What treatments are available for allergy sufferers
A physician will consider patient history and act out a thorough physical examination if a person reports having hay-fever-like symptoms. If necessary, the physician will do an allergy test. According to the Mayo Clinic, people can get a skin-prick test, in which doctors prick the skin on a person’s arm or upper back with diverse substances to see if any cause an allergic reaction, such as a raised bump called a hive. [7 Strange Signs You’re Having an Allergic Reaction]
Blood tests for allergies are also available.
This test rates the immune system’s response to a specific allergen by measuring the quantity of allergy-causing antibodies in the bloodstream, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The symptoms of allergic rhinitis may at first feel love those of a freezing. But unlike a freezing that may incubate before causing discomfort, symptoms of allergies generally appear almost as soon as a person encounters an allergen, such as pollen or mold.
Symptoms include itchy eyes, ears, nose or throat, sneezing, irritability, nasal congestion and hoarseness.
People may also experience cough, postnasal drip, sinus pressure or headaches, decreased sense of smell, snoring, sleep apnea, fatigue and asthma, Josephson said. [Oral Allergy Syndrome: 6 Ways to Avoid an Itchy, Tingling Mouth]
Many of these symptoms are the immune system’s overreaction as it attempts to protect the vital and sensitive respiratory system from exterior invaders. The antibodies produced by the body hold the foreign invaders out, but also cause the symptoms characteristic of allergic responses.
People can develop hay fever at any age, but most people are diagnosed with the disorder in childhood or early adulthood, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Symptoms typically become less severe as people age.
Often, children may first experience food allergies and eczema, or itchy skin, before developing hay fever, Josephson said. «This then worsens over the years, and patients then develop allergies to indoor allergens love dust and animals, or seasonal rhinitis, love ragweed, grass pollen, molds and tree pollen.»
Hay fever can also lead to other medical conditions.
People who are allergic to weeds are more likely to get other allergies and develop asthma as they age, Josephson said. But those who get immunotherapy, such as allergy shots that assist people’s bodies get used to allergens, are less likely to develop asthma, he said.
How do scientists know how much pollen is in the air? They set a trap. The trap — generally a glass plate or rod coated with adhesive — is analyzed every few hours, and the number of particles collected is then averaged to reflect the particles that would pass through the area in any hour period.
That measurement is converted to pollen per cubic meter. Mold counts work much the same way.
A pollen count is an imprecise measurement, scientists confess, and an arduous one — at the analysis stage, pollen grains are counted one by one under a microscope. It is also highly time-consuming to discern between types of pollen, so they are generally bundled into one variable. Given the imprecise nature of the measurement, entire daily pollen counts are often reported simply as low, moderate or high.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology provides up-to-date pollen counts for U.S.
Hay fever treatments
Dr. Sarita Patil, an allergist with Massachusetts General Hospital’s Allergy Associates in Boston, talked to Live Science about strategies for outdoor lovers with seasonal allergies.
Patil suggested figuring out exactly what type of pollen you’re allergic to, and then avoiding planning outdoor activities during peak pollinating times in the months when those plants are in bloom. Numerous grasses, for example, typically pollinate in tardy spring and early summer and release most of their spores in the afternoon and early evening.
Her other strategies: Be capable to identify the pollen perpetrator by sight; monitor pollen counts before scheduling outdoor time; go exterior at a time of day when the plants that make you go achoo are not pollinating; and wear protective gear love sunglasses, among other tips.
[7 Strategies for Outdoor Lovers with Seasonal Allergies]
Allergy sufferers may also select to combat symptoms with medication designed to shut below or trick the immune sensitivity in the body. Whether over-the-counter or prescription, most allergy pills work by releasing chemicals into the body that bind naturally to histamine — the protein that reacts to the allergen and causes an immune response — negating the protein’s effect.
Other allergy remedies attack the symptoms at the source.
