Allergies

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Many of us have had to deal with the tedious symptoms of an allergy. Spring goes into full bloom, and your runny nose, watery eyes and unrelenting sneezing is making you miserable. For others, it might be an indoor trigger, such as dust mites, that's causing the same reaction. Despite being irritating, allergy symptoms can severely affect a person's ability to enjoy their lives in full. Throughout the world, the incidence of allergies is on the rise. This section provides up-to-date information on allergies, types of allergies, and how you can best manage yours. What are allergies? Allergies are among the most common chronic conditions worldwide. Allergies occur when your immune system, the body’s defense system, reacts to a foreign substance it mistakenly views as a harmful invader. Substances that cause these reactions are called allergens. What is an allergic reaction? An allergic reaction is the way the body responds to the allergen. The immune system overreacts to the otherwise harmless allergen by producing antibodies. These antibodies travel to cells that release histamine and other chemicals into the bloodstream, causing an allergic reaction. Symptoms often include inflamed skin, airways, sinuses or digestive system. What are symptoms of allergies? The severity of allergies can vary from person to person and symptoms can range from minor irritation to anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening reaction. An allergic reaction typically triggers symptoms in the nose, lungs, throat, sinuses, ears, lining of the stomach or on the skin. For some people, allergies can also trigger symptoms of asthma. While most allergies can't be cured, a number of treatments can help relieve allergy symptoms. Does everyone get allergies? Everyone does not develop allergies. Most people inherit a tendency to be allergic from their parents, although not to any specific allergen. If a child develops an allergy, it is very likely that at least one of his or her parents has allergies. Allergies can exist in many different forms. Below is a list of some of the most common: Seasonal allergies Nut, wheat and other food allergies Pet allergies Drug allergies Eye allergies Plant allergies Dust allergy Insect sting allergies Latex allergy Mold allergy Cosmetic allergies Chemical allergies

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If you think you may have symptoms of an allergy, it is important to make an appointment with an allergy specialist. Two main types of tests are performed to determine whether you are suffering from an allergy. Skin test: Allergy skin testing may be used to identify the allergens that are causing your allergy symptoms. In this test, your skin is pricked and exposed to an extra

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Allergy treatment is based on the results of your allergy tests, your medical history, as well as the severity of your symptoms. It can include a number of different treatment strategies: Allergen avoidance The most important step to prevent allergy symptoms and reduce your need for allergy medication is to avoid your allergens as much as possible. Your doctor will help y

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Although there are no known ways to avoid developing allergies, there are general measures you can take to prevent allergic reactions. These include: Avoiding known triggers: Even with treatment for your allergy symptoms, it is still best to avoid your triggers where possible. Common triggers include airborne allergens, certain foods, insects or medications. Reducing dust at

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Nut Allergies With a peanut or tree nut allergy, even a small amount may cause an allergic reaction in some people. While you may expect to find nuts in certain foods, such as peanut butter and nut breads, it can be included in less obvious products like marinades and sauces. If you have a nut allergy, it is important to check labels carefully before using a product. Nuts are

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