Hay Fever (also known as allergic rhinitis) is an allergic reaction to allergens, small particles in the air. When you inhale allergens through your nose or mouth, your body responds by generating histamine, a natural molecule. Hay fever is caused by a variety of indoor and outdoor allergens. Dust mites, mold, pet dander, and pollen from trees and plants are all common culprits.
Sneezing, nasal congestion, and irritation of the nose, throat, mouth, and eyes are all symptoms of hay fever. Infectious rhinitis, also known as the common cold, is not the same as allergic rhinitis. Hay fever is not spreadable.
Causes of Hay Fever
Many allergens can cause seasonal and perennial allergies, including:
- Dust mites are microscopic insects that dwell in carpets, draperies, bedding, and furniture
- Tree pollen, grass pollen, and weed pollen
- Dander from pets (tiny flakes of dead skin)
- Mold spores
- Cockroaches, their saliva, and their feces.
Food allergies can also cause inflammation of the nose and throat. Get medical attention immediately away if you fear you're having an allergic reaction to something you ate. Allergies to certain foods might be fatal.
Treatment for Hay Fever
Several allergy treatments might help you manage your hay fever symptoms. Liquids, tablets, eye drops, nasal sprays, and injections are among the therapies available. Before taking any drug, consult your doctor, especially if you're pregnant or have other health issues.
- Antihistamines operate by preventing your body from releasing histamine during an allergic reaction. Antihistamines are available in various forms, including pills, liquids, eye drops, nasal sprays, and inhalers. Antihistamines can make you sleepy. When taking antihistamines, stay away from alcohol, especially if you plan on driving.
- Decongestants are medicines that help to clear congestion from the nose and sinuses. You can use a nasal spray or take decongestants by mouth (in pill or liquid form). Decongestants can raise blood pressure, resulting in headaches, insomnia, and irritability. If used for more than five days, nasal decongestants can become addictive.
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays and inhalers reduce inflammation and alleviate hay fever symptoms. Headaches, nasal discomfort, nosebleeds, and cough are some of the side effects.
- Leukotriene inhibitors block leukotriene and are only available with a prescription. The body releases leukotriene, histamines, and other substances during an allergic reaction, which induce inflammation and hay fever symptoms. Some patients report mood swings, vivid dreams, involuntary muscle movements, and skin rashes when using leukotriene inhibitors.
- Immunotherapy works by assisting your body in learning to tolerate allergens. Your doctor will inject you with a small dose of the allergen in a series of injections (allergy shots). Your provider raises the amount of allergen each time you get an injection. Your immune system builds up immunity to the allergen over time and ceases reacting to it. Your doctor may recommend immunotherapy in the form of a pill you take under your tongue.
A lot of things might cause irritated skin. Immune system diseases, medicines, and infections are among them. Allergic skin reactions occur when an allergen is responsible for eliciting an immune system reaction.
Having itchy, red, bumpy skin is aggravating, uncomfortable, and humiliating. Rashes can be caused by many factors, including contact with specific plants (such as poison ivy), as well as allergic reactions to medications or foods. An infection like measles or chickenpox can also produce rashes. Two of the most frequent skin rashes are eczema and hives, both of which are caused by allergies. An allergist can identify and treat your skin disease caused by an allergy, allowing you to live life to the fullest.
Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
Eczema is the most common skin disorder, particularly among youngsters. It affects one out of every five infants but only about one out of every fifty adults. It's currently understood to be caused by the skin barrier's "leakiness," which leads it to dry out and get irritated and inflamed by various environmental conditions. In addition, some young children with eczema have a dietary sensitivity, which can aggravate the condition. The condition is caused by the inheritance of a defective gene in the skin called filaggrin in around half of the patients with severe atopic dermatitis. Because the itch of eczema is not only produced by histamine, unlike hives (urticaria), antihistamines may not be effective in controlling the symptoms. Asthma, hay fever (allergic rhinitis), and food allergies are frequently associated with eczema. The atopic march is the name given to this sequence of events.
Between ten and twenty percent of children and one to three percent of adults suffer from eczema. Eczema is characterized by dry, red, irritated, and itchy skin. Small, fluid-filled lumps on the skin, especially when infected, may exude a clear or yellowish liquid. Eczema sufferers frequently have a family history of allergies.
Hives are a type of skin irritation caused by the immune system's production of histamine. This causes small blood vessels to leak, resulting in skin edema that appears as red pimples or welts.
