The immune system is composed of various types of specialized cells, proteins, tissues and organs. Its main feature is the detection of harmful microorganisms and their destruction.
When the immune system mistakenly detects a certain allergen as harmful, then even though the allergen is not harmful to the body, it activates the immune responses aimed at destroying the “harmful pathogen.” In that case it is a hypersensitivity reaction type 1, or an allergic reaction – allergy.
The most common triggers of allergic reaction:
A certain group of people develop an allergic reaction to the sting of certain insects (bees, wasps, hornets, etc.) in response to their poison. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may be different – from mild redness and some swelling at the site of the sting, to nausea, fatigue and low-grade fever, and in some cases, anaphylaxis.
Anaphylaxis is an acute allergic reaction caused by the antigen (in the case of insect venom) the body is hypersensitivity. Symptoms include swelling of the face, tongue, mouth and throat, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, itching and discoloration of the skin, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and loss of consciousness. If left untreated, anaphylaxis can result in death.
For many people there is the body’s reaction to certain food products, and often the cause of this reaction are considered food allergy, which in most cases is not true. Therefore, you need to distinguish between food allergy and food intolerance.
Food allergy is a hypersensitivity reaction mediated by the immune system’s response on a particular type of food. Symptoms are more pronounced, and in some cases life-threatening. You may experience swelling of the mouth, tongue and throat, tingling of the tongue, skin changes, and the development of an anaphylactic reaction.
Food intolerance is a non-allergic hypersensitivity reaction which is generally responsible for the immune system. It is characterized by symptoms that are less severe and usually associated with the digestive system.
The most common nutritional allergens are: eggs, milk, peanuts, wheat flour, soy beans, carrots, strawberries, fish and more.
Condoms, balloons, medical gloves and other medical supplies are made of latex rubber material containing proteins that some people are allergic to. Allergic reactions may be developed by simple contact and touch with the material. The clinical picture includes lightweight symptoms like itching and redness of the skin, to the possibility of developing anaphylaxis.
House dust (or Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) is also a common cause of allergic reactions. Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose, tears and itching of the eyes and more.
Prevention involves maintaining a clean home, avoiding items that accumulate dust, like toys or items that are difficult to remove dust, change their bedding etc.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to pollen are usually not life threatening, but at least are not pleasant. Sneezing, runny nose (rhinorrhea), stuffy nose (nasal congestion), itching and tearing of the eyes are just some of the symptoms that are addressed by people who suffer from this type of allergy.
Allergy to medication is more common than had been assumed. Usually, if an allergic reaction to a medication happens, stop using them. If it is necessary to receive the drug, the doctor will find a suitable replacement. In case there is no substitute for the drug, an allergic reaction can be controlled with antihistamines and corticosteroids, but only if there is a mild clinical picture.
The most common symptoms include skin changes, swelling of the face, wheezing and anaphylaxis.
People who develop allergic reactions to animals are actually allergic to the proteins found in the cells of the skin (usually dead skin cells – dandruff), saliva and urine of the animal. In some cases, to develop this type of allergy takes longer time (up to two years), and the symptoms may be lasting for months.
Usually the symptoms of allergy to animals are similar to the symptoms caused by pollen, but there is a possibility of the symptomatology with stronger intensity as wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath during sleep etc.
There are many types of mold, and many people develop allergic reactions to it. Moulds need moisture, so they appear in places where there is moisture, such as the bathroom, basement, kitchen, attic, places where there is a ruptured pipe for water, places where grass or dried clumps of wet leaves and so on. Symptomatology is similar to allergy to pollen, household dust.