Allergies

Types Of Allergies

It’s estimated that 60 million Americans suffer from
some type of allergy. That’s 1 out of 4. It’s the 5th
highest chronic disease in America and the 3rd most
common chronic disease in children.

Many people suffer from more than one allergy type.

Pollen from trees, grass and weeds are in the
indoor/outdoor allergy category. Other common
indoor/outdoor allergy triggers are mold spores, dust
mite and cockroach allergen and cat, dog and rodent
dander.

About 75% of people with allergies have indoor/outdoor
allergies. The most common pet allergy is cat dander.

Skin allergies are another common allergy. The most
common causes of skin allergies are plants like poison
oak, ivy and sumac.

Allergic reactions can also be caused by skin contact
with latex, cockroach and dust mites and even some
foods. Skin allergies are the main allergy for about
7% of allergy sufferers.

While we here a lot about food and drug allergies,
they’re the primary allergy of only about 6% of
allergy sufferers. Food allergies are more common in
children.

Peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish and
shellfish are responsible for 90% of all food
allergies. Food allergies claim over 200 lives yearly.
When it comes to common drug allergies, penicillin is
the winner.

Almost 400 Americans die every year from allergies to
penicillin.

Latex and insect allergies both claim around 4% of
allergy sufferers. Latex allergies result in 10 deaths
a year and nearly 100 deaths a year are the result of
insect allergies.

The Most Common Food Allergies

* Milk *

Being allergic to cow’s milk isn’t the same as being
lactose intolerant.

* Eggs *

You can be allergic to either the whites of the yolk.
This type of food allergy is more prevalent in
children, but does affect some adults.

* Peanut *

Most people, adults and children with food allergies,
are allergic to peanuts too.

* Tree nut *

More children have nut allergies than adults. The
symptoms of nut and peanut allergies are the same, but
being allergic to one doesn’t necessarily mean you’re
allergic to the other.

* Seafood *

This is more common in, but not limited, to children.
The fish allergens can be passed through the air by
people eating or cooking fish near you.

* Shellfish *

Similar to seafood allergies. But having one doesn’t
mean being allergic to the other.

* Soy *

People allergic to soy need to be especially careful
when eating Asian foods or using Asian sauces.

* Wheat *

This is most commonly a food allergy, but can also be
a respiratory contact allergy.

In the United States these are referred to as « the big
eight ». Over 90% of U.S. food allergies consist of
these foods.

Allergens differ in other countries, but these 8 make
the top 10 in many places through out the world.

Food allergies may be based on contact. In East Asia
where rice makes up a large part of the diet, rice
allergies are more common, as are celery allergies in
Central Europe.

The Coming Of Spring

Spring is just around the corner. And with it comes
all the lovely pollen. Lots of people have no problem
with spring. They welcome it with open arms.

But for thousands of people, spring means runny noses,
itchy eyes and congested breathing. These people
suffer from an allergy. Probably the most common
allergy, affecting the most people is the allergy to
pollen.

Spring brings new growth and with this new growth,
plants have the urge to produce fruit or seeds.

Basically, pollen is created by the male plant parts
and taken to the female plant parts. While some plants
depend on insects to do their pollinating, many use
the wind.

The pollen grains are carried by the wind to other
plants to keep the species alive and flourishing.

Most people are just annoyed by the collection of
pollen on their automobiles, porch, patio and
everything else that sits around outside. But for the
people allergic to pollen, their problems are more
than annoying.

The most common symptoms of an allergy to pollen can
be seen every where. Runny noses, itchy watery eyes,
sneezing and coughing are yearly evidence that spring
is in the air.

The pollen irritates the areas that come into contact
with air. That means eyes, nose, throat and lungs. As
the pollen blows on the wind, it causes problems that
turn the joy and beauty of spring into anything from a
nuisance to a nightmare for the thousands that suffer
from this allergy.

Skin Allergies: The Reason Behind The Itchies You Have

The hardest part of having red, itchy skin, hives, or
swollen spots on your skin is trying to concentrate on
making your day as normal as possible while avoiding
scratching the itchy parts.

Sometimes you have to concentrate so much on that that
you sort of forget what’s the reason behind the
itching, which would really be the thing you should
focus your attention on, so that it won’t happen
again.

Allergies are most often the cause of skin rashes and
such, and some of them are quite common. Read on to
find out what they are and what you can do to avoid
them.

Diagnosing Skin Allergies

An allergist can test if you’re allergic to substances
or if your skin reacts to different possible allergens
by conducting a skin test. In a multiple-test method,
the allergist will prick your skin to introduce
various media in microscopic amounts, to see which
pricks elicit a reaction from your skin.

The material type that your skin reacts on can be
retested using different methods to confirm if the
material in question is indeed your allergen. The
allergist can also check to see how severe the
reaction to your allergen is, and can range from mild
to life threatening, using increasing concentrations
of the allergen to measure reaction times.

Types Of Manifestation

Different forms of skin allergy reactions can be found
in people. Occurring most often in small children,
eczema, specifically known as Atopic Dermatitis,
appears in the form of a red rash, and blistering of
the skin is quite common. The skin can break from
being scratched aggressively, and will usually cause
scarring.

Treatment usually consists of applying a topical
solution on the site of the rashes to ease the
itching, and your doctor will be able to prescribe
treatment that is calibrated in strength to match your
rashes.

Another common manifestation of skin allergies is the
raised, red-colored bumps on the skin known as hives.
While it is quite aesthetically disturbing to some,
hives are not so itchy that you’ll break the skin by
scratching really hard. Hives are common enough that
people of all ages are affected by it at one point or
another.

A third form of allergic reaction is called contact
dermatitis, and this is a common reaction to a
substance which will cause a similar reaction to a
rash when you come into contact with it.

The symptoms have more in common with Atopic
Dermatitis, but the usual areas that the rash
manifests itself are only where you’ve touched or come
into contact with the substance. A good example of
this is when you’ve touched poison ivy, and there are
even common cases of people getting rashes because of
their jewelry.

What To Do

Once a rash breaks out on your skin, as much as
possible, try not to scratch it, since scratching
could break the skin and introduce dirt and bacteria
to below the skin level and you’ll have more trouble
if it gets infected.

A common solution to allergic rashes would be to apply
an allergy cream to soothe the inflammation and to
remove the itchiness. But the most important thing is
that in the first occurrence, you’d be better off
consulting your doctor on what to do just to make
sure.

Peanut Allergies: Learning To Cope With Your Allergy

Allergic reactions appear from many types of materials
present in everyday surroundings. But among the more
common causes of allergies are food products, with
eight of them causing over ninety percent of all food
allergies.

At the middle of the list is peanut allergy, which is
something quite troubling because some everyday dishes
have peanuts among their ingredients, along with other
household products containing peanut powders or
extracts.

Being allergic to peanuts often manifests early in
life, but while most allergies are outgrown as
children grow up and get used to the food proteins in
other allergen types, peanut allergies are often
carried until adulthood. You can also find reactions
to peanuts from mild up to having an anaphylactic
reaction, which can possibly be life-threatening.

Symptoms of Peanut Allergies

Within minutes, a manifestation of peanut allergies
will begin to appear, whether coming from stomach pain
along with vomiting or diarrhea, or skin rashes and
hives breaking out on the skin, you can really feel
when you’ve become exposed to hazardous material when
you have a peanut allergy.

It’s bad enough when you have to deal with those
things when you get exposed to peanuts, but it can
possibly be lethal when you factor in anaphylaxis, and
your air tract will close up, you’ll have difficulty
breathing and possible have to deal with shock and
dizziness.

Peanut Allergy Triggers

In an allergic reaction to peanuts, the body will
recognize peanuts as a threat, and signal the body to
produce histamines which will trigger the allergic
response in the body.

Three methods of exposure are possible when it comes
to peanut infection. The first would be direct contact
with the material in question, like eating food
containing peanuts for example. Even just touching
could possibly trigger an allergic reaction.

The second would be a cross-contact with peanuts
wherein a product without peanut content will
accidentally mix in peanut powder or proteins in it.
The third would be contact through airborne peanut
materials, like inhaling peanuts in a powder form.
Another common route would be from aerosols with
peanuts in it.

Things You Can Do When Peanut Allergies Occur

Your family doctor will be able to see if your
symptoms are allergy-related or through some other
cause. As much as possible, you’ll want to see your
doctor while the symptoms are still manifest on your
skin or body.

