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  Shelby Leith   October 19, 2015   Health, Allergies, Illness, Fall 0 Comments

Allergies: Stop the suffering

Velocity Care reviews allergy types, symptoms and treatments

30467564_sAre you suffering from a rash, hives, itchy skin, sneezing, runny nose or watery eyes? If you said yes to any of these afflictions, it may be the result of an allergic reaction.

Allergies are common and can present with a wide variety of symptoms, from mild discomforts to extremely dangerous episodes. Below, Velocity Care describes allergies, their causes and some symptoms that everyone should be aware of.

What are allergies?

Our bodies are complex machines and we all have a microscopic army that works to fight off viruses, bacteria and other harmful invaders. Sometimes this “army,” otherwise known as our immune system, gets overzealous and tries to fight off harmless substances that it incorrectly identifies as threats. When this happens, the body experiences an allergic reaction.

What can cause an allergic reaction?

A wide array of substances can cause allergic reactions. They occur when an allergen is ingested, inhaled or comes into contact with the skin. The most common allergies are classified under the categories of food, seasonal, pet or “other.” Some examples include:

Food allergies:

  • Peanuts

  • Tree nuts

  • Milk

  • Wheat

  • Seafood

Seasonal allergies:

  • Pollen

  • Mold

  • Hay

  • Grass

  • Weeds

Pet allergies:

  • Animal fur

  • Dander

  • Saliva

  • Urine

“Other” allergies:

  • Bee stings

  • Spider bites

  • Chemicals/drugs

  • Soaps/detergents


What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction?

When exposed to an allergen, the body can react in many different ways. Some allergic reactions are mild and go away on their own, while others require immediate medical attention.

1. Rashes: A rash usually appears quickly after exposure to an allergen. Rashes often present with small, raised bumps on the skin. The color of the skin may change, as well, turning anywhere from light pink to dark red.

2. Hives: Hives can look very similar to rashes and can also come on quite quickly. They are swollen, red bumps on the skin and can feel itchy or may sting and burn. They can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

3. Itching: When the body is trying to fight off an allergen, it produces a substance called histamines, which aid in the attack against the assumed invaders. One common side effect of histamine production is itching: The skin, eyes, throat and nose can all be afflicted with symptoms of itchiness during an allergic reaction.

4. Runny nose/watery eyes: A runny nose or watery eyes is the body’s way of trying to rid itself of the foreign substance; this is a very common indicator of an allergic reaction.

5. Anaphylaxis: This is the most serious type of reaction and can be life-threatening if not treated immediately. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include difficulty breathing and swallowing, swelling of the tongue and face, severe hives and swelling in other areas of the body (often the hands), abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

What treatments are available for allergy symptoms?

Luckily for those suffering from allergies, there is a wide variety of medications that your doctor can recommend. Some are available over the counter at your local pharmacy and some require a prescription.

You can usually treat rashes and hives with a topical steroid cream. This will help to diminish redness and alleviate swelling and itching. There is also a large assortment of antihistamine tablets available that, when taken orally, work systemically (from inside the body) to alleviate most allergy symptoms.

For serious allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis, a fast-acting injection of a hormone called epinephrine (aka adrenaline) works quickly to reduce the severity of the reaction. People who are at risk for anaphylaxis should wear a special bracelet alerting others of their condition and carry a dose of epinephrine with them wherever they go.

If you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from an allergic reaction, the team at Velocity Care is available to help. With a broad range of treatment options to choose from, we can help end the suffering that allergies cause and get you feeling back to normal in no time. Visit www.velocitycare.com/healthcare-services for a list of the services we provide.

Uninsured patients benefit from saving money with the Value Card.

Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Medical disclaimer

This site offers medical, health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. General information found on this website is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your health care professional.

 

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