What is an allergy?
Allergies occur when the immune system reacts to harmless things, such as pollen or specific foods, treating them as dangerous invaders and creating specific antibodies to fight them.
What causes allergies?
Allergies are caused when the immune system mistakenly identifies harmless substances as threats, leading to the production of IgE antibodies.
How does an allergic reaction occur?
An allergic reaction happens when the body responds to the allergen with IgE antibodies, causing inflammation in the mucous membranes.
Are allergies serious?
Yes, allergies can be serious and significantly impact quality of life. They can be categorized into environmental and life-threatening allergies.
Are allergies genetic?
The tendency to develop allergies is often hereditary, but not everyone in a family will be allergic to the same things.
What are the most common allergy symptoms?
Common symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, coughing, red, watery eyes, and itching around the nose, mouth, or eyes.
Can allergies cause a fever?
No, allergies do not cause a fever. If you have a fever along with common allergy symptoms, it could be due to a cold, flu, or other infection.
How are allergies diagnosed and tested?
Diagnosis involves reviewing health history, physical exams, symptom diaries, and possibly skin prick tests or blood tests.
What allergy medications and treatments are available?
Treatments include allergen avoidance, medications (antihistamines, decongestants, nasal sprays, etc.), immunotherapy, and emergency epinephrine for severe allergies.
What are the most common allergies?
Common allergens include certain foods, pollen, mold, pet dander, dust mites, and medications.
Do I have allergies or a cold?
This question is addressed by comparing symptoms, as colds and allergies share many symptoms but have key differences, such as the nature of mucus and duration.
Allergies are a common but manageable condition. Understanding triggers, symptoms, and treatment options can significantly improve quality of life for those affected. Regular consultation with healthcare providers is essential for effective management and treatment.