Nasal sprays contain athletic ingredients that decongest by soothing irritated blood vessels in the nose, while eye drops both moisturize and reduce inflammation. Doctors may also prescribe allergy shots, Josephson said.
For kids, allergy medications are tricky. A nationally representative poll of parents with kids between ages 6 and 12 found that 21% of parents said they had trouble figuring out the correct dose of allergy meds for their child; 15% of parents gave a kid an adult form of the allergy medicine, and 33% of these parents also gave their kid the adult dose of that medicine.
Doctors may also recommend allergy shots, a neti pot that can rinse the sinuses, or a Grossan Hydropulse — an irrigating system that cleans the nose of pollens, infection and environmental irritants, Josephson said.
Alternative and holistic options, along with acupuncture, may also assist people with hay fever, Josephson said.
People can also avoid pollen by keeping their windows closed in the spring, and by using air purifiers and air conditioners at home.
Probiotics may also be helpful in stopping those itchy eyes and runny noses. A review published in the journal International Forum of Allergy and Rhinology found that people who suffer from hay fever may benefit from using probiotics, or «good bacteria,» thought to promote a healthy gut. Although the jury is still out on whether probiotics are an effective treatment for seasonal allergies, the researchers noted that these gut bacteria could hold the body’s immune system from flaring up in response to allergens — something that could reduce allergy symptoms.
[5 Myths About Probiotics]
This article was updated on April 30, , by Live Science Contributor Rachel Ross.
An allergic reaction may happen anywhere in the body but generally appears in the nose, eyes, lungs, lining of the stomach, sinuses, throat and skin. These are places where special immune system cells are stationed to fight off invaders that are inhaled, swallowed or come in contact with the skin.
Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever)
Allergic rhinitis is a general term used to describe the allergic reactions that take put in the nose.
Symptoms may include sneezing, congestion, runny nose, and itching of the nose, the eyes and/or the roof of the mouth. When this problem is triggered by pollens or outdoor molds, during the Spring, Summer or Drop, the condition is often called «hay fever.» When the problem is year-round, it might be caused by exposure to home dust mites, household pets, indoor molds or allergens at school or in the workplace.
Atopic and Contact Dermatitis/Hives/Skin Allergies
Atopic and contact dermatitis, eczema and hives are skin conditions that can be caused by allergens and other irritants.
Often the reaction may take hours or days to develop, as in the case of poison ivy. The most common allergic causes of rashes are medicines, insect stings, foods, animals and chemicals used at home or work. Allergies may be aggravated by emotional stress.
Asthma symptoms happen when airway muscle spasms block the flow of air to the lungs and/or the linings of the bronchial tubes become inflamed. Excess mucus may clog the airways.
An asthma attack is characterized by labored or restricted breathing, a tight feeling in the chest, coughing and/or wheezing. Sometimes a chronic cough is the only symptom.
Asthma trouble can cause only mild discomfort or it can cause life-threatening attacks in which breathing stops altogether.
Anaphylaxis is a rare, potentially fatal allergic reaction that affects numerous parts of the body at the same time. The trigger may be an insect sting, a food (such as peanuts) or a medication. Symptoms may include:
- vomiting or diarrhea
- swelling of the throat and/or tongue
- redness of the skin and/or hives
- a dangerous drop in blood pressure
- difficulty breathing
- loss of consciousness.
Frequently these symptoms start without warning and get worse rapidly.
At the first sign of an anaphylactic reaction, the affected person must go immediately to the closest Emergency Room or call
The most common allergen is pollen, a powder released by trees, grasses and weeds that fertilize the seeds of neighboring plants. As plants rely on the wind to do the work for them, the pollination season sees billions of microscopic particles fill the air, and some of them finish up in people’s noses and mouths.
Spring bloomers include ash, birch, cedar, elm and maple trees, plus numerous species of grass.
Weeds pollinate in the tardy summer and drop, with ragweed being the most volatile.
