- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
What is Allergy?
The causes of allergy
There are 2 main causes. There is talk of atopy and allergens:
=> Allergy occurs in genetically predisposed subjects: mostly there is a family history of allergy. We speak of atopy or atopic, that is to say, a genetic predisposition to allergy. Very small quantities of allergen sufficient to trigger allergy.
=> The allergen may be present for a long time in the environment, such as a dog hair on a sofa can be allergenic when there was no dog for more than six months in the house!
The various symptoms of allergy
The allergy can manifest in different forms:
=> Cutaneous manifestations: hives, eczema
=> Respiratory manifestations: allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma
=> Ophthalmic manifestations: allergic conjunctivitis
=> Severe manifestations: angioedema (urticaria), anaphylactic shock
The main types of allergy
There are different types of allergy:
=> Food allergies (with allergy to peanut, nuts, protein from cow's milk, the Umbelliferae family fruit latex, egg)
=> Dust mite allergies
=> Latex allergies
=> Drug allergies (with allergy to antibiotics including penicillin allergy)
=> Allergy to animals with allergy to cats
=> The sun allergy
=> Pollen allergy
=> Cross allergies
The test for allergy
To highlight an allergy, a doctor passes a history. However, to find exactly which allergens the patient is responsive, he will make him pass different tests:
=> skin tests;
=> provocation tests;
=> blood tests.
Treatment of allergy
The first allergy treatment is based on allergen avoidance, for this we should follow some rules of prevention.
Other treatments are either specific to a type of allergy as the treatment of anaphylactic shock or non-specific as symptomatic treatments.
In some cases, it is possible to make the body tolerant to the allergen screw: this is called desensitization.