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Allergic diseases result from exaggerated and often inappropriate response of one's immune system to contact with certain substances in the environment.
About one in five persons will suffer with one form of allergy or the other at a given time in their lives. Such allergic responses manifest as any one of the following conditions:
These allergic conditions could cause mild, moderate or severe life threatening illnesses, leading to disruption of good quality of life, loss of time at work, psychological and emotional scars, frequent hospitalization and even death.
The key to minimizing the effects of these inappropriate response of the immune system to otherwise harmless environmental substances is to clearly document the nature of symptoms that occur during such allergic reactions, find the possible trigger by keeping a meticulous diary of foods, drinks, and places one has been exposed to, and getting the appropriate allergy medications during an attack or even the use of preventers where possible. Avoidance of triggers is central to successful management.
Wondering what might be causing your frequent allergy? Genetic predisposition, and exposure to certain environmental triggers are responsible for most allergic reactions, be it hay fever to life threatening anaphylaxis.
Common triggers include:
Hives or urticaria rash can also be triggered by high or low extremes of temperature. If you notice, for example that you develop rash after having hot baths, trying using less warm water might help, if this is the cause.
In cases where it is difficult to put one's finger on what might be causing an allergy, doing a test often helps. The following are the types of test for allergy available.
The need may arise for allergic tests to be carried out to ascertain a cause of allergy, and commencement of allergy medications.
Common investigations and tests for allergy include:
If you think you might be having food or pollen allergy, or allergy to some other items, and want to be sure, you can get specialist finger prick blood tests taken at home, with no need for a GP (family doctor) or hospital appointment, carried out by the only independently endorsed laboratory by Allergy UK from YORKTEST Laboratories.
If you suffer with hay fever (allergic rhinitis), chronic urticaria, or other forms of recurrent allergic reactions like seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, it is important to familiarize yourself with the available allergy medicines. This is because, you may find one allergy medication to work for you this time, and then stop working next time.
Also learning about allergy pills helps you to be in control of your allergy problem, in collaboration with your doctor or health care provider.
The commonly used allergy medications are:
These various classes of allergy medications work by different mechanism. You may need to use one from a group or a combination as required.