Urticaria is divided into two types: acute and chronic.
- Acute urticaria can arise after consuming a specific food or coming into contact with a specific trigger. Non-allergic reasons, such as heat or exertion, as well as drugs, foods, bug bites, or illnesses, can all provoke it. Because specific triggers are rarely the cause of chronic urticaria, allergy tests are frequently ineffective.
- Chronic urticaria can linger for months or even years. Hives are not communicable despite the fact they are typically irritating and painful.
When your skin comes into direct contact with an irritant or allergen, allergic contact dermatitis develops. If you have a nickel allergy and come into touch with jewelry that contains even a trace amount of nickel, your skin may become red, bumpy, scaly, itchy, or swollen at the place of contact. A rash, blisters, itching, and burning are some of the symptoms.
Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac can all produce allergic contact dermatitis if you come into touch with them. An oily coating that covers these plants causes a red, itching rash. Touching them or touching clothing, dogs, or even gardening tools that have come into contact with the oil can cause an allergic reaction.
Contact dermatitis can be caused by soaps, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, shampoos, or even excessive water exposure. Metals (such as nickel, a component of stainless steel and other alloys used to produce costume jewelry), adhesives, nail polish, topical treatments, plants, and latex gloves can also induce a reaction.
It's possible that an allergen won't trigger a skin reaction unless it's also exposed to sunshine. Photoallergic contact dermatitis is the name for this disorder. Shaving lotion, sunscreen, and various perfumes are examples of things that can cause this.
Angioedema is the swelling of the deep layers of the skin. It is frequently encountered in conjunction with urticaria (hives). Angioedema commonly affects soft tissues like the eyelids, lips, and genitals. When angioedema occurs for a brief period of time, such as minutes to hours, it is referred to as "acute." An allergic reaction to drugs or foods is the most common cause of acute angioedema. Chronic recurrent angioedema occurs when the illness repeatedly occurs throughout time. Often there is no identifiable cause.
Angioedema is a type of angioedema that is passed down through the generations. Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare but deadly genetic disorder characterized by swelling in the hands, feet, face, intestinal wall, and airways. It is necessary to visit a specialist because it does not react to antihistamines or adrenaline treatment.
An allergist/immunologist, a physician with specific training and expertise to accurately diagnose your disease, give relief for your symptoms, treat and manage skin conditions as one of the most frequent types of allergies.
An allergy is a reaction of your immune system to foreign substances, or allergens, that aren't ordinarily detrimental but are to some people. Certain foods, pollen, bee venom, or pet dander are examples.
Allergies occur frequently and vary in severity from person to person and can range from moderate annoyance to anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal emergency. While most allergies are incurable, some therapies can help alleviate allergy symptoms.
Causes of Allergies
Antibodies are chemicals produced by your immune system. When you have allergies, your immune system produces antibodies that mistakenly label a harmless allergen as hazardous. When your body comes into contact with something like pet dander, for example, it should recognize that it is innocuous. The immune system targets dander allergies because it views it as an outside invader posing a threat to the body. Your immune system's reaction to the allergen can inflame your skin, sinuses, airways, or digestive tract when you come into touch with it.
It is the mission of your immune system to keep you healthy by battling hazardous microorganisms. It accomplishes this by attacking anything that it believes poses a threat to your health. This reaction might include inflammation, sneezing, and various other symptoms, depending on the allergen.
Treatment for Allergies
If you experience symptoms that you believe are caused by an allergy and over-the-counter allergy drugs aren't providing adequate relief, you should consult a doctor. If you experience side effects after starting a new medicine, contact the doctor who recommended it as soon as possible.
Make an appointment with your doctor if you've ever had a severe allergic reaction or any signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is complicated, so you'll need to see a specialist specializing in allergies and immunology for evaluation, diagnosis, and long-term care.
Food allergies and insect sting allergies, for example, can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening medical emergency that can send you into shock.
Symptoms of Anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis symptoms and signs include:
- Consciousness loss
- Reduced blood pressure
- Shortness of breath is severe
- Lightheadedness and a rash on the skin
- A weak, fast pulse
- Vomiting and nausea
Treatment for Anaphylaxis
Call 911 or your local emergency number for a severe allergic response or seek emergency medical treatment in person immediately. Give yourself an epinephrine auto-injector (Auvi-Q, EpiPen, or others) right away if you have one.
