Symptoms & Causes of Allergies
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergy is the
fifth leading chronic disease in the U.S. with as many as 30 percent of
adults and 40 percent of children affected. Allergies are your immune
system’s response to substances that are foreign, but not necessarily
harmful. When your allergies are triggered, your body produces histamines
or the chemicals that try to fight off the allergens and result in a variety
Depending on your allergy trigger, symptoms usually include:
- Stuffy nose
- Itchy nose and throat
- Difficulty in breathing
- Watery, red, swollen eyes
- Skin rash and hives
- Blisters or even skin peeling
- Headache and overall fatigue
There are several things that can trigger your allergy and these may differ
from person to person. During spring, the usual culprits are pollens and
molds. Many individuals also suffer from a variety of food allergies with
peanut and shellfish as the most common. Other allergy triggers include
dust mites, insect stings, animal dander, and even medicines.
Common Allergy Medications
If you have been a long-time allergy sufferer, you may be familiar with
the different treatments for allergies. Medications usually vary as well
depending on how severe the symptoms are.
The most common medications include:
Antihistamines: This type of medication is usually available over the counter in pill,
capsule or liquid form. They act as a blocker to the histamines produced
by your body, reducing symptoms.
Corticosteroids: An anti-inflammatory medication that is used as a cream or ointment for
allergy skin symptoms such as rashes and hives.
Decongestants: When you have allergies, the lining of your nose usually swell, making
it feel stuffy. Decongestants help shrink swollen blood vessels and relieves
Epinephrine: For severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis, epinephrine is the best
medication. It relaxes the muscles in the lungs to improve breathing,
stimulates the heart, as well as reduces hives and other swelling around
the face and lips.
There are also some preemptive measures that you can take to prevent future
allergic attacks such as closely reading the labels of your food if you
have food allergies, regularly cleaning your air filters, frequently changing
your bed covers, vacuuming the carpet, and more. Just make sure to always
be mindful of your allergy triggers and do everything you can to try avoiding
them at all cost.
This article contains general information about medical conditions and
treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as
such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis
of a physician.
If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should
consult your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.