The pollen that sits on brightly colored flowers is rarely responsible for hay fever because it is heavier and falls to the ground rather than becoming airborne. Bees and other insects carry flower pollen from one flower to the next without ever bothering human noses.
Mold allergies are diverse. Mold is a spore that grows on rotting logs, dead leaves and grasses. While dry-weather mold species exist, numerous types of mold thrive in moist, rainy conditions, and release their spores overnight.
During both the spring and drop allergy seasons, pollen is released mainly in the morning hours and travels best on dry, warm and breezy days.
Most Common Allergies
Allergy in Children
The bulk of allergic disease occurs in childhood, with asthma, allergic rhinitis, and eczema and food allergy comprising a significant percentage of the workload of doctors dealing with children in primary care and hospital paediatric departments. In a recent large UK survey, 20% of children were reported to own had asthma in the previous year, 18% had allergic rhino conjunctivitis (hay fever) and 16% had eczema.
This represents a massive increase in prevalence compared with similar studies in the s where prevalence rates were 3 fold lower. Of these children 47% had at least two co-existing conditions e.g. asthma and eczema.
Rhinitis means inflammation of the lining of the nose Rhinitis is defined clinically as symptoms of runny nose itching, sneezing and nasal blockage (congestion).. Common causes of rhinitis are allergies which may be seasonal (‘hayfever’) or happen all-year-round (examples include allergy to home dust mite, cats, dogs and moulds).Infections which may be acute or chronic represent another common cause. Rhinitis (whether due to allergic or other causes) is a risk factor for the development of asthma. Rhinitis is also implicated in otitis media with effusion and in sinusitis which should rightly be termed rhinosinusitis since sinus inflammation almost always involves the nasal passages as well.
Atopic Eczema (Dermatitis)
Eczema is a pattern of itchy skin rash consisting of tiny pink bumps that may join together producing ill-defined pink or red patches. There are numerous types of eczema – some own known causes. Dermatitis is the term used for eczema reactions that are caused by external agents/factors. Atopic eczema is often referred to as “infantile” of childhood eczema because that is when it generally develops.
Atopic eczema is generally associated with allergies (hayfever or asthma) in either the affected individuals or in their shut relatives. Read more
What is asthma?
Asthma is a condition that causes swelling and inflammation inside the airways of the lungs. This inflammation and swelling is there to a greater or lesser degree every the time in people with more inflammation there is the harder it becomes to breathe. People with asthma also own over-sensitive airways, so their airways react to triggers that do not affect other people.
When sufferers come into contact with something that irritates their airways (a trigger), it can cause their airways to narrow. Read more
Food Allergy and Food Intolerance
If someone reacts to a food, they may own a Food Hypersensitivity (FHS). FHS reactions involving the immune system are known as food allergy (FA), every other reactions are classified as food intolerances (FI). Read more
Prescription drugs own been through a rigorous process of testing to ensure safety, despite this, a minority of individuals will develop side-effects. Side- effects are termed “adverse drug reactions” by doctors and although the majority of adverse drug reactions are relatively minor and may even permit continuation with the drug, in some cases more severe symptoms can more
The allergic process can affect the skin producing 2 main types of rashes namely urticaria (hives, nettlerash, welts) or eczema (see atopic dermatitis section).
Urticaria is a red itchy bumpy rash that is often short-lived and can appear in various shapes and sizes anywhere on the is extremely common affecting 1 in 5 of the population at sometime in their some people urticaria is accompanied by large dramatic swellings commonly affecting lips, eyelids, tongue and hand called angioedema.
A food allergy is when the body’s immune system reacts unusually to specific foods. Although allergic reactions are often mild, they can be extremely serious.
Symptoms of a food allergy can affect diverse areas of the body at the same time. Some common symptoms include:
- a raised itchy red rash (urticaria, or «hives»)
- swelling of the face, around the eyes, lips, tongue and roof of the mouth (angioedema)
- an itchy sensation inside the mouth, throat or ears
Read more about the symptoms of food allergies.