A skin prick test from your local allergist will
confirm if you really do have an allergy to peanuts,
and the test will isolate the area of your skin where
you come into contact with the peanut allergen. Blood
tests can also be done during this time to see how
your immune system reacts with peanut proteins.

Unfortunately, there is no one-size solution to solve
peanut allergies, apart from avoiding the material
entirely. If you have mild reactions to your peanut
allergy, there still might be some possibility that
your reaction can become severe at one time so you’ll
need to prepare for that eventuality.

Living with peanut allergies can be done however, and
you can discuss options with your doctor for your
particular case, and get whatever treatment and
screening tests are appropriate for your allergies.
You’d also be better off knowing exactly what to do
when a reaction occurs.

Nasal Allergies – What They Are And What You Can Do

Nasal allergies are better known by its common name,
allergic rhinitis. This type of allergy is extremely
common.

But, if these reactions only happen during specific
periods of the year, then you have a seasonal allergy,
usually caused by pollen grains being spread out in
the air at about the same time as your allergies.

There are also perennial allergies that can happen no
matter what day of the year. But the good part is that
you and your doctor can work out a treatment for you
that will minimize the occurrences and keep your
allergy in check.

Nasal Allergy Manifestations

A nasal allergy reaction is a bit like getting a
sudden bout of the colds. You’ll sneeze, have watery
eyes, have a runny nose with a clear liquid discharge,
and all the other unpleasant side effects coming in
with colds like having a sore throat and cough. This
may seem like just an irritation, but there’s more to
your nasal allergies than just that.

Common Causes

All allergy attacks are triggered by an allergen,
which is the substance that your body recognizes as an
outside threat and will attempt to block it. A common
allergen during the summer months when flowers are in
bloom is pollen, which can float around in the air and
end up entering your respiratory tract.

Mold also does the same thing, so you can really feel
like you’re having a mix of irritants, which is
probably also the case. The last common sources of
nasal allergies are animals, whether it’s from dust
mites or pet dander from your dog. These can all
trigger allergic reactions from your body.

Diagnosis of Allergies

A simple evaluation by your doctor of your nasal
symptoms can define the best way on how to diagnose if
you have a nasal allergy. Then you can undergo tests
to determine the best method of treatment for your
case.

It would also be very helpful to your doctor if you
provide some medical background and history on your
allergies, such as when it started, which periods of
the year it occurs, and heredity factors.

A physical exam could also test your body parts for
faults. Once it’s all finished, you and your doctor
can plan a way on how to treat your allergies with
medication, allergen avoidance, and possibly
immunotherapy so that you won’t have to endure those
allergies forever.

The most effective treatment of allergies, however, is
to avoid being exposed to it as much as possible. If
you’re allergic to pollen grains, then it might be a
good idea to limit your time in parks during the
summer, where there are lots of trees and other plants
who spread pollen quite well.

Depending on the medical advice your doctor gives, you
just have to follow it to make sure that your nasal
allergies are minimized and possibly avoided entirely.

Animals are also good sources of nasal infection, so
keep your surroundings clean of pet hair and other
materials by cleaning and vacuuming often.

You won’t have to do so many complicated things just
to avoid a simple allergen material, and common sense
still applies. Wherever your allergen is bound to be
grown or found, better keep yourself away from it.

Looking For A Challenge?

Ever wonder what are the most challenging places for
allergy sufferers to live?

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America wondered
that too. So they’ve been researching and publishing a
yearly report.

Each spring and fall, they gather information based on
3 factors. They check the pollen scores, the number of
allergy medications used and the number of allergy
specialists per patient.

Their report lists the top 100 places an allergy
sufferer would find the most challenging. That’s just
a polite way of saying the 100 worst places to live
with allergies.

Looks like Texas tops the list. They have 7 cities in
the top 70. Austin is number 1 with a score of 100.
This is one time a score of 100 and the number 1 spot
isn’t a good thing. San Antonio isn’t far behind
Austin with a score of 98.75. That puts it in second
place.

Third place is claimed by Oklahoma City, OK. They get
a score of 96.25. But it’s not all bad in Oklahoma.
Tulsa with a score of 83.00 is the only other city to
make the list.

Florida has 11 cities in the top 100, with Lakeland
leading the way with a score of 93.75. Orlando is
right below them with a 93.20.

Los Angeles isn’t far down the list. It ranked 11th,
scoring 82.75. And our nations capital ranked 70th
with a score of 51.45. Seattle, WA. finishes the list
with a nice low score of 25.45.

