What is Allergy?

An Allergy is the response of the body’s immune system to a normally harmless substance like pollen, house dust, paints, and sometimes some foods like peanuts and lactose in milk. In most people, such substances do not create any problem but some people who have allergies, such normal harmless substances are seen as a threat and the body’s immune system identifies them as a threat and starts responding in an inappropriate way. This ‘response’ is known as Allergy.

Are allergies a serious problem?

Most of the Allergies are harmless and sometimes may become serious but the tremendous and increased research in this field has helped us to understand allergies and allergy causing ‘allergens’ better and we can be optimistic in our outlook towards allergy ailments. Most of the allergies are harmless and are curable.

What re the different types of Allergy?

The different types of Allergies are: Dust Allergy, Food Allergy, Latex Allergy, Mold Allergy, Insect Sting Allergy, Pet Allergies, Sinusitis, Rhinitis, Skin Allergy, Drug Allergy and Eye Allergy.

What are the symptoms?

The common symptoms of Allergy may include: Running nose, itching of the eyes, nose and throat, skin hives and rashes, hay fever and eczema. And in severe conditions, symptoms may include difficulty in breathing. 

Which specialist should I consult if I have an Allergic reaction?

There are specialists who treat different allergies. For sinus problems, consult an ear, nose and throat [ENT] specialist. For skin Allergies, a Dermatologist should be consulted. For eye allergies, an Ophthalmologist has to be consulted, but ideally it should be a team of certified allergist/doctors who work together as a team to give the best results.

Are Allergies curable?

Yes Allergies are curable. In some cases like sinus, it may be chronic where one has to take medicine throughout the life time to lessen the discomfort caused by running nose, congestion.

Are they infectious?

No. Allergies are not infectious but if someone has an allergy and you spend a considerable amount of time with that person and get exposed to the same atmosphere then you are likely to develop similar allergic reactions. For eg. running nose, eye Allergy.

Will it affect me permanently?

No Allergies do not affect permanently and may go away as you grow older. Some of the Allergies which remain can be treated by medication and by surgery in some cases.

How can I prevent this?

Allergies can be prevented by totally avoiding the ‘Allergens’ or the ‘triggers’ which cause an allergic reaction. For eg. If someone is allergic to peanuts, then, avoiding consumption of peanuts altogether can easily prevent any sort of allergic reaction.  

Similarly if someone is allergic to house dust mite, then care should be taken to change curtains and bed sheets regularly and the house should be well ventilated along with sunshine also.

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