Allergy is Sensitivity
Allergy is Sensitivity
Allergy is hypersensitivity and susceptibility towards certain particles of food, dust, pollen, fur, scent, drug etc.
What is the most commonly prevailing type of allergy in Pakistan?
The most common type of allergy in Pakistan is pollen allergy.
Different Types of Allergies:
1- Pollen Allergy: This type of allergy is a reaction towards pollen inhalation. And this causes swelling and redness in the nostrils and eyes. Runny nose, itching in eyes, watery nose and eyes indicates pollen allergy.
2- Food Allergy: Some people are allergic to certain foods which include some seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, eggs, dairy products etc. If you are allergic to any food or specific component of food, you may experience shortness of breath, tightness of chest, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
3- Dust Allergy: Dust allergy is somehow similar to that of pollen allergy. So the symptoms and indications are also similar to that of pollen allergy.
4- Scent Allergy: Some people are allergic and sensitive to the components of some perfumes or scents. Scent allergy can be on the skin or can be respiratory. Symptoms are headache and nausea. And symptoms for skin allergy are itching, burning sensation on skin and redness.
5- Drug Allergy: This allergy can be caused by any drug, might be herbal, over the counter or prescribed by the doctor. Symptoms which indicate drug allergy occurs after a person takes a drug and experiences symptoms like itchy, red bumps, fever or rashes.
What are the main symptoms indicating allergy?
General symptoms for any allergy are as follows:
- Irritation and redness of eyes
- Stomach pain
- Itchy, red bumps
- Shortness of breath
- Runny nose
- Swelling of eyes
- Inflammation and swelling of the nose.
What tests are done to diagnose allergies?
There are three most successful and mostly done tests for allergies, and those are:
1- Skin Tests: These tests are performed by pricking or scratching small areas of the outer skin layer, and applying an allergen. This test is also called scratch test.
2- Blood Tests: Blood sample is collected from vein to see for IgE antibody which is allergen specific.
3- Patch Tests: In this type of testing, a substance is applied onto the skin, and if the body is allergic to the applied substance, it will react by causing contact dermatitis.
Treatment with Pharmaceutical Drugs:
There are several medicines that can be used for preventing and curing allergic reactions. But all the medicines should be used with the permission of doctors and pharmacists.
Some of the main medications that are used for allergies are as follows:
- Antihistamines (like Cetirizine, Diphenhydramine, Loratadine etc)
- Mast cells stabilizers (like Desloratadine, Cromoglicic acid etc)
- Anti inflammatory drugs (like famotidine/ibuprofen)
- Leukotriene Inhibitors (like Zafirlukast, Montelukast etc)
- Immunomodulators (like Omalizumab)
- Decongestants (like Oxymetazoline, Phenylephrine etc)
- Epinephrine (like Adrenaline injections for severe allergic reactions)
Treatment with Therapies:
With advancement of treatments we got more and more ways of treating a disease or preventing it.
Nowadays, Immunotherapy is widely used to prevent or treat allergies.
Immunotherapy is basically done to enhance bearance or endurance for that specific allergen to which a patient is allergic. Immunotherapy is specifically called Allergen immunotherapy or Allergy shots. Immunotherapy is a long term treatment. This treatment is done by exposing a person to the allergens in higher amounts to increase tolerance towards it.
There are two types of allergen immunotherapy, named as:
1- Epicutaneous Immunotherapy
2- Oral Immunotherapy
Epicutaneous Immunotherapy: This therapy involves the procedure of applying allergens repeatedly onto the skin, increasing skin tolerance for that allergen.
Oral Immunotherapy: Oral Immunotherapy increases bearance for the allergic food or food component.
Note that these therapies should be strictly done by the doctors.
Remedies for Allergies:
There are several remedies which are being used for ages to relieve allergies, and these remedies are:
- Keep your nostrils irrigated and moist by applying saline, any oil or petroleum jelly around and inside the nostrils. This will trap allergens and not let them go inside and cause allergies.
- Eat papaya and pineapples in abundance when suffering from allergy because these two fruits contain an enzyme called Bromelain which reduces swelling and improves breathing and fastens healing process.
- Take a diet rich in probiotics as these relieve a runny nose.
- Honey is the best when it comes to coping up with the allergic reaction. Take a tablespoon full of honey in lukewarm water and drink it.
- Vitamin C rich fruits like oranges, lime, strawberry, cranberry , kiwi etc reduce the levels of histamine. Which in return reduces frequency and symptoms of allergic reactions.
- Using essential oils relieve the symptoms best and also helps in preventing allergies. Like eucalyptus oil an antimicrobial so if you add drops of it in water before showering, can help in preventing allergies. Peppermint oil is anti-inflammatory and reduces symptoms of allergies.
Note that essential oils can be used by diffusing in air but do not directly apply onto the skin. Dilute essential oils in carrier oils before applying onto the skin.
What precautions need to be taken to avoid allergies?
Allergies can be prevented by taking certain precautions. These are:
- First of all, try avoiding allergens as much as possible.
- Always take your anti allergic medications as prescribed by doctors.
- You must have complete information about your allergy.
- Keep your medicines with you all the time.
- Cleanse your nostrils and take shower daily or when you come from allergen- exposed areas.
- Wear a mask when going out.
- Keep yourself hydrated.
- Take warm fluids.
- Take steam daily two times a day with cardamom and cinnamon water. (If you do not have fever).
Are you worried about allergies?
Here is the key..!
First of all get your tests done to diagnose the specific allergy. Then take your anti allergies as prescribed by the doctor.
Chew some mint leaves daily in the morning, to cleanse the blood and to improve symptoms of allergies. But do not follow the remedy if you are allergic to any component of the mint.
Verdict: Do not ever go for any medication, remedy and therapy without seeking advice from doctors and pharmacists.
Keep yourself updated with all the information about your allergy and how to cope up with it.