What are the possible causes of allergy

What are the possible causes of allergy

Allergies occur when the body’s immune system reacts to a specific substance as though it’s harmful.

It’s not clear why this happens, but most people affected own a family history of allergies or own closely related conditions, such as asthma or eczema.

The number of people with allergies is increasing every year.

The reasons for this are not understood, but 1 of the main theories is it’s the result of living in a cleaner, germ-free environment, which reduces the number of germs our immune system has to deal with.

It’s thought this may cause it to overreact when it comes into contact with harmless substances.


Getting assist for allergies

See a GP if you ponder you or your kid might own had an allergic reaction to something.

The symptoms of an allergic reaction can also be caused by other conditions.

A GP can assist determine whether it’s likely you own an allergy.

If they ponder you might own a mild allergy, they can offer advice and treatment to assist manage the condition.

If your allergy is particularly severe or it’s not clear what you’re allergic to, they may refer you to an allergy specialist for testing and advice about treatment.

Find out more about allergy testing


Symptoms of an allergic reaction

Allergic reactions generally happen quickly within a few minutes of exposure to an allergen.

They can cause:

  1. sneezing
  2. a runny or blocked nose
  3. red, itchy, watery eyes
  4. wheezing and coughing
  5. a red, itchy rash
  6. worsening of asthma or eczema symptoms

Most allergic reactions are mild, but occasionally a severe reaction called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock can happen.

What are the possible causes of allergy

This is a medical emergency and needs urgent treatment.


Common allergies

Substances that cause allergic reactions are called allergens.

The more common allergens include:

  1. dust mites
  2. animal dander, tiny flakes of skin or hair
  3. grass and tree pollen – an allergy to these is known as hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
  4. medicines – including ibuprofen, aspirin and certain antibiotics
  5. food – particularly nuts, fruit, shellfish, eggs and cows’ milk
  6. mould – these can release little particles into the air that you can breathe in
  7. latex – used to make some gloves and condoms
  8. insect bites and stings
  9. household chemicals – including those in detergents and hair dyes

Most of these allergens are generally harmless to people who are not allergic to them.


How to manage an allergy

In many cases, the most effective way of managing an allergy is to avoid the allergen that causes the reaction whenever possible.

For example, if you own a food allergy, you should check a food’s ingredients list for allergens before eating it.

What are the possible causes of allergy

There are also several medicines available to help control symptoms of allergic reactions, including:

  1. antihistamines – these can be taken when you notice the symptoms of a reaction, or before being exposed to an allergen, to stop a reaction occurring
  2. decongestants – tablets, capsules, nasal sprays or liquids that can be used as a short-term treatment for a blocked nose
  3. lotions and creams, such as moisturising creams (emollients) – these can reduce skin redness and itchiness
  4. steroid medicines – sprays, drops, creams, inhalers and tablets that can assist reduce redness and swelling caused by an allergic reaction

For some people with extremely severe allergies, a treatment called immunotherapy may be recommended.

This involves being exposed to the allergen in a controlled way over a number of years so your body gets used to it and does not react to it so severely.


Is it an allergy, sensitivity or intolerance?

Allergy

A reaction produced by the body’s immune system when exposed to a normally harmless substance.

Sensitivity

The exaggeration of the normal effects of a substance. For example, the caffeine in a cup of coffee may cause extreme symptoms, such as palpitations and trembling.

Intolerance

Where a substance causes unpleasant symptoms, such as diarrhoea, but does not involve the immune system.

What are the possible causes of allergy

People with an intolerance to certain foods can typically eat a little quantity without having any problems.

Sheet final reviewed: 22 November 2018
Next review due: 22 November 2021

Picture this: Your dog is constantly itching, scratching, and biting fur, and you can’t figure out why. Maybe you’ve tried everything from changing grooming routines to special shampoos, to medications.

What are the possible causes of allergy

But own you tried changing your dog’s diet?

Food is one culprit behind allergic reactions in dogs that owners often overlook. In fact, there are dog food allergies and dog food intolerances. Just love us, canines can suffer from either or both. And food allergies in dogs can cause not only digestive problems love vomiting and diarrhea, but also skin issues, and even behavioral problems.

What are the possible causes of allergy

If you or your vet suspect your pup may own be having an adverse reaction to certain foods, and you’re wondering what it every means, you’re in the correct place.

We talked to Dr. Justin Shmalberg, a DVM and NomNomNow’s own veterinary nutritionist, to collect what you need to know. We’ll cover the following:


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