A very large number of people are confronted with one or more allergies during their lives. An allergy is an abnormal reaction of our body to a certain substance. These are substances that are not actually harmful in themselves. This concerns substances called allergens. It is expected that 20 to 30 percent of the population will react to this and will therefore suffer from a certain allergy. In practice, allergies are a considerably more common problem than you would originally think.
What are allergies?
There are many different allergies. Some of the best-known allergies are allergies to pollen, dander from dogs and cats, feces from house dust mites, for example, and of course spores from mold. Allergies in particular cause complaints of the nose, lungs, skin as well as the gastrointestinal tract. The eyes and ears are also susceptible parts of our body to allergies. Certain people may react particularly strongly to certain food products such as peanuts, fruit as well as grains, fish and crustaceans and shellfish. Moreover, the poison of bees and wasps is also not harmless. Contact with latex as well as various medicines could also cause a severe and dangerous allergic reaction.
How do I recognize an allergy?
Recognizing an allergy is often quite simple in practice. When you come into contact with certain substances, you will immediately experience that your body reacts unusually. For example, people who have hay fever (one of the most common types of allergies) can have a strong exaggerated reaction to pollen. The result is that they start sneezing and often experience eye problems. Watery eyes, a runny nose and sneezing are typical hay fever reactions that people without this allergy will not experience during the pollen season.
When your body reacts unusually to certain substances, it is very important not to ignore this. An allergy is not only very annoying, it can also be dangerous in certain cases. So do not ignore your complaints and have the cause investigated.
Can I do something about allergies myself?
What can you do yourself against allergies? The most important thing you should definitely do is find out the cause of your complaints. Various tests can be performed for this. It usually starts initially with a so-called allergy consultation. Following this consultation, various tests may be prescribed. This concerns:
- A skin prick test;
- Nasal provocation;
- A challenge test with food or medicines;
Once it has been determined which allergies you are dealing with, it is possible to take concrete action against them. It is of course always advisable to avoid (nutrients) substances to which you are suspected to be allergic.
Which medications are used for allergies?
The medications that can be used for allergies can vary greatly in practice. After all, it goes without saying that the nature of the allergy must be taken into account. The medications that can be taken for hay fever, for example, differ from the medications that can be used to treat other allergies. So always first determine exactly which allergy you have so that specific medications can be prescribed by the doctor. Please note that the medications available to treat allergies will not cure the disease. They can merely suppress the symptoms associated with the allergy.
Associated medication allergies: