7 things that trigger allergies

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IF you’re constantly stuffy, coughing or sniffling in the mornings, or experiencing sneezing fits, it might not be the flu or COVID-19, but rather, irritated sinuses. These are all symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Allergies can be very slight, but they can also be life-threatening — the reactions vary from person to person.

What causes allergies?

An allergic reaction can be experienced when a person inhales, eats or applies a topical substance to the skin that the body identifies as harmful. As a result, the body defends itself by deploying antibodies, which can cause inflammation of the sinuses, in airways, on the skin, or in the digestive system.

While many people develop allergic reactions in youth, allergies may be developed over time, as one ages.

7 things that trigger allergies

• Dust mites;

• Mould;

• Plants/pollen;

• Animal dander;

• Foods, for example peanuts, shellfish, fish, dairy, soy, wheat;

• Insect bites/stings; and

• Medication, for example Penicillin.

Symptoms of allergies

Allergies have many symptoms, some of which are mild. However, on the other end of the spectrum, a severe allergic reaction is anaphylaxis. The symptoms include:

• Hay Fever: sneezing, runny/stuffy nose, coughing, itchy nose and mouth, swollen, itchy or red eyes;

• Tightness of the chest, wheezing or shortness of breath;

• Tingling in the mouth;

• Swelling of the mouth, face or neck;

• Hives or itchy skin; and

• Anaphylaxis.

Signs of anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is caused mainly by food allergies, insect bites, or drug allergies. Some signs of anaphylactic shock are:

• Loss of consciousness;

• Abnormal heart rate — a rapid or weak pulse;

• Difficulty breathing;

• Drop in blood pressure;

• Vomiting or diarrhoea; and

• Shock, headache, dizziness.

If you think someone is experiencing anaphylaxis, call an ambulance immediately.

What should I do?

Allergies can’t be cured. The best thing to do is avoid substances that trigger your allergies. You can visit a medical centre and take an allergen test to determine what you should avoid. Where avoidance is not possible, there is the option of medication that can relieve your symptoms. If your symptoms are persistent, you should have it checked out by a doctor.

Some symptoms of allergic reaction could easily be mistaken for the flu, but these can be relieved within hours, using medication.

Schedule an ear, nose and throat examination by a specialist to treat your symptoms accurately. Should you experience serious allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately. 

Medical Associates Hospital is a private health care facility offering a wide range of medical services of the highest quality. For more information please call 876-926-1400-9.

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