Allergic reactions occur when the body’s immune system overreacts. The immune system is designed to protect the body from viruses and bacteria through creating antibodies to fight them. In an allergic reaction, the immune system begins attacking substances that are normally harmless (such as dust, pollen, or a peanut protein) as if these substances were dangerous to the body. The body’s overreaction can lead to a rash, itchy eyes, a runny nose, difficulty breathing, nausea, and diarrhea.
Allergic reactions don’t always arise the first time you encounter an allergy-producing substance, an allergen. For instance, the first time a bee stings you, you may just have aching and redness from the sting. If you are stung a second time, you may develop hives or difficulty breathing. This is caused by an over-reactive response of the immune system.
Allergic reactions run the gamut from mild and annoying to sudden and life-threatening. Most allergic reactions are mild, and first aid can relieve the discomfort. Allergic reactions are more serious when severe symptoms such as anaphylaxis occur, when allergies lead to other problems (such as nosebleeds, ear problems, wheezing, or coughing), or when simple first aid does not relieve the symptoms.
Allergies often occur along with other diseases, such as asthma, ear infections, sinusitis, and sleep apnea.
Types of allergic reactions
Allergic reactions occur to many substances, including:
- * Allergic reaction to various Foods. Many people are allergic to foods, such as wheat, gluten, nuts, etc. One who is allergic should read labels and educate himself. For example a person allergic to peanuts is limited because many products, such as chocolate, contain peanuts. In addition, many times the same machinery that is used to process peanuts is also use to process nuts or soy, etc. These allergic reactions can be life threatening.
- * Allergic reaction to Medicine. Many different types of medicines can cause allergic reactions. Allergic reactions occur frequently and are unpredictable. The intensity of the allergic reaction caused by a particular medicine will depends on both the person and the medicine.
- * Allergic reaction to insect venom. When an insect bites or stings you, poisons and other toxins in the insect’s venom enter your body. Generally, one has some swelling, redness, pain, and itching due to a sting. An allergic reaction to the sting occurs when your body’s immune system overreacts to the insect’s poison.
- * Allergic reactions to animals are likely to include breathing problems. You may get allergic reactions to your pet’s dead skin (dander), urine, dried saliva, or hair.
- * Allergic reactions may develop due to exposure to chemical substance such as paint fumes, industrial chemicals, ammonia, etc
- * Allergic reactions can occur from cosmetics, deodorants, artificial nails, perfumes, hair extensions, and henna tattoos.
Seasonal allergies show up during the same season every year. They are generally caused by pollens from trees, grasses, or weeds. Hay fever is an example.