During an allergic reaction, there are many potential symptoms, including:
An allergic reaction can happen at nearly any time, and the trigger can be anything from dust to chemicals to a specific food. The most common allergy triggers are grouped into three basic categories:
It's common to blame things like pollen in the air or animal dander for allergic reactions, but not every person has a bad reaction to those things.
In some people, their immune system starts trying to fight off harmless substances because it perceives them as dangerous. A large amount of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies are deployed in this effort to fight off a perceived allergen. The sudden influx of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies is accompanied by extra production of mast cell chemicals including histamines. All of this comes together to cause allergic symptoms that can make life miserable.
There are several different allergy testing processes.
In the "prick test," very tiny pricks are made in the skin to allow for small amounts of potential allergens to be applied into the holes. The reaction on the skin indicates whether an allergy is present. Prick tests can check for allergic reactions to the environment, reactions to foods, and reactions to chemicals and substances.
Another option is called patch testing, in which a potential allergen is applied directly to the skin using an adhesive patch. This kind of testing is most often done if a skin allergy is suspected.
Both tests allow for the testing of a number of possible allergens at one time.
Treatment depends on the specific patient and their individual allergies. Some of the most common treatments include: allergy shots, allergy medication, and lifestyle changes designed to minimize access to the triggers.
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