Important Things To Know About Milk Allergies

Milk allergies occur because the immune system
mistakenly sees milk protein as something that is
dangerous for the body and tries to fight it off. It
starts as an allergic reaction causing a child to be
fussy and irritable along with an upset stomach and
other symptoms.

Breastfeeding lowers the risk of the child developing
a milk allergy. In many cases however, the allergy is
said to be genetic. Normally, by the time a child
reaches the age of three to five years old, the
allergy goes away all on its own.

People who have milk allergies should really pay good
attention to what they are eating because a lot of
foods nowadays are made up of milk and other milk
products. A milk allergy is different from lactose
intolerance and without extra caution, a milk allergy
may turn into a severe illness due to direct contact
with foods that cause it.

Milk Allergy And The Immune System

A person who has a milk allergy reacts to the proteins
in the milk. The substance known as Curd which forms
the chunks that can be observed in sour milk contains
80% of the milk’s proteins while Whey which is the
watery part holds 20% of the milk’s content.

If a person who has allergic reactions to milk eats
food that contain milk products, the immune system
will fight the milk proteins because it mistakenly
sees them as invaders thus harmful to the body. The
immune system protects the body from these milk
proteins by creating antibodies known as
immunoglobulin that trigger the release of chemicals
into the body such as histamine.

The release of these chemicals affect the different
parts of the body such as the gastrointestinal tract,
the skin, the respiratory system and the
cardiovascular system which then causes the allergy
symptoms like nausea, headache, wheezing, itchy hives
and stomachache.

The Common Symptoms

Just like any other food allergy reactions, the
symptoms occur within ten minutes to a couple of hours
after eating the food that caused the allergy. The
symptoms may sometimes last for less than a day
affecting any of these three body systems: the skin,
the gastrointestinal tract and the respiratory tract.

Milk allergy manifests in the skin in a form of red
rashes, redness and swelling in the areas of the mouth
or eczema. The gastrointestinal tract on the other
hand is affected in the form of belly cramps, nausea,
vomiting and diarrhea. The respiratory tract has
symptoms ranging from itchy and watery eyes, runny
nose and sneezing to asthma attacks coupled with
wheezing and coughing.

A severe reaction known as anaphylaxis may also occur
to some patients. It causes the swelling of the mouth
as well as the throat and airways that lead to the
lungs leading to the inability of the patient to
breathe. There is also a dangerous drop in the blood
pressure which cause the dizziness and passing out and
sometimes immediately lead to shock.

Going To The Doctor

Once your doctor suspects that you might be having a
milk allergy, you will be referred to a specialist
that is equipped to better treat your allergic
reactions. The allergy specialist will then ask you
some questions that may cover information about how
often these reactions occur and the time that it
usually takes before the allergy manifests itself in
your system. He or she will also ask you if there are
members of your family who has the same case of
allergic reactions that you have.

An allergy specialist performs a skin test on you and
this test will involve a placing of liquid extracts of
milk protein on the patient’s forearm or back. The
skin will be pricked a bit and the allergist waits if
there would appear reddish spot forms thus indicating
the allergic reaction.

How To Tell If Baby Allergies Are Signs Of Intolerance

Any allergy, from whatever media it might come from,
begins with the same reaction. The body mistakenly
assumes that an particle, whether it’s pollen, or in
the case of food allergies, a food protein, as a
harmful threat.

The immune system then releases immunoglobin E,
otherwise known as IgE into the bloodstream,
triggering a chain of events that release histamines
in the body to attempt to combat the foreign particle.
A skin rash, runny eyes, sneezing, whatever the
manifestations, they still have the same first steps.

Baby Food Allergies

A baby will typically have an adverse reaction toward
a food product, and one can often easily see what
these reactions are.

An example of an intolerant reaction to a food product
would be from lactose intolerance, where people who
are intolerant cannot break down the sugar in dairy
products.

Spotting Trouble Signs

A potentially dangerous allergy in infants can be seen
because of the reactions from the food being eaten. A
common example would be an infant having loose bowels
after eating, and may even vomit the food in an effort
to expel it from the body.

The throat may also close up or the lips and face may
swell up. On the infant’s skin, rashes or hives may
appear, among other unusual occurrences in the skin
surface.

