Allergy Symptoms

Why do these symptoms occur?

Allergies and their symptoms occur when your immune system is too sensitive to some of the everyday allergens surrounding us, such as pollen for example. To try and fight off what it perceives to be a harmful substance, the body produces antibodies, which in turn cause histamines to be released into the bloodstream. These histamines cause you to develop the various symptoms associated with allergies. These symptoms vary from person to person and can also vary depending on the particular allergen that you are allergic to. The severity of the symptoms displayed can also differ dramatically from person to person.

Common allergy symptoms

When many people think of allergies and their symptoms, they think mainly of them merely making you sneeze and your eyes water. However, as your immune system is active throughout your body, allergies can affect virtually any part or aspect of your body.

Symptoms can include coughing, diarrhoea, sneezing fits, having a runny or blocked nose, sinus pain, itchy and red rashes, nausea, vomiting, watery and/or itchy eyes, sore throat, asthma attacks and swelling of your tongue and/or lips. Other skin problems can also be a sign of an allergy. For instance, if your skin is inflamed (also known as eczema or dermatitis) or your skin has become red around a patch of little raised bumps (urticaria) then it is likely that you have an allergy, probably one caused through skin contact.

More serious symptoms

Most people experience only relatively mild, although irritating, allergic reactions, such as skin problems, cold-like symptoms, etc. In rarer cases, people experience anaphylaxis, which is the most severe and dangerous reaction symptomatic of an allergy. This is when your body has such a strong reaction to a substance that it goes into shock, literally shutting down. If the proper allergy treatment is not immediately administered, this reaction can often be fatal. Some of the most common substances that provoke this severe reaction in susceptible people include shellfish, insect stings, medication (particularly penicillin) and nuts, especially peanuts. Should you be with someone who suddenly goes into what you believe to be anaphylactic shock, call an ambulance immediately.

What if I have some of the symptoms listed above?

If you suffer from any of the symptoms listed above on a relatively frequent basis but are unsure as to the cause, it could be a good idea to seek the advice of an allergist. They should be able to discover which allergens in particular cause you to have an allergic reaction. Then treatment can be administered or you will be able to reduce your exposure to these allergens, which will reduce your symptoms and overall discomfort. Even if you find you do have an allergy it is highly unlikely that you will ever suffer from the more serious symptoms described above. Anaphylaxis is a very rare reaction to certain allergens and, if you were to be this susceptible, you would probably already be aware of it. Alternatively, it is unlikely that you would be experiencing the less severe symptoms of your allergy before developing an anaphylactic reaction to the same allergen or allergens.

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