Although allergies have always been around, in this day and age they are a common and every day subject.An allergy is when something you eat or come into contact with causes a bad reaction. I myself am allergic to elastoplasts, it only takes a few minutes for itching to begin if I have ever used one, after an hour or so blisters appear.
I get this same reaction with gold, my wedding ring will last two or three days before the itching starts and then blisters appearing a short while after.
Every year more and more people suffer from allergies. Small children and nuts are one example. In the last ten years the number of children that are allergic to nuts has doubled, no one can be sure exactly why this has happened.
Experts that study allergies say it is the result of pollution, or another theory is that it is the result of living in a cleaner germ free environment.
According to the scientists the immune system has less germs to contend with and this has thrown it off balance, so that it over reacts when it comes into contact with usually harmless substances.
Many have studied to try and prove whether or not these theories are correct, but the results have been inconclusive so further research is needed to find out the causes.
Any substance that causes you to have an allergic reaction is called an allergen, there are many different types of allergens but the three most common are pollen, dust, mites, and nuts.
The immune system is the bodies natural defense against germs and viruses, an allergy occurs when the immune system reacts to the allergen believing it to be a dangerous germ, it then releases chemicals called antibodies to destroy it. It is when the antibodies are released that the symptoms of an allergic reaction occur.
Most allergic reactions are quite mild but some can be more serious. Very occasionally an allergic reaction can result in a person’s death.
Allergic reactions produce many different symptoms and affect people in different ways. Some of the most common symptoms include the following: Sneezing or wheezing, pressure or pain high up in the nose and around the eyes, also at the front of the skull.
Runny nose, coughing, nettle rash / hives, swelling, itchy eyes, ears, lips throat and roof of mouth, shortness of breath, and sickness, vomiting.
You must also realize that these symptoms may be caused by conditions other than allergies, and some may be illnesses themselves. See your GP, or ask your pharmacist, for advice if you are not sure what is wrong.
People with intolerance to certain foods can typically eat a small amount without having any problems. In contrast, people with a food allergy, will have a bad reaction if they come into contact with even the tiniest amount of the food that they are allergic to.
By law, food manufacturers must clearly label any food that contains something that is known to cause a food allergy, such as celery, cereals, crustaceans, eggs, fish, milk, mustard, nuts, sesame seeds, soybeans, and the preservatives sulfur dioxide and sulphites. By carefully checking the label for the list of ingredients, you should be able to avoid an allergic reaction.
Pets are also a problem with some people It is not the pet fur that causes an allergic reaction, it is exposure to flakes of their dead skin, their saliva, and their dried urine. As most pets these days live in doors you may find the following advice useful.
Keep pets outside as much as possible, or keep them in one room, preferably one without a carpet. Never allow pets in the bedroom as their skin flakes can remain in the air for a long time. Bath your pets at least one a fortnight and castration will reduce the production of allergens by male cats and dogs.