Understanding Allergies

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What is an allergy?

Our bodies are scientific marvels, and there is so much about the human body that is yet to be discovered. Our body’s greatest fighting mechanism against external threats is our immune system. The immune system identifies foreign cells or infections such as viruses, bacteria and attacks them.

Allergies are also a response to our immune system’s hypersensitivity. When our immune system identifies a foreign particle, it releases histamines- a compound released against allergic reactions. This triggers a runny nose, itchy throat and inflammation.

People are more prone to allergies during certain seasons. Pollen grains and dust are two common allergy-causing particles. Even the molecules in certain foods that are harmless to others could cause an allergic reaction in someone else.

Scientists are yet to find a conclusive reason behind why certain people suffer from allergies. However, it is believed that a person’s genetics and environment have a big role.

What are the symptoms?

Different substances can cause different allergic symptoms. The severity of these symptoms also varies. While some are mild, others can be life-threatening.

Food allergy symptoms:

• Itching or tingling inside the mouth/ on the palate.

• Swollen tongue, face or neck.

• Red patches on the skin that cause itchiness.

Insect venom allergies

• Swelling around the affected area.

• Itching around the area

• Tightness in your chest

• Anaphylaxis

Medication-related allergies

• Anaphylaxis

• Itchiness

• Swelling

• Rashes

What is anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock can be a life-threatening reaction to an allergy. Symptoms of it involve irregular blood pressure, nausea, fainting, inability to breathe.


• Antihistamines

Antihistamines block the triggers that produce histamines. Most antihistamines can be bought from the nearest pharmacies and don’t carry any serious side effects. They’re most popularly taken in the form of pills.

• Nasal spray

Nasal sprays help open blocked noses; they relieve the congestion that has been causing shortness of breath.