- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Facts about allergies that you should know
Allergies are reactions in the body against substances that do not agree with your body system. The substances that do not agree with your body are called allergens.
When you come into contact with the allergens, your body system triggers off a series of reactions which in turn leads to symptoms called allergies.
What is an allergic reaction?
The immune system keeps the body healthy. The immune system protects the body against infections and diseases by attacking the germs that invade the body and by eliminating them.
When you are allergic to certain substances (allergens), the immune system thinks that it is harmful to your body and starts to attack and eliminate the allergens by producing Ig E antibodies. The antibodies stimulate the cells that are being attacked to release chemical substances into the blood stream.
These chemical substances that are released can cause allergic reactions in the body. Every time your body comes in contact with the allergens, you will have an allergic reaction.
Allergic reactions can be mild, like a runny nose, sneezing or itching of the skin. Sometimes the allergic reaction can be severe – an asthma attack, difficulty in breathing, swallowing, swelling of the lips, dizziness or loss of consciousness.
The severe allergic life-threatening reaction of the body is called anaphylaxis.
Anaphylaxis can occur minutes after the body is exposed to the allergen or can take hours for the symptoms to occur. This life-threatening condition can be treated with timely medical care.
What are antibodies?
Antibodies can be considered as soldiers who fight and kill foreign substances that can injure or infect the body in any way. They are produced by the immune system whenever there is an allergic reaction. The Ig E antibodies are a specific type of antibodies that are produced by the immune system to fight against the allergens.
Types of allergens
Allergens are substances that do not agree with your body. There are different types of allergens:
Food – These can be caused by milk, other dairy products, peanuts, seafood, wheat, soy, eggs, etc., Stomach upset, diarrhea, an itchy nose, rashes are some of the symptoms of food allergies.
Airborne particles – The air around you can also cause allergies. Allergies due to airborne particles can be triggered off by pollen in the air, dust mites, hair from cats or dogs, dust and shedding from carpets.
Medicines – Medicines can also be the cause of allergic symptoms in some people. For example, some can have an allergic reaction when an antibiotic such as Penicillin is administered.
Chemicals – Chemicals in detergents, hair dyes, body creams, lotions, pesticides used on lawns, household cleaners can cause allergic reactions in your body system.
Things that you can do to prevent allergies
Allergies can be prevented by keeping away from the substance that causes an allergic reaction.
Avoid consuming any food that causes an allergic reaction.
Do not keep pets inside your house, hairs from their body can cause allergies.
Do not use carpets if you are allergic. Dust from carpets or any shredding of the carpet can trigger off an allergic reaction.
There are special types of anti-allergy blankets and bed coverings. You can use them to prevent allergies.
Keep your house dust free. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and dust mites effectively.
When the weather is windy, try to stay indoors. Pollen in the air can cause allergic reactions when inhaled. If you have to go out, use a facial mask to prevent dust from entering your nose.
Remember prevention is better than the cure.
Air Purifiers to Prevent Allergies
Air Purifiers help to remove contaminants from air and reduce allergy symptoms. They help to filter pollen, dust, mites and other allergens. Air Purifiers help people who are prone to allergies or asthma.
Air Humidifiers to Prevent Allergies
Air Humidifiers maintain the moisture level in the air and prevents the air from totally drying up. When the air is moist, then the sinus does not entirely dry up, this helps to maintain the health of the sinus. When the sinus is healthy, then allergic symptoms are automatically reduced. There are air purifiers that also act as an air humidifiers.