoms that include sneezing, coughing, and a persistent, stubborn cough. All these symptoms occur due to overreaction to allergens.

But the cough is temporary, not chronic. These symptoms can appear but mostly these seasonal allergies can trigger asthma and asthma can lead to coughing. When a person with common seasonal allergies is exposed to an allergen, tightening airways can lead to a cough, shortness of breath and chest tightening.

Q) What is the relation between allergies and bronchitis? 

Ans:- Bronchitis occur due to viruses or bacteria or it can be result of allergies. There are two types of bronchitis-:

  • Chronic bronchitis-: It exist for months.
  • Acute bronchitis-: Ends after several days or weeks.

Most common cause of chronic bronchitis is the exposure to common allergens. These allergens are-:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Air pollution
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Chemical fumes

A cough is the only common symptom between chronic and acute bronchitis. Now a days, skin allergies are very common in younger children. As children grow older skin allergies decreases and food and respiratory allergies become more common.

  • Eczema- Red rashes appear on the skin that itch also and inflammation on the skin also takes place. Development of rashes is very slow but persistent.
  • Allergic contact dermatitis- When a baby comes in contact with the irritant then this type of skin allergy appears quickly. In severe condition, painful blisters appear and also cause skin cracking.
  • Hives- In this type of allergy, red bumps develop after exposure to allergen but the hives do not become scaly and crack. If you itch the hives may make the skin bleed.

Q)How can we live with allergies?

Ans:- Every person has some allergy and allergies are not life- threatening in most of the person. Person who has life-threatening allergy, they have to learn how to manage their allergy and what to do in an emergency situation. 

Person can manage their allergy by avoidance, medications, and lifestyle changes. We have to follow your doctor instructions strictly so that you can reduce any major complications and make your life more comfortable.

Q)What is acute bronchitis?

Ans:-Acute bronchitis is bronchitis that lasts less than 10 days, but the coughing continues for several weeks.

Q) What are symptoms of acute bronchitis?

Ans:- Primary symptom is similar to cold and flu.

Typical symptoms include:-

  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Tiredness
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Back and muscle aches
  • aFever of 100o F to 100.4o

At the initial stage of infection first, development of cough takes place. Cough will likely be dry at first and later it starts producing mucus. Mucus producing cough is called productive cough. Most common symptoms of acute bronchitis are a productive cough and this productive cough lasts from 10 days to 3 weeks.

One more symptom you may notice related to mucus, change in colour of mucus from white to green or yellow. Meaning of this symptom does not mean that your infection is viral or bacterial. It means that your immune system fights with acute bronchitis.

Q)What are emergency symptoms of acute bronchitis?

Ans:- Symptoms are- 

  • Unexplained weight loss 
  • A deep, barking cough
  • Trouble breathing 
  • Chest pain 
  • A fever of 100.4oF (38oC) or higher
  • A cough that lasts longer than 10 days

Q)How can we diagnose acute bronchitis ?

Ans:- Mostly acute bronchitis cured without any need of treatment. But if you visit your doctor for diagnosis then doctor will do following test for diagnosis-:

Physical examination-: With the help of a stethoscope doctor will listen to your lungs as you breathe and check whether wheeze sound is present or not.

Ask about your cough-: Doctor will ask questions like how frequent the cough is or whether the cough produces mucus or not. They may also ask about recent colds or viruses, and whether you have other problems breathing.

X-ray-: if your doctor is not satisfied after doing all the above given test then they may suggest a chest X-ray. Mainly this test helps your doctor to confirm that you have pneumonia or not.

Blood test and cultures-: If a doctor thinks that you have another infection in addition to bronchitis then they suggest you blood tests and cultures for confirmation.

Q) How can we treat acute bronchitis?

Ans:- Mostly treatment is based on home care.

Home care tips

Grab a humidifier, some ginger tea, dark honey and after taking these, you will start feeling better soon.

Treatment with antibiotics

Generally, when we are feeling sick then we go to the doctor and think that the doctor will prescribe medication to make us feel better.

But in case of acute bronchitis, antibiotics are not recommended for people because most cases are caused due to viruses and there is no effect of antibiotics occurring on viruses. But if you have acute bronchitis and are at high risk of pneumonia then your doctor prescribes you antibiotics which they prescribe during cold and flu season. Mainly these antibiotics prevent the conversion of acute bronchitis into pneumonia.

Q)Which body allergy cream should we use

Ans:- Before using any cream first contact your doctor and without their confirmation do not use any cream because each and every person has a specific skin allergy.

Some of the antiallergic creams

  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Ointments like calamine lotion
  • Antihistamines 
  • Cold compresses
  • Oatmeal baths

Q)Explain “The great disappearing act: Bone marrow receiver cured of allergy”

On November 8, 2013, a bone marrow transplant was done for the treatment of acute lymphocytic leukaemia. This transplant had been done on children and children had peanut allergy also. Due to this bone marrow transplantation, acute lymphocytic leukaemia cured and in addition peanut allergies also get cured. Curing peanut allergy is like a miracle.

Allergist Yong Luo (MD, Ph.d, ACAAI member) said that, “it has been reported that bone marrow and liver transplants can transfer peanut allergy from donor to recipient. This case was found to be a rare in which a transplant seems to have cured the recipient of their allergy. 

Q)What is bra strap allergy ?

Ans:Bra straps are made up of latex. Latex is a natural rubber found in everything from gloves to condoms. Some females are sensitive to latex and may experience welts under a bra strap. 

Also, people who are allergic to latex may cross react to tropical fruits such as bananas and kiwis. 

Latex allergic females always complain that why is my bra giving me a rash?

The rash appears because when the skin under the breasts rubs against them, causing irritation. The area of breast is warm and moist and also the perfect breeding ground for bacteria or yeast which are found naturally on the skin. These multiply, causing the rash to become infected.

Q)What are “Brain allergy symptoms” ?

Ans:- Brain allergy is a common condition experienced by a large percentage of the Canadian population.

Any food or other substance that causes any abnormal reaction that creates psychological, emotional, or neurological symptoms are called brain allergy.

There are multitude of emotional and behavioural symptoms that can occur alongside an allergic reaction, such as anxiety, agitation, confusion, depression, palpitations, sweating, as well as lack of concentration and mental slowness or what is otherwise known as “brain fog”.

A person who is suffering from brain fog always experiences impairments in digestive function. Mostly patients suffer from either irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

Q) What are methods of Breastfeeding allergy prevention ?

Ans:- Eating allergenic foods during pregnancy can protect your child from food allergies. But new research tells that pregnant or nursing mothers do not avoid allergenic foods like eggs and peanuts. Breast milk has a biological mechanism that induces food tolerance.

Through a series of experiments in allergy-prone mice, oyoshi’s team showed that breastfeeding prevents food-related anaphylaxis and production of immunoglobulin E and expansion of mast cells (hallmarks of the allergic response). Specifically-:

  • Allergenic foods consumed by the pregnant mice such as eggs and peanuts. These foods transfer protective antibodies to their babies through their breast milk. These antibodies caused the babies to produce allergen-specific regulatory T immune cells, also known as Treg cells, which enabled them to tolerate the allergenic foods.
  • When breast milk was fed to unrelated offspring then breast milk protected against food allergy even the offspring hadn’t had the benefit of in utero exposure.
  • When mothers had never consumed allergenic foods after that breastfeeding was protective.
  • After sometime the mother’s antibody disappeared from the baby circulation and after disappearance offspring remained free from food allergies. It means that the mother’s antibody shows a long-lasting effect.

Q)What are Brinjal allergy symptoms?

Ans:- Brinjal allergy is also called eggplant allergy. This allergy is a very rare allergy. Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family. Eggplant is widely regarded as a vegetable but actually it is a fruit. Symptoms of an eggplant or brinjal allergies are similar to those of other food allergies. Mostly food allergies take place in childhood but eggplant allergy can also take place in later life. 

Up to 6 percent of children and 4 percent of adults have at least one food allergies. Eggplant allergic patients can become allergic even if you have previously eaten it without issue. 

Eggplant allergy includes-:

  • Hives 
  • Itchy or tingly lips, tongue, or throat
  • Coughing
  • Stomach pain or cramping
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

Mostly eggplant allergy appears within minutes of ingesting the fruit.

Q)What are Rice allergy symptoms?

Ans:- It is a type of food allergy. Actually, rice allergic patients react to some rice proteins after they eat rice or breathe in rice steam. Sometimes rice allergic patients lead to severe health problems.

Symptoms of rice allergy patients are -:

  • Sneezing 
  • Runny nose
  • Itching
  • Asthma
  • Stomach ache or eczema
  • Skin rashes and swellings

There are many ways of diagnosis of rice allergy-:

  • Diet avoidance- Avoid rice for a couple of weeks. If symptoms do not appear during rice avoidance from diet and symptoms reappear when rice starts in the diet. Then the person most likely allergic to rice.
  • Specific rice IgE- In human blood a specific antibody is present known as specific rice IgE. When rice allergic patients eat rice then specific rice IgE antibody increases in the human blood and with the help of the blood test we can check the level of specific rice IgE antibody and if increased level is found then it means that person is rice allergic.
  • Skin prick test- it is the most efficient diagnosis method because it shows the reactions in a short period.  In this method, we prick some rice mixture in the skin and after pricking if the person is allergic then people will get itching and swelling in about 30 minutes.

Q) What is “Bug bite meat allergy”?

Ans:- Bug bite cause alpha-gal syndrome. Alpha-gal syndrome is a recently identified type of food allergy to red meat and other products made from mammals. In the united states, the condition most often begins when a lone star tick bite someone. The bite transmits a sugar molecule called alpha-gal syndrome into the person’s body.

Symptoms of alpha-gal syndrome are-:

  • A runny nose 
  • Sneezing
  • Headaches
  • Stomach pain, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the lips, face, tongue, and throat, or other body parts.

Q) Can a cat allergy cause eczema ?

Ans:- Cat allergen is not responsible for eczema, if a person has eczema and if eczema patients come in contact with cat allergen like dander or urine then their eczema increases. Increases in IgE antibodies have been associated with triggering symptoms of eczema.  

Being born into a household with cats may increase your risk of developing eczema. A 2011 study tells that the children who lived with cats during the first year of their lives were much more likely to develop eczema.

Q) Can a food allergy cause blood in stool ?

Ans:- Beets, cranberries, red candy, red frosting, red licorice, tomatoes, and tomato sauce can turn stool red. A range of conditions can result in GI bleeding, including colon polyps, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or gastric cancer.

Some babies who are 100% breastfed and have bloody stools may be allergic to milk. These cow’s milk proteins trigger allergic colitis, which is the name for this condition in which infants have bloody stools. It can also be triggered by soy milk and goat’s milk.

Q) List cactus allergy symptoms

Ans:- Cactus symptoms allergy include-:

  • Dry, scaly, flaky skin 
  • Hives
  • Oozing blisters
  • Skin redness 
  • Skin that appears darkened or leathery
  • Skin that burns
  • Extreme itching
  • Sun sensitivity

Q) What is the cause of bronchitis due to allergy ?

Ans:- Bronchitis is of two types-:

  • Acute 
  • Chronic

Acute bronchitis usually goes away after a few days or weeks whereas chronic bronchitis can last for months or longer.

Chronic bronchitis is a part of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), along with emphysema.

In this disease, inflammation or swelling of the bronchial tubes occur. Due to bronchitis your airways also produce too much mucus. Mucus normally protects your lungs by trapping bacteria, dust, and other particles before they can get in. But too much mucus makes it harder to breathe.

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