An allergy is a condition in which your body’s immune system reacts abnormally to a foreign substance. The foreign substance may include things such as pollen, bee venom or pet dander — or a food that doesn’t cause a reaction in most people.
The severity of allergies varies from person to person and can range from minor irritation to life threatening.
Common allergy triggers
- Certain medication including penicillin, aspirin and Sulphur based drugs
- Certain foods especially peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, eggs and milk
- Latex products such as gloves and condoms
- Insect stings, such as from a bee, ant or wasp
- Animal proteins found in their skin cells, saliva or urine
- Airborne substances such as such as pollen, animal dander, dust mites and mould
Common symptoms of an allergy
- Sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose
- Itchy, red, watering eyes
- Wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and a cough
- A raised, itchy, red rash on the skin
- Swelling in the lips, tongue, eyes or face
- Stomachache, feeling sick, vomiting or diarrhoea
- Dry, red and cracked skin
Complications of allergies
Food allergies are a big factor that influences daily food choices. You are more likely to avoid any particular food that you are allergic to even though it may contain nutrients that are necessary for your body’s proper growth and development.
Removing two or more important foods can result in poor nutrition.
Untreated allergies will most likely result in infections for example, when you have allergies or a cold, your nose and sinuses get inflamed. This blocks mucus from draining, which can cause an infection.
Ear infections are also common with people who suffer from allergies due to inflammation of the ear canal that interferes with drainage of the middle ear. When bacteria laden discharge clogs the tube, you are likely to get an ear infection.
This is a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention. The most common anaphylactic reactions are to foods, insect stings, venom, medications and latex. It can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to.
4. Self-esteem issues
Allergy problems can be demoralizing and lead to self-esteem issues e.g. eczema in young children can cause them to feel different in a negative way.
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