An allergy is your immune system’s reaction to a foreign substance. These foreign substances are known as allergens. These foreign substances can include pollen, certain foods, and pet dander.
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Your immune system is responsible for keeping you healthy by fighting off harmful pathogens. Your immune system attacks anything that could pose a threat to your health. This response can cause inflammation, sneezing or other symptoms depending on the allergen.
Your environment is what your immune system adjusts to. Your body should recognize that pet dander is harmless when it comes in contact with it. People with dander allergies perceive it as an external invader and attack it.
Allergies can cause symptoms that vary depending on several factors. These factors include your allergy type and severity.
You may experience some symptoms if you have taken any medication prior to an allergic reaction. However, they might be less severe.
Food allergies can cause swelling, hives and nausea. Sometimes it may take some time for someone to recognize that they have a food allergy. You should seek medical attention immediately if you experience a severe reaction to a food or drink. They will be able to determine the cause and refer you to a specialist.
Hay fever symptoms may look similar to a common cold. These symptoms include congestion, runny eyes, and swelling. These symptoms can usually be managed at home with over-the-counter remedies. If your symptoms are not manageable, consult your doctor.
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For severe allergies
Anaphylaxis can be caused by severe allergies. Anaphylaxis is a serious condition that can cause breathing problems, lightheadedness, and even death. These symptoms can occur after you have come in contact with an allergen. Get medical attention immediately.
All people have different symptoms and signs of allergic reactions. Learn more about allergic reactions and what could cause them.
Allergic reactions to skin
An allergy may manifest as a skin reaction. They could also be a direct result of allergic reactions.
One example is that you may experience a variety of symptoms when you eat a food you are allergic to. It is possible to feel tingling in the throat and mouth. A rash may also occur.
Contact dermatitis is caused by your skin being in direct contact with an allergen. If you come in direct contact with an allergen, such as a cleaning product, or a plant, this could occur.
There are several types of skin allergies:
- Itchy or painful skin patches can appear when the skin is red, irritated or swollen.
- Itchy, irritated patches of skin can cause itchiness and bleeding.
- Contact dermatitis. Itchy, red patches appear almost immediately after contact.
- Sore throat. The pharynx, or throat, is inflamed or irritated.
- On the skin’s surface, itchy, red, and raised welts of different sizes and shapes appear.
- Swollen eyes. Itchy, watery eyes can make them look puffy.
Burning. Skin inflammation can cause discomfort and stinging sensations.
Rashes are one sign of a skin allergy. Learn how to spot rashes and how you can treat them.
Allergies: What causes them?
Researchers don’t know why an otherwise harmless substance causes an allergic reaction in the body.
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Allergies can have a genetic component. Parents can pass these genes on to their children. But, it is only genetic that a person is susceptible to an allergic reaction. Specific allergies cannot be passed down. It doesn’t mean, for example, that your mother is allergic or unable to eat shellfish.
The following are common allergens:
- Products for animals. These products include pet dander and dust mite waste.
- Common triggers include penicillin and sulfa medications.
- Common food allergies include wheat, nuts, milk and shellfish.
- Stings from insects. These include wasps, bees and mosquitoes.
- Mold spores can cause an allergic reaction.
Plants. Common allergens for plants include pollens from grasses, weeds and trees as well as the resins of poison ivy, poison oak and poison ivy.
Other allergens. Other allergens include latex, which is often found in condoms and latex gloves, as well as metals such as nickel.
Seasonal allergies are also known as Hay fever. They are caused by the pollen that plants release. They can cause:
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
Food allergies are more common. Learn about the most common food allergies and what symptoms they can cause.
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Avoiding allergens is the best way to avoid them. There are other options if that is not possible.