Allergies may be benign or critical conditions wherein a person develops bodily reactions to certain substances. The reactions may cause simple inconveniences to life-threatening situations. It occurs when the body senses the allergens, interprets them as foreign invaders, and releases histamine which causes the symptoms we see. Unpreparedness may put an allergic person in great danger or even death.
The causes of allergic reactions vary. The common causes are foods such as seafood, nuts, honey, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, and many more. Other substances include bee stings, pollen, dust and certain medications. Common symptoms are runny and itchy nose, sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, hives, mild swelling and rashes. Some of the common severe symptoms are difficulty in breathing and asthma-like symptoms, swelling of the face and neck, anxiety, and symptoms of shock.
The mild symptoms are easy to treat and even prevent. Spring allergies are usually hard to avoid since pollen can travel miles. Even if you live in the city or anywhere without plants with pollen, you can still be attacked. Dust can also be the cause of problem. Since they cannot really be avoided unless you stay in a clean room forever, you might as well do something about it. Drugs like antihistamines, decongestants, steroids and allergy shots are some of the ways in which different forms of allergy can be prevented.
As for food allergy, of course, the sensible way is to avoid the foods that cause the reactions. That is if you know which ones you are allergic to. Some undergo several tests to find out which food they are allergic to. Others find out when they experience the symptoms on the first or after multiple contacts with the food substance. It is important for parents to know any food that causes allergy to children. That is why it is advisable to introduce new food one at a time for at least one week before introducing another so allergy is easily detected.
For those who have experienced severe allergic reactions in the past, precaution is always the key to staying out of allergy. They are usually required by their allergists to wear bracelets so other people may have idea what to do in times of emergency. They also carry an emergency kit that includes medications to administer should they experience severe anaphylactic reaction.
If you encounter this situation, do not panic. Try to calm down the person and observe the symptoms. If they are indeed experiencing severe allergic reaction, look for an emergency kit. They should have medications in the form of inhaler or injection. If severe asthma-like symptoms are present, help them with the inhaler. An epinephrine injection is also necessary in severe cases. If there are no medications available, loosen any tight clothing and give them some air. Since the mouth, neck and airway may be swollen, they are in dire need of oxygen. Keep the airway open. Contact emergency services immediately.