Even if your symptoms improve after receiving an epinephrine injection, you should visit an emergency room to ensure that they don't return once the injection's effects wear off.
Asthma is a disorder in which your airways narrow and swell, causing you to cough up a lot of mucus. It can make breathing difficult, resulting in coughing, whistling (wheezing) on exhalation, and shortness of breath.
For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance. For others, it can be a severe issue that prevents them from going about their everyday lives and can even lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.
Although asthma cannot be cured, its symptoms can be managed. Because asthma symptoms might change over time, it's critical to keep track of your signs and symptoms with your doctor and adjust your therapy as needed.
Symptoms of Asthma
Indications and symptoms of asthma include:
- Breathing problems
- Tightness or pain in the chest
- Exhaling wheezing is a typical symptom of asthma in children
- Shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing might make it difficult to sleep
- Coughing or wheezing attacks aggravated by a respiratory virus, such as the flu or a cold
Treatment for Asthma
Asthma episodes that are severe can be fatal. Work with your doctor to figure out what to do if your symptoms increase or if you require emergency treatment.
The following are symptoms of an asthma attack:
- Shortness of breath or wheezing that worsens quickly
- Even after taking a quick-relief inhaler, there was no improvement
- When you are undertaking minimal physical exercise, you may have shortness of breath
Consult your physician if you believe you have asthma, if you experience persistent coughing or wheezing, or present any other signs or symptoms of asthma that continue more than a few days. Early treatment of asthma can help avoid long-term lung damage and keep the condition from worsening.
After you've been diagnosed with asthma, you'll need to keep an eye on it. If you have asthma, talk to your doctor about how to keep it under control. Long-term asthma control makes you feel better every day and can help you avoid a life-threatening asthma attack.
Asthma is a condition that can alter over time. Consult your doctor regularly to discuss your symptoms and make any necessary treatment changes.
Allergy tests are used to determine what causes your specific allergies. Basic Allergy Testing is the first and most important step in creating a successful treatment strategy.
A number of allergy tests are available. Based on the type of allergy and other considerations, your doctor may order a specialized allergy test:
- Skin Tests — The skin prick test, intradermal skin test and skin patch test are all examples of skin tests.
- Blood Tests — Measuring IgE levels and the RAST Test are among the blood tests available.
- Food Tests — The Food Challenge Test is where an allergist feeds you the suspect food in measured doses to measure reactions.
- Allergen Tests — Based on your symptoms, the suspected allergen (trigger) and other criteria, your doctor will recommend allergy testing.
The results of these tests must be interpreted in conjunction with other symptoms and physical findings.
Allergy Testing on the Skin
Skin tests may be less expensive than allergy blood tests and deliver faster findings. On the other hand, young children may resist the test and some drugs, such as antihistamines, can affect the results of allergy skin tests. Consult your doctor to see if you need to stop taking any medications before getting allergy skin testing.
Prick Test on the Skin
The skin prick test involves applying a little amount of the suspected allergen to the skin and then pricking it to allow the allergen to penetrate beneath the surface. Different parts of the body can be used, although the back, forearm and upper arm are the most common.
The doctor looks for swelling and redness at the prick location on the skin. Within 15-20 minutes, you should be able to notice the results. The allergen that was applied is linked to the location that develops an allergic reaction.
Intradermal Skin Tests
This is similar to a skin prick test, only the allergen is injected beneath the skin's surface with a tiny needle. This may yield more reliable results. For those preparing to begin immunotherapy (allergy shots), an intradermal skin test may be recommended to select the right allergens to utilize in the injections.
Skin Patch Test
Skin Patch Testing is a method of determining whether or not you have a skin allergy and is performed to figure out what's causing allergic skin reactions like contact dermatitis.
Preservatives, dyes and glues that are suspected allergies are taped to the skin for 48 hours. At the site where the allergen was applied, the doctor looks for symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Tests for Allergies in the Blood
Blood tests are advantageous since they require a single needle prick and the results are unaffected by drugs.
There are a variety of allergy blood tests available and may be indicated in specific circumstances such as:
- For babies and little children, obtaining a blood sample with a single needle poke may be easier than performing many skin tests.
- For people who must take a drug that cannot be stopped but may affect the findings of a skin test
- Skin test results might be difficult to understand for persons who have severe skin disorders like eczema or psoriasis.
Skin testing may cause a serious allergic reaction, such as anaphylaxis, in persons with severe allergy symptoms.