What are Allergies?
Allergic reactions and symptoms affect an estimated 1 in 5 people in the United States, according to the Allergy Report from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAI).
Allergies are caused by foreign substances that the immune system reacts to by causing itchy eyes, runny nose, hives and may more.
The Virtual Allergist from AAAI
The American Academy of Allery, Asthma, and Immunology provides you with a Virtual Allergist to help you find out what your symptoms may be caused from. However, to be sure of what is causing your symptoms, please contact Dr. Thomas Chacko for further detail and severity of your conditions.
What is an Allergic Reaction?
An allergic reaction is caused by a hypersensitive response or reaction of the body’s immunoglobulin E (IgE). The allergic reaction or sensitivity to a substance is a release of inflammatory chemicals that cause swelling of your bodies tissues, itching, and many more reactions.
For example, if an allergen is in the air this can cause a reaction in the eyes, nose, and/or lungs. If the allergen is ingested, the reaction can occur in the mouth, stomach and even the intestines.
Types of Allergens Causing Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis
Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis, also known as hay fever, is one of the most common allergies. This allergic reaction is usually caused by pollens and dust mites. This type of allergy can cause inflammation or swelling of the nose, as well as cause symptoms in the eyes. The main symptoms that these cause, is sneezing, congestion, and itchy/ watery eyes.
Treatment for Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis can be your every day over the counter allergy medication, or prescription medication depending on the severity of the condition. Some medications include antihistamines, intranasal cromolyn, intranasal steroids, oral anti-leukotrienes, oral decongestants and more. The main treatment for Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis is to avoid allergens that cause these symptoms.
What to Avoid if you Have Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis
Avoiding some allergens that cause Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis, or Hay Fever can be very tricky in your day to day life. Some ways that these can be avoided are staying indoors when pollen counts are high, keeping away from animals, and much more ways to avoid your symptoms.
If avoiding exposure to allergens in combination with the regular use of medication is not effective, immunotherapy, also known as an Allergy Shot, can be considered.
The most common allergens that cause Hay Fever include:
Pollens – Pollen is a microscopic particle that is released into the air by trees, grasses, weeds, and flowers.
Dust Mites – Dust Mites are microscopic insects that live in dust or fibers within your household, such as pillows, mattresses, carpets, and upholstery. If someone is allergic to dust mites they may have symptoms like those of pollen allergies, as well as wheezing and coughing, which are symptoms associated with asthma.
Molds – Mold is a fungi with spores that release into the air. Mold is found in damp areas.
Animal Dander – Pet Dander is the proteins that are released by an animals sweat glands that are in the animal’s skin, which is shed in dander. Proteins in an animal’s saliva can also cause allergic reactions in some people.
Common Food Allergies
Some of the most common food allergies include peanut allergies, egg allergies, wheat/grain allergies, fish/shellfish allergies, milk allergies, and much more.
There are 8 types of food allergies that affect 90% of all reactions:
- Tree Nuts
To determine which type of foods you are allergic to, your allergist will perform multiple types of tests, like patch testing, blood tests, Prick testing, pulmonary function study, chest and sinus X-rays, nasal smear, and also family history of allergies also helps to determine what types of foods you may be allergic to.
Symptoms from Food Allergies
Some of the main symptoms of a food allergy include rash, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, wheezing, swelling (face, throat etc.) hives, and other triggers. Food intolerances, such as peanut allergies and lactose intolerances, are the most common of all food allergies.
Most food symptoms affect the skin, the gastrointestinal tract, the cardiovascular system and the respiratory tract.
Below is a list of different food-related allergy symptoms:
- Vomiting /stomach cramps
- Shortness of breath
- Repetitive cough
- Shock/circulatory collapse
- Tight, hoarse throat; can cause trouble swallowing
- Swelling of the tongue, affecting speech or breathing
- Weak pulse
- Pale or blue coloring of skin
- Dizziness/feeling faint
- Anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening reaction that can impair breathing.
What Are the Different Types of Allergies?
As many as 50 million Americans are allergic to some type of allergen. whether it be pollen, peanuts, or pet dander. Below is a list of the most common types of allergies.
Allergic Rhinitis – This is a swelling and inflammation of the nasal passage, congestion, sneezing, and itchy/ watery eyes. Rhinitis is caused by a variety of outdoor and indoor allergens.
Sinusitis – is an infection of the sinuses caused by rhinitis or asthma. Half of all chronic sinusitis is not caused by allergies.
Asthma – is the inflammation of the lungs and airway that constrict the bronchial tubes. Asthma can result in wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing
Latex allergy – a reaction the material within latex. Usually, it is an allergy to the powder residue that coats the latex. This powder residue can also become airborne.
Drug Allergies – This is a reaction to a drug like penicillin, that can cause symptoms like hives.
Mold Allergy – mold can grow in many places, places that are usually damp like basements, bathrooms and more. Allergic reactions to mold can be year-round.
Pet Allergies – A person with a pet allergy can be sensitive to pet urine, saliva or dander.
Pollen Allergy – Pollen is one of the most common allergens that trigger seasonal allergy symptoms.
Contact an Allergist Near you Today
If you are developing symptoms due to allergens, like shortness of breath, hives, swelling of the face, and much more, contact your local allergist to get to the bottom of what your allergic to. Once we know what your allergic to we can then treat the condition in the proper manner, so you can live your life to the fullest, without having to steer clear of minor allergens or know what to keep away from.
Contact Dr. Thomas Chacko today by filling out the form below or calling the office at 404-256-7532. We have 5 convent locations in Georgia, located in Atlanta, Cumming, Duluth, Johns Creek and Roswell