An intolerance is different than an allergy, and
usually has more to do with intestinal trouble than
reaction to any particular allergen.

How to avoid allergy troubles

When introducing a new food product to your infant, be
sure to try only minute quantities at first so that
you can see if there are any unpleasant reactions to
the food, and afterwards you can slowly increase the
amount you are feeding when there are no apparent
reactions.

During the course of introducing new food to your
child, you should be able to see as well if your child
likes it. If there are no negative reactions present,
then you can safely increase the quantity given to a
normal level.

The timing of introducing new foods should also be
considered, and you’ll want to feed your child with
new food early in the day so that you still have ample
time to take your child to the pediatrician during
clinic hours and disrupt your baby’s daily routine the
least.

Ninety percent of all allergic reactions come from
just eight food sources, and they are common enough to
be found in foods everywhere.

These are the kind of food products that you’ll want
to check up on for your child, just to make sure that
there is no reaction whatsoever.

Milk is one of the most common, and you should check
with dairy products should there be an adverse
reaction.

Eggs are the second on the list of allergen foods.

Peanuts and tree nuts are some common allergens right
up to adulthood, and they’ll have to manage these
allergies all their life.

Fish and shellfish allergies can be outgrown, however.
Soy and wheat are the last two materials that round
out the list, and children can often outgrow these
allergies as well

Having an allergic reaction is somewhat a bit of a
bother, but with proper management, avoidance, or
treatment, your child can outgrow these allergies, or
manage to live with it at the very least.

Consult with your family physician when you aren’t
sure of whether your child is allergic or not.

How Symptoms Of Allergies Manifest Themselves When You Have A Reaction

Having an allergic reaction to a substance, whether
it’s food, or pollen, or whatever material your body
is reacting to, it can be mild and just plain annoying
at best, and life-threatening at the very worst.

Should you be affected by any specific allergies, you
will likely find out because of several symptoms. But
sometimes you can confuse other symptoms for just some
common diseases like colds.

There are some distinctions though, between allergy
symptoms and other diseases. Subtle differences in
conditions could let you identify if what you’re
having is just a simple case of the colds or an asthma
attack or if it’s really allergies.

Between Colds And Allergies

The cold is probably the first thing you’d blame if
you don’t suspect that the sneezing, having a runny
nose and being teary-eyed is caused by an allergic
reaction to a substance. But this is easy enough to
identify, since colds occur mainly during the colder
months of the year.

You should also check if you have allergic rhinitis,
which would manifest itself in ways quite similar to
colds. Some other allergies caused by airborne
particles that your body is allergic to can cause
asthma-like reactions, like coughing, wheezing, and
having trouble breathing because the air tract is
clogged up significantly.

What you can do to distinguish between colds and
allergies

At some point you’ll be able to notice an underlying
trend when it comes to the occasions in which symptoms
occur. Then you’ll be able to test out your
suspicions, and consult an allergist to confirm if
you’re indeed allergic to a given substance.

The allergist can conduct tests on you so that you’ll
be able to confirm with your doctor what substances
you’re allergic to. Once you’ve nailed it down, you’ll
be able to get some firm advice on what to do to
prevent or treat your allergies with, whether it’s
antihistamines of some other form of treatment like
immunotherapy for allergies.

Avoidance Is Key

No matter what the treatment being prescribed is,
you’ll always be able to prevent occurrences of
allergy attacks if you avoid the allergen material as
much as possible.

For example, in food allergies, if you’re allergic to
shellfish or shrimp, it would be wise to steer clear
of any dishes that contain this as an ingredient.

No matter what you do, if you aren’t exposed to
allergy-causing media, then you won’t have an allergic
reaction. If you still are having allergy symptoms,
then check again with your doctor, you might have
other materials that you’re allergic to.

You’ll probably have to have additional tests done,
but still it’s better than having no idea what other
materials you’re allergic to.

There are some other treatment options when it comes
to allergies, such as having shots for immunotherapy.

In this scenario a doctor will give the patient a
minute quantity of the allergen in question so that
exposure is controlled and the subject’s immune system
can slowly work its way around the allergen and
develop immunity, reducing or totally eliminating
allergic reactions to the substance.

This procedure is spread out over a period of time,
but the results are worth it when you think about not
having to sneeze or cough or have any other unpleasant
effects of being exposed to allergens.