Are you one of the people who can’t enjoy Spring because it only means you’ll have congestion and a runny nose for the whole season? Or maybe you can’t enjoy a peanut butter jelly sandwich for lunch or sushi with your friends.

Whatever the reason, allergies can feel like torture, especially if it’s the reason you can’t have a cute puppy or kitten at home. Research has shown that more people are suffering from allergies and predict it’s due to climate change or overall weaker immune systems. However, there are ways you can help your allergies be less of a nightmare once you wrap your head around what they are and what causes them.

What Are Allergies?

Allergies are a medical condition where the body’s immune system reacts negatively to a certain substance that it views as harmful. Some of the common substances that cause allergies, known as allergens, are pollen, dust mites, bee venom, pet dander, or certain foods. When the body identifies a certain allergen, the immune system produces antibodies that classify that allergen as an ‘invader’, causing a chemical called histamine to be released. histamine then causes the body’s reaction of the inflammation of skin, sinuses, airways, or digestive system.

Types Of Allergies

When it comes to the types of allergies, they can be classified into two categories; the types of allergic reactions and the types of allergens. For allergic reactions, there are four different types of hypersensitivity reactions. They are immediate (type I), cytotoxic (type II), immune complex-mediated (type III), and delayed hypersensitivity (type IV). For type I, its symptoms appear after a few minutes and can have the most severe reaction, the Anaphylactic reaction. Type II symptoms can appear after minutes to a few hours and the complement system of the immune system is activated causing cell damage. As for type III, symptoms appear after a few hours and cause allergies to form immune complexes. Type IV’s symptoms can appear after days often in long-term infectious diseases like tuberculosis or fungal infections.

Examples of Allergens

There are many substances and food that could trigger someone’s allergic reactions. One of the common allergens is pollen which causes seasonal allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever. Dust mites are another allergen that comes from household objects like pillows, mattresses, and carpet. Many people are also allergic to things like pets, insects, and foods such as eggs, milk, fish, and peanuts. Mold is another common allergen that is tricky to avoid since it can be found in any damp area. There are also some drug allergies that need to be identified before getting any treatments.

What Are The Symptoms?

Symptoms of allergies differ according to the type of allergy and allergen that triggered it. With hay fever, for example, symptoms include a runny, stuffy nose, sneezing, itching of the nose, eyes or roof of the mouth, and red or swollen watery eyes. Allergies triggered by a type of food cause hives, tingling in the mouth, swollen tongue, lips, face, or throat. As for allergies triggered by a certain drug, it can cause facial swelling, rash or itchy skin, wheezing. The most severe allergy symptom to look for is anaphylaxis which can cause shortness of breath, low blood pressure, loss of consciousness, nausea and vomiting, lightheadedness, and a rapid, weak pulse.

What Can You Do To Help Your Allergies?

1. Avoid Allergy Triggers

The first thing you need to do to help your allergy is identify what triggers it and avoid it at all costs. If it’s a food allergy, implement dietary changes, if it’s a pet allergy, avoid contact with any animals. For pollen and dust mites allergies, make sure your windows are closed and stay indoors on windy days. If you have to go outside on days with high pollen counts, make sure you have a dust mask on and avoid early morning when pollen counts are the highest.

2. Keep Your House Clean

Regularly cleaning and vacuuming your house will limit the amount of pollen and dust mites in your house. However, cleaning itself may trigger your allergy so make sure you wear a mask while dusting. It’s also important to keep your indoor air clean which is why the professionals at believe you need to put some effort into installing proper filters. They are a great tool to stop dust and other debris from contaminating your home through the air conditioning system.

3. Rinse Your Sinuses

One of the quickest, most effective ways you can reduce your allergies is to rinse your sinuses with saline solution. They usually come in a small container with a spout and instantly wash out mucus and allergens from the nose. Make sure you use sterile, distilled water that was boiled then cooled, and use it to also rinse the irrigation device after use. You can make your own saline solution by adding half a teaspoon of salt and another half of baking soda mixed in sterile water. Pour the solution into the upper nostril to drain out your lower nostril while breathing through your mouth.

4. Treat The Symptoms

Allergy symptoms can be very irritating and prevent you from practicing daily activities. There are many over-the-counter treatments you can to ease these symptoms if you’re in a hurry. The most common and effective treatment is Antihistamine which relieves sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and a runny nose. It can be found in Claritin, Alavert, and Zyrtec Allergy. Decongestants are also great in treating symptoms of nasal congestion. You can also always turn to allergy shots after consulting with a doctor.

That’s almost all you need to know about allergies and what measures you can take to help your own. Allergies’ symptoms range from mild to very severe, so make sure to know when it’s appropriate to self-medicate and when it’s time to go to the doctor. It’s also you let people around you know the type of allergies you have, especially when it’s certain food or drugs, so they can put it into consideration and alert others if you are unable to in emergencies.

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1 Comment

  1. You got my attention when you said that there are many substances and food that could cause allergy triggers. As you said, pollen and dust mites could cause allergies. With this in mind, I will be sure to see a professional so I could have myself checked and treated. These past few weeks, I have been waking up with a dry throat and watery eyes, and I could not pinpoint the exact reason for my allergies.

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