Alergic reaction

Allergic reaction is the body’s way of responding to an “invader”. When the body senses a foreign substance called an antigen, its immune system is activated. The immune system usually protects the body from harmful substances such as for example bacteria and toxins.

Her overreaction to a harmless substance /allergen/ is called ahypersensitivity reaction or allergic reaction.

Anything can be an allergen. Dust, pollen, plants, medications, /such as aspirin, sulfonamides such as sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim, codeine and amoxicycline/, foods /the most common food allergies are due to shellfish, shrimp and peanuts/, insect bites (such as mosquitoes and bees/), animal hair, viruses or bacteria are examples of allergens.

Reactions may occur locally, such as a small localized skin rash, itchy eyes, swelling of the face, or the rash may cover the whole body /urticaria/.

The reaction may consist of one or several symptoms. Most allergic reactions are minor like a rash from poison ivy or a mosquito or sneezing from hay fever.

What are the symptoms?

On the skin: irritation, redness, itching, swelling, oozing blisters, crusting, localized rash, rashes in various areas of the body or hives.
On the lungs – cough, shortness of breath, wheezing or shortness of breath.
On the head – swelling or bumps on the face and neck, eyelids, lips, tongue or throat, hoarseness of voice, headache.
Nose – nasal congestion or discharge of thin and clear discharge, sneezing;
Eyes – redness, itching, swelling, tearing or swelling in the area around the eyes.
Stomach – pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea.
Others – fatigue and sore throat;

What are the causes?

Almost anything can cause an allergic reaction. The body’s immune system is related to white blood cells, which produce antibodies. When the body is exposed to an antigen, a complex set of reactions begins.

White blood cells produce antibodies specific for this antigen. This is called “sensitization”. The function of antibodies is to detect and help destroy substances that could cause disease.

In allergic reactions, the antibody is also calledimmunoglobulin E or IgE. This antibody stimulates the production and release of chemicals and hormones called mediators, which act on local tissues and organs to cause the activation of more white blood cells.

It is this impact that causes the symptoms of the reaction. Histamine is one of the most well-studied mediators released by the human body. If the release of mediators is sudden and in large quantities, the allergic reaction may be sudden and severe and the affected person may develop anaphylaxis.

Reactions are unique to each person. Reaction times to allergens can vary widely. Some people develop a reaction immediately, while others take longer.

Treatment of an allergic reaction

Avoid triggers – the potential causes of a reaction. If you are allergic to peanuts, for example, do not eat them and also avoid foods that contain them.
Mild reactions are usually well treated with over-the-counter allergy medications:
Oral antihistamines< /strong> – loratadine, cetirizine and fexofetadine are not antihistamines that in moderate amounts can be taken long term.
Diphenhydramine – can also be taken but will make you very drowsy , which creates danger when driving and working with machines. Also, this drug can affect concentration and interfere with children’s learning at school. For this reason, the medication should only be taken for a few days.

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