The immune system is composed of various types of specialized cells, proteins, tissues and organs. Its main function is the detection of harmful organisms and their destruction. When the immune system mistakenly recognizes a particular allergen as harmful, then even though the allergen is not dangerous for the organism, the immune response activates, aimed at destroying “the harmful pathogen.” In this case it is a hypersensitivity reaction type 1, or an allergic reaction – an allergy.
Here are the most common causes of allergic reaction
1. Food allergy: For many people there is reaction of the body to certain foods, and often the cause of this reaction is considered food allergy, which in most cases is not true. Therefore, it should make a difference between food allergy and food intolerance.
Food allergy is a hypersensitivity reaction mediated by immune system, which is response of a certain type of food. Symptoms are more pronounced, and in some cases life-threatening. It may experience swelling of the mouth, tongue and throat, tingling of the tongue, skin changes or anaphylactic reaction.
Food intolerance is non-allergic hypersensitivity reaction and the immune system is not responsible for that. It is characterized by symptoms that are less severe and usually associated with the digestive system.
The most common nutritional allergens in our region are: eggs, milk, peanuts, wheat flour, soybeans, carrots, strawberries, fish and more.
2. Bites from an insect: A certain group of people develop an allergic reaction to the sting of certain insects (bees, wasps, hornets, etc.) as a response to their poison. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may be different – from mild redness and some swelling at the place of the sting, to nausea, fatigue and low-grade fever and in some cases, anaphylaxis.
Anaphylaxis is an acute allergic reaction caused by the antigen (in this case from the venom of an insect) to which the body is hypersensitive. Symptoms include swelling of the face, tongue, mouth and throat, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, itching and discoloration of the skin, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and loss of consciousness. If left untreated, anaphylaxis can result in death.
3. Latex allergy: Condoms, balloons, medical gloves and other medical supplies are made of latex, rubber material containing proteins to which some people are allergic. An allergic reaction can develop from simple contact and touch with the material. The clinical picture includes simple symptoms such as itching and redness of the skin, to the possibility of developing anaphylaxis.
4. Pollen: Symptoms of an allergic reaction to pollen usually are not life-threatening. Sneezing, runny nose (rhinorrhea), nasal congestion, itching and watery eyes are some of the symptoms that the people are dealing when they are suffering from this type of allergy.
5. Home dust: House dust (more precisely Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) is a frequent cause of allergic reactions. The symptoms are sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose, watery and itchy eyes, etc.
Prevention involves maintaining a clean home, avoiding items that accumulate dust as toys or objects that are difficult to remove dust, regular change of bedding etc.
6. Drugs: Allergy drugs are more prevalent than had been assumed. Often if it’s occur allergic reaction to a drug, it is advised discontinuation of use. If it is necessary to receive the drug, the doctor requires adequate replacement. In case there is no substitute for the drug, an allergic reaction can be controlled with antihistamines and corticosteroids, but only if the patient show mild clinical picture. The most common symptoms include skin changes, swelling of the face, wheezing and anaphylaxis.
7. Animal allergy: People who develop allergic reactions to animals are actually allergic to the protein found in skin cells (usually dead skin cells – dandruff), saliva and urine of the animal. In certain cases, to develop this type of allergy takes longer (up to 2 years) and symptoms can reappear for months.
8. Mold: There are many types of mold from which people develop allergy reactions. Molds need moisture, so they appear in places where there is moisture such as the bathroom, basement, kitchen, attic, where there is a broken pipe for water etc. Symptomatically is similar like dust allergy and pollen allergy.
Immune system is activated when it see some particular allergen as harmful, and it point to exterminate that pathogen organism, this reaction is called allergic reaction. There are many causes of allergies like eggs, pollen, milk, dust, latex, etc. If you think you are allergic of something consult your doctor, and make an allergy test.