Understanding Allergies: How To Identify, Treat and Protect From Symptoms and Health Complications
Do you suffer from allergies or are trying to figure out if you have them? Allergies can be tricky to detect and treat as they come in different shapes and sizes, while they can sometimes mimic the symptoms of common illnesses. In this guide, you will learn how to identify allergies, treat their symptoms and protect yourself from the resulting health complications.
What Causes Allergies?
Allergic reactions occur when the immune system mistakenly identifies harmless substances as dangerous invaders. These substances, known as allergens, can be found in food, in the environment, or in medications. Common allergens include pollens and molds, animal dander, dust mites, and certain foods.
How To Identify and Diagnose Allergies
If you’re experiencing symptoms and think you may have allergies, talk to your doctor. They can do allergy testing to determine what you’re allergic to. Allergy testing can be done through a skin-prick test, a blood test, or a patch test. Your doctor may also ask you to keep a food diary to help narrow down which food or substances you’re allergic to.
Symptoms of Allergies
The symptoms of allergies vary, but some of the most common include nasal congestion and itchy eyes, skin rash or hives, wheezing, sneezing, and headaches. You may also experience abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The goal of treating allergies is to reduce your symptoms and prevent further allergic reactions. Your doctor may prescribe medications such as antihistamines and short-acting bronchodilators to reduce allergies and their symptoms. Your doctor may also suggest lifestyle changes, such as avoiding triggers, using air filters and taking daily allergy medications.
Protecting Yourself From Complications
Allergies can cause serious and even life-threatening reactions in some people. The most serious reaction, anaphylaxis, can cause difficulty breathing, a sudden drop in blood pressure, and loss of consciousness. A severe allergy attack requires immediate medical care. Be sure to speak to your doctor about any allergies you have and about what to do in the event of an allergic reaction.
Knowing how to identify, treat, and protect yourself from allergies is important for keeping your symptoms under control and avoiding more serious health problems. If you think you have allergies, speak to your doctor to get the treatment and care you need.