• Brief

    • An allergy is an immune system response to something (allergen) that’s not typically harmful to your body. Allergies can include certain foods that aren’t poisonous to others, pollen, or pet hairs that have fallen off.

      This happens because your body makes antibodies that identify these substances as harmful by mistake. This leads to a reaction every time you come into contact with the same substance, including swelling and itching in your skin, nose and throat.

      The severity of the reaction also varies from person to person, with some reactions being severe and life-threatening. This may require hospitalisation.

    • What are the symptoms?

    • Allergy symptoms, which depend on the substance involved, can affect your throat, nose, skin, and digestive system.

      These can include:

      • Having sneezing fits, runny, stuffy, and itchy nose; itchy roof of the mouth; watery, itchy, red, or swollen eyes (conjunctivitis).
      • Food allergies may cause tingling in the mouth, swelling of the lips, tongue, face, or throat, and itching of the skin.
      • Insect sting allergies may cause a large area of swelling (oedema) at the site of the sting, itching or hives all over the body, cough, chest tightness, wheezing, or shortness of breath. You can check out this post on first aid for scorpion sting.
      • A drug allergy may cause hives, itchy skin, rash, facial swelling, and wheezing.
      • An allergic skin condition called eczema, can cause the skin to be dry, become itchy, redden and peel.

      Some types of allergies, including allergies to foods, drugs, and insect stings, can trigger a severe, life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis. In a life-threatening medical emergency, anaphylaxis can cause you to go into shock. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include loss of consciousness, a drop in blood pressure, severe shortness of breath, skin rash, light-headedness, a rapid, weak pulse, nausea, and vomiting.

    • What are the causes?

    • Allergies are triggered or caused by an allergen. Allergens are substances that your body wrongly recognizes as harmful. They can include substances carried in the air, like dust, pollen, dust mites and mould; foods such as groundnuts, wheat, fish, palm oil, eggs and milk; clothes, latex condoms or other materials that come in contact with your skin. You can also have an allergic reaction to some medicines, like penicillin and sulfonamides. And some people react to insect stings or bites more than usual.

    • What are the things that put you at risk?

    • People with the following may be more likely to develop allergies;

      • Having a family history of asthma or allergies.
      • Have asthma or another allergic condition.
    • When to visit a doctor?

    • You should see a healthcare provider if an allergy causes your symptoms. This is important especially when you have used over-the-counter medicines without significant benefits or the symptoms reoccur. If you have new symptoms after starting a medication, see the healthcare provider who prescribed it right away.

    • How to prevent?

      • Most people can prevent an allergic reaction by avoiding the allergen that triggers their reactions. If this is not possible, using a preventer medicine may be possible (e.g. in patients with asthma).
      • Inform your family, co-workers and friends about your allergies. Tell them how to help you if there is a reaction and set up an emergency contact on your mobile device.
    • How to manage and treat?

    • Self-care

      • Your best course of action is to avoid the allergen that causes the reaction. Your healthcare provider will help you take steps to identify and avoid your allergy triggers. This is generally the most important step in preventing allergic reactions and reducing symptoms.
      • Use a face mask where allergens are airborne (e.g. pollen).
      • Use over-the-counter medications that relieve some allergy symptoms (e.g. anti-itching medicines like piriton or diphenhydramine).
      • Patients who are likely to have severe, life-threatening reactions (anaphylaxis) can be given special pens containing adrenaline injection. The patient and caregivers will also be trained on using this device in case of an emergency.


      Depending on your allergy, medications can help reduce your immune system reaction and ease symptoms. Your healthcare provider may suggest a different over-the-counter medicine or a prescription medication in the form of pills or liquid, nasal sprays, or eyedrops.

      In some patients, immunotherapy may be useful. For severe allergies or allergies not completely relieved by other treatment, your doctor might recommend allergen immunotherapy. This treatment involves a series of injections of purified allergen extracts, usually given over a period of a few years.

    • Kulawa cares

    • Allergy avoidance is the most important self-care for patients, so identifying the allergen is important. For some allergens, barrier methods like wearing facemasks (of appropriate grade) is enough, while for others eliminating certain foods from the diet is key. Eating a diet that supports your immune system is also important. A healthy immune system will help keep you in better health.

      Allergies can cause serious discomfort for people who have flare-ups, often interrupting work and social activities. Even when not life-threatening, allergies can cause limitations for patients.