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Allergy Diagnosis Help

Allergy Diagnosis Help
Diagnosing
your allergy can be challenging. Allergies affect many people worldwide. If you have never had an allergy you can't imaging the toll it can take on the quality of your life. It can affect your productivity at work and at home. It can affect a child's ability to concentrate and therefore learn. Many people don't want to admit they have an allergy particularly when they've tried over the counter treatments and they haven't worked. The good news is that an allergist can help you but only if you help them identify what is causing your allergy.

What is an allergic reaction?

Many times the reaction itself can point an allergist to the cause. Allergies occur when the immune system recognizes a non-harmful substance as harmful and causes your body to react. When the body comes in contact with the perceived harmful substance, the body will produce a large number of antibodies. These antibodies will cause the body to release chemicals. The most known chemical is histamine that results in itching, increased nasal secretions, swelling and tightening of the airways. The symptoms that you feel as a result include coughing, watery eyes, runny nose,and possibly hives. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that requires immediate treatment. It is caused when the swelling and the tightening of the airways cause severe difficulty breathing as well as dizziness.

There are many types of allergies. Allergic reactions can be caused by airborne substances like pollen that cause hay fever. Depending on the allergen (the substance that causes your allergic reaction), hay fever can be seasonal or year-round. Another allergen also associated with asthma are dust mites, which live in dust and other fibers in things like bedding and rugs. Pet dander is another frequent cause of allergy symptoms, as is mold, latex and some types of foods (food intolerance). In my mind a chocolate allergy can be the most tragic.

If you are lucky you will have an allergy to one or two allergens. Unfortunately some of us will be allergic to a wide range of sources. If your parents have allergies you will be predisposed to having them. Ironically though they may not be to the same things. Asthma and eczema sufferers also seem to be more likely to get allergies.

How can you treat these allergies?

Luckily there are many treatments available today. These can include antihistamines, decongestants or nasal sprays that can provide you with some relief of your symptoms. If these typically over the counter treatments don't work you can try immunotherapy (desensitization), allergy shots as well as the new allergy drops can help you manage and sometimes cure your symptoms. Your allergist can decide what your best course of action should be because it all depends on what you are allergic to.

Marilyn Franklin is a writer for http://www.allergyfiles.com where you can find more information on all types of allergy symptoms.

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