An allergic reaction happens when your body reacts to something that’s normally harmless like pollen, dust or animal fur. Substances that cause allergic reactions are called allergens. Common agents causing allergies include tree/grass pollen, dust mites, certain food items, fur from pets, insect stings, some medicines etc.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include: a runny nose or sneezing, pain or tenderness around your cheeks, eyes or forehead, coughing, wheezing or breathlessness, itchy skin or a raised rash (hives), diarrhea, feeling or being sick, swollen eyes, lips, mouth or throat etc. A person can experience a combination of the above symptoms also.
Tests to identify the allergen are done in clinics or laboratories.
A skin prick or patch test – where a small amount of the allergen is put on your skin to see if it reacts
Blood tests – to check for allergens that may be causing your symptoms. Everlife CPC offers diagnoses for food allergy, inhalation allergy, allergy panels exclusive for children etc. (Euroline)
Diet restrictions where you avoid or eat less of a food you are suspected to be allergic to, to see if the symptoms get better.
Once the allergen is identified, the physician would suggest the following to prevent or control allergies.
Avoid contact/consumption of substance/food you’re allergic to whenever possible
Medicines for mild allergic reactions like antihistamines, steroid tablets and steroid creams
Immunotherapy for severe allergic reactions – this involves carefully exposing you to small doses of the substance you’re allergic to over time, so your body gradually gets desensitized to it and does not react severely to the allergen anymore.