Best Allergy Medicine to Remove Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
An allergy is nothing but the immune system’s exaggerated response to certain foreign substances that are typically harmless. The immune response is exaggerated because certain foreign substances are seen as harmless in non-allergic people and do not cause an exaggerated response in them. In people with allergic conditions, the body recognizes the foreign substance, causing the immune system to generate a response.
The so-called foreign substances are called allergens. Some of the common allergens responsible for triggering an allergy include pollens, molds, dust mites, animal dander, certain foods, and certain medications. If you are allergic and encounter an allergen, your immune system reacts via the IgE antibody, making the body release histamine, a substance that causes inflammation, which is why antihistamines are the first line of allergy treatment.
Scientists are not sure why the immune system triggers an allergic reaction when a harmless substance invades the human body. Some believe that there could be a genetic predisposition or element, meaning parents can pass their allergy tendency to their offspring. Nevertheless, the best way to stay away from allergies is to avoid allergens. There are effective treatments to tackle different types of allergies.
Fast Facts about Allergy
- Allergy is characterized by an exaggerated immune response to an allergen such as foods, animal dander, dust, pollen, etc.
- Most people outgrow allergies over time but they may develop allergies at any age.
- Apart from genetic predisposition, the environment plays a key role in causing the allergy. However, people with genetic influence are at greater risk.
- IgE is one of the allergic antibodies involved in an immune reaction. Other allergy antibodies that defend against infection include IgG, IgM, and IgA.
- Hay fever affects more than 20% of Americans each year. Food allergy affects 3% to 6% of American children and 1% to 2% of adults.
Types and Symptoms of Allergies
Food Allergies: Some people have allergies to certain foods. One of the most common food allergies is a peanut allergy. Food allergies could cause swelling, skin rashes, nausea, and fatigue. A person can identify the food that is causing allergy and avoid it. If you experience a serious reaction after having a meal, see a doctor immediately. Allergy specialists will be able to find the exact cause of your food allergy.
Seasonal Allergies: Hay fever is one of the most common seasonal allergies, which can mimic the symptoms of a common cold. Also called allergic rhinitis, hay fever symptoms include nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and red/itchy eyes. Hay fever symptoms can be managed using over-the-counter antihistamine drugs. One should see their doctor if their symptoms become severe.
Skin Allergies: Skin allergies are a direct result of exposure to certain allergens. Skin allergy symptoms may include skin rashes, or hives, tingling in the mouth and throat, itching of the skin, sore throat, burning of the skin, and redness of the skin. Urticaria is one of the most common skin allergies. Contact dermatitis is another skin allergy that occurs on touch something you are allergic to.
Severe Allergies: Severe allergies include anaphylactic shock or anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening situation that could lead to breathlessness, headache, and loss of consciousness. Severe allergies are managed under the supervision of a specialist in a hospital setup.
Diagnosis of Allergies
Doctors can diagnose allergies in several ways. They will ask you about your symptoms and then conduct a physical exam. They will try to figure out the allergen that has caused an allergic reaction in your body. Your physician may advise a blood test and a skin test to confirm the diagnosis of allergy and identify the allergen.
Your blood test will reveal the presence of allergy-inducing antibodies known as IgE (immunoglobulin E). IgE cells react to the allergens you are susceptible to. A blood test will confirm the allergy diagnosis. Lab works will help prevent the potential for a serious allergic reaction after finding the trigger factor.
Your physician may refer you to an allergist for a skin test, in which the skin is pricked with small needles containing potential allergens. Your skin will become red, itchy, and inflamed if you are allergic to a particular foreign substance.
Treatment of Allergies
One of the best ways to prevent allergies is to avoid coming in contact with the allergen that triggers an allergic reaction. If you accidentally encounter an allergen, there are safe and effective treatments. Antihistamines are often recommended when you have allergies. They can be obtained over the counter or without a prescription. Allergy medications include:
- First-Generation – diphenhydramine, meclizine, doxylamine, promethazine. Hydroxyzine, chlorpheniramine, cyproheptadine
- Second-Generation – loratadine, desloratadine, cetirizine, levocetirizine, azelastine, fexofenadine
- Steroids – corticosteroids like prednisone
- Decongestants – Afrin, Suphedrine PE, Sudafed
- Leukotriene inhibitors – montelukast
Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy involves receiving several injections for a few years so that the body gets used to the allergy. This therapy could prevent allergy symptoms from recurring.
Emergency Epinephrine: It is advised in people with anaphylaxis, a type of serious allergy that can be life-threatening. Epinephrine shot is given in a medical emergency.
Prevention of Allergies
Once you know the allergen that is causing an allergic reaction in your body, you can find ways to stay away from those allergens. In fact, the best way to prevent allergy is to avoid the triggering factor. Allergen avoidance is the most effective way to prevent food and seasonal allergies. For instance, you know you are allergic to peanuts, you must avoid eating foods containing peanuts.
Preventing seasonal allergies comes down to identifying the allergens’ location and knowing how to avoid them. If you have a dust allergy, you can simply prevent allergic symptoms by installing a proper air filter in your home or getting your air ducts cleaned.
Remember, allergies are common and the majority of them do not experience life-threatening consequences. Individuals who are at risk of allergies can learn how to manage their condition. Most allergies are treatable with allergen avoidance, antihistamines or other medications, and simple lifestyle changes. Check with your allergist to know more about how to live with allergies if you have one.