Living with allergy

When the immune system reacts to the presence of a foreign substance in the body, it is called an allergic response. A substance such as pollen grains from plants, bee venom or even food substances that others may not react to can cause allergies. The body fights off foreign substances by producing antibodies.

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During allergic responses, the body produces specific antibodies via the immune system for that particular foreign substance or allergen. Sometimes, the immune system may identify a particular allergen as harmful and produce specific antibodies to get rid of the allergens which may not necessarily have harmful effects.

Inflammation of the skin, sinuses, nasal passages, or digestive system are often as a result of the response your immune system offers to a particular foreign substance or allergen. People differ in their response to allergies. While some may show mild responses, others may show life-threatening responses to a particular allergen.

Most of the known allergies are incurable. Although they can be prevented or relieved with the right treatments. A person can suffer from different types of allergies at the same time. There are different types of allergies and some are food allergy, pet allergy, dust mite allergy, pollen allergy, dust allergy, drug allergy allergic asthma, latex allergy, hay fever and anaphylaxis.

Managing or dealing with food allergy

Allergies can occur at any point in time. There are not fixed seasons or periods for allergic reactions. So before they occur, you ought to be prepared. In a case where you have severe food allergies or you take medications to prevent anaphylaxis, you must make sure you are in possession of your drugs wherever you are. You may inadvertently eat food that could trigger your allergies. Hence the need to be always armed with preventable substances such as drugs.

One with food allergies is required to own a card that contains all the food they are allergic to especially when they are in a restaurant. If the card is shown to a chef, the chef will make sure you do not get the food that could trigger your allergies in your order.

Some certain foods trigger allergies but are usually hidden and can be found in the unlikeliest of foods. For example, a deli meat slicer is used to cut both cheese and meat. This may see the transfer of particles from one food to the other when the same slicer is used. In another example, after grilling steaks, some restaurants will melt butter on steaks to enhance the flavour.

Additionally, canned meats sometimes contain casein — a milk protein which some people are allergic to. Eggs are used sometimes on coffee drinks to establish form topping on the drink. Some traditional dishes are prepared with peanuts or in areas near peanuts. For this reason, some food labels carry a “may contain” tag because some food allergens may have found their way into the food — albeit unintentionally. Therefore one needs to be very careful when trying to prevent allergens because they may consume them unintentionally.

Controlling pet allergy

It is very difficult to control pet allergies. Because humans love to keep pets, they may become more vulnerable to allergic reactions. Unfortunately, the only way to avoid pet allergies is not to keep them at all. Because of our desire to keep animals as pets, we may want to do whatever it takes to manage pet allergies in order to keep pets.

Here are a few things you need to know if you want to manage pet allergy.

The first thing is, you must understand what pet allergy you have. A doctor could carry out specific tests on you to determine this. In this case, you could also know if you have other types of allergies apart from pet allergy after the test. For instance, you may think that you are allergic to your dog but may find out you are allergic to dust mites after carrying out a test on your allergies.

However, an allergy test may show that you are allergic to your pets. Hence the need to understand the causes of pet allergies.

The saliva and skin glands contain allergens that stick to the dry skin and furs of animals. These dry skins and furs may fall off and stick to walls, carpet, clothing and furniture. To prevent this, you need to do the following:

i. Bathe your pet at least once a week.

ii. Do not always suspect your pets to be the cause of your allergies.

iii. Avoid furniture and clothing that could easily catch furs and dry skins of your pet.

Controlling dust mites allergy

Dust mites are small, microscopic organisms that feed on skin cells, house dust and small organic particles. These small creatures are usually found under carpets, in furniture and bedding. The waste products of dust mites contain allergens which remain airborne for a while before dropping to surfaces. To prevent or control the number of dust mites in your house, you need to use airtight covers for your bedding and furniture. Dust mites feed on your dead skin cells which fall off to your furniture, carpets mattresses, pillows and box springs. Prevention of dust mites will help to prevent its allergies.

Pollen allergy

One disadvantage of this type of allergy is that it can travel long distances as it is airborne. Some people painstakingly plant ‘low-allergy’ trees in their yards to prevent pollen allergy. Yet, pollens from miles away may be the cause of their allergic reactions. Pollen allergies are one of the commonest types of allergies and they spread easily. Except you stay indoors with your windows always shut and your air conditioner is always working — or your car is always shut while driving — you may not escape from getting in contact with pollens.

Conclusion

Having to live with allergies should not in any way affect your lifestyle. You can lead a happy and rewarding life even with your allergies. All you need to do is understand what allergies mean, what causes allergies and how you can control your allergies. For instance, if you have pet allergies, you must make sure you take good care of your pets by bathing them often. You can also create a list of the foods you are allergic to if you have food allergy. Lastly, you must be alert and be able to detect when your body starts responding to a particular type of allergy.

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