28.10.2019 Health & Fitness

Allergies: How Well Do You Know Yourself And What You Are Allergic To?

By Mariatu Razak
Allergies: How Well Do You Know Yourself And What You Are Allergic To?
28.10.2019 LISTEN

Allergies are a very common overreaction of the immune system to a usually harmless substance. It is one of the most chronic diseases, and the toxins responsible for allergic reactions are called allergens.

Because our immune systems produce substances known as antibodies, allergy symptoms occur when the immune system mistakes a wholesome substance- like pollen or a nut- for an intruder, and in effect, wages a war against it through the release of antibodies.

Your immune system’s unwelcoming reaction to such allergens can consequently, inflame your skin, sinuses, airways, or digestive systems.

Its seriousness depends on the person and can range from just a minor rash on the skin to a life-threatening emergency.

In rare cases, an allergy can lead to a severe allergic reaction called, anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock- which can put your life at risk. This affects the whole body and usually develops within minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to.

Anaphylaxis is a medical condition that requires serious treatment, and shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Though most allergies can’t be cured, treatments, however, can help minimize it.

Note that almost anything at all can trigger allergies and the most common culprits include; some foods, vaccines, medications, shellfishes, aspirins, dust, pollen, peanuts amongst others.

Your particular triggers are unique to you even though there are common allergens.

Though allergies are known to run in some families, you can still have them even if your parents don’t. It doesn’t necessarily have to be hereditary.

There is a higher chance of you getting allergies if you’ve had; a severe allergic reaction in the past, lung conditions that affect breathing such as asthma, nasal polyps, frequent sinus, ear or respiratory infections, sensitive skin or eczema.

The prevalence rate of allergies seems to be increasing each day. Why are allergies becoming more and more common? Why do some people react to substances and others don’t?

Scientists are not entirely sure why some people suffer from allergies whilst others don’t but studies show that genetics and environment could contribute to the factors of developing allergies.

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