An allergy is the body’s response to certain substances in the environment that do not cause reactions in most people. This is considered as among the most common chronic conditions around the world. It can range from mild to life-threatening reactions.
Normally, the immune system produces antibodies. These are blood proteins that can recognize foreign substances and neutralize them. If a person has an allergy, his defense system produces antibodies that can identify a particular substance and regard them as harmful. This results in a chain of events known as an allergic reaction.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), about 1 out of 6 Americans (more than 50 million) have an allergy to indoor or outdoor allergens, foods, medications, insects, and latex.
The number of people who have an allergy continues to increase worldwide as this condition can be passed on from parents to their children.
When a person with an allergy becomes exposed to allergens, the immune system releases chemicals known as histamine. This chemical triggers an allergic reaction.
Here are the common forms of allergens:
Latex and other substances – Latex is a natural rubber used in many products. Medical gloves, household gloves, condoms, elastic clothing, balloons, and erasers usually contain latex.
The symptoms of allergy that you may experience can vary depending on the form of allergy that you have. Allergic reactions may involve the skin, nasal passages, airways, and the digestive system. It can also range from mild, moderate, or severe.
Here are the usual symptoms of allergy based on the type of allergen:
Some allergies can lead to a severe reaction, which is called anaphylaxis. This is potentially life-threatening and should be considered a medical emergency. Some signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis are:
Staying away from substances that may trigger an allergic reaction is the best way to avoid reactions. It is best to identify which allergens can trigger your symptoms so that you will know what to avoid.
Below are the treatment options for allergic reactions: