If you’re struggling with allergies, you’re not alone. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI)… More than 50 million people in America struggle with allergies every year. Further, allergies rank as the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in America. Allergies have an annual healthcare cost of nearly $20 billion US Dollars. With that in mind, today I am sharing the message: Don’t ignore your allergy symptoms! When it comes to the different types of allergies, there are several. Additionally, the symptoms can vary greatly, ranging from slightly annoying to life-threatening.
Don’t ignore your allergy symptoms
WHAT CAUSES ALLERGIES?
One of the primary functions of the immune system is to produce antibodies that work to identify allergens. When you’re exposed to these allergens, the immune system reacts. This can cause your skin, sinuses, or digestive system to become inflamed. You may also experience additional symptoms based on your specific allergy.
While most allergies cannot be cured… They can be kept in check with medication and routine visits to a licensed allergist. The first step toward managing allergy symptoms is recognising them.
Additionally, not ignoring them as they can give way to more serious problems – including Anaphylaxis. For those who may not be familiar with this condition, anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction. It can affect several bodily systems, including Breathing, Larynx, and Blood flow.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ANAPHYLAXIS?
Because anaphylaxis occurs rapidly, it is critical that you recognise symptoms quickly and seek prompt medical attention. If you’re allergic to pollen, dust mites, mold, animal dander, insect stings, latex, or certain foods… You are at risk for anaphylaxis and should govern yourself accordingly.
Even if you don’t believe that your symptoms are related to allergies, it’s still worth seeing a physician. For example, if you have a persistently stuffy nose, sore throat, or swollen glands… These symptoms may be indicative of adenoiditis, which can be resolved with antibiotics. In short, it is always a good idea to be seen by a GP if you encounter any unusual symptoms. Or if something seems off with your health.
HOW IS ANAPHYLAXIS TREATED?
If you’re experiencing anaphylaxis and unable to be seen by an allergist or your general physician… You should go to a hospital emergency room/ A&E immediately. Treatment for this life-threatening condition typically entails receiving an injection of adrenaline, an anti-allergy agent.
For those who are especially prone to these reactions… Namely those who are allergic to insect bites, peanuts, milk, or shellfish… It is a good idea to keep an adrenaline auto-injector (Epipen) handy. This will allow you to self-administer the life-saving injection as soon as severe allergic symptoms begin to take form.
To treat anaphylaxis with an adrenaline auto-injector… Firstly, you need to apply the injection to your thigh muscles. Secondly, hold the injector in place for a minimum of 10 seconds. Lastly, if you have experienced anaphylaxis before, you should wear a medical allergy alert bracelet. This can help Doctors quickly identify what may be causing your condition, should you suffer a medical emergency.
CAN ANAPHYLAXIS BE PREVENTED?
Because anaphylaxis is a byproduct of being exposed to allergens… The best way to minimize your risk of developing the condition is by avoiding known triggers. This should be relatively easy if you know what substances can trigger an allergic reaction. However, anaphylaxis may not always be avoidable. According to the National Institute of Health… More than 5 percent of the U.S. population has suffered anaphylaxis in their lifetime.
Also worth noting, between 1999 and 2010, there were 2,458 anaphylaxis-related deaths in America. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Separate studies also show that 1 in 12 people will suffer repeated anaphylaxis episodes in their lifetime.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE ALLERGIES?
In most cases, the symptoms that you experience will be enough for you to realise that you have allergies. However, to know for certain, you will want to schedule an appointment with an allergist. They will then conduct allergy tests to identify the source of your allergies.
WHAT DOES AN ALLERGY TEST ENTAIL?
According to Kathryn Edwards, a New Jersey-based board-certified allergist and immunologist, the best way to identify the source of a patient’s allergies is… To administer one or more of the following allergy tests:
This type of allergy test is used to confirm whether recurrent rashes like dermatitis are linked to specific substances. Patch testing involves placing known allergens on the patient’s back. These can be held in place with surgical tape, and then covered with a patch. The patch will have to be worn for 24 to 48 hours. This will enable the allergist to get an accurate reading.
This allergy test entails placing a small drop of known allergens on a patient’s skin. Next, the physician will use a plastic device to gently puncture the skin. This will allow the allergen to collect under the skin. If the patient is allergic to any of the known allergens, the skin will show signs of an allergic reaction.
Although slightly more invasive than a prick test, blood tests are more accurate. Additionally, they are preferred by most patients and allergist alike. This type of allergy test can be used to identify a variety of allergies, including food allergies.
Pulmonary function tests
This type of allergy test is ideal for identifying respiratory allergies like asthma, for example. These tests involve firstly exposing patients to known allergens. Then a specialist will evaluate the amount of air their lungs are capable of holding. Additionally, how well the air circulates throughout the respiratory system.
In summary, allergies can be annoying. However, they can also be life-threatening if symptoms are either ignored or go undiagnosed. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms detailed in this article or have never had an allergy test… You’re encouraged to contact Becker ENT Center today.
Finally, if this, “don’t ignore your allergy symptoms”, post has been useful, check out more of my health content here.