Women’s Health Concerns
- December 20,2021
- 2 Min Read
Allergies are an overreaction of the body’s immune system to specific substances (normally present in the environment) that it identifies as harmful. This overreaction of the body’s immune system is known as an allergic reaction and the substances that cause it are called allergens.
During the winter when one tends to spend more time inside, you may notice allergy symptoms increase, especially if you are allergic to common indoor allergens:
- Dust mites
- Animal dander/saliva
- Mild- rash, itching, watery eyes, congestion
- Moderate- itchiness, difficulty in breathing
- Severe- varying degrees of swellings that can make breathing and swallowing difficult, abdominal pain, cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea, mental confusion or dizziness
Severe allergies may result in life-threatening reactions called anaphylaxis – which if untreated can lead to death.
How do you differentiate it from a cold/flu?
A cold usually doesn't last for more than 10 days. Allergies can linger for weeks or even months. Also, colds and flu sometimes have a fever and aches and pains, which don’t usually happen with allergies.
The things that you are allergic to, really add up!
If you are allergic to dust mites, that might not be the only reason you are sneezing, and if you have asthma that might not be the only reason you are wheezing. It may be because you are sensitive to more than one allergen.
Allergies often begin early in life, first expressing themselves as eczema in young children. The progression from eczema to later developing food allergies, allergic rhinitis and asthma is called the ‘Allergic March’.
Should you do an allergy test?
All patients with recurrent or persistent “allergy-like” symptoms should get tested. Correctly identifying the allergen can help:
- Reduce exposure
- Reduce inflammation
- Reduce symptoms
- Reduce the need for medication
- Improve the patient’s quality-of-life
- Help the patient receive allergy specific treatment.
Why isn’t medical history sufficient?
- Up to 50% of the population may suffer from ‘allergy-like’ symptoms, but about 1 in 4 suffer from an actual IgE-mediated allergy.
- 80% of allergic patients have more than one allergen.
Know your allergies and be careful with them.
Make your health a priority!