Your immune system is a part of your body’s defense system, working tirelessly to prevent germs, viruses, bacteria, particles, and other foreign substances from causing diseases or damage. However, sometimes your immune system overreacts to substances that lead to developing allergies. Various allergies affect many Americans; over 24 million people have an allergic response, including over 6 million children.
If you want to spend time in the warm weather but struggle with allergies, there’s likely something out there that can trigger a reaction to make you feel miserable. Let’s explore ways to reduce allergies by examining what they are, some common triggers, and how to manage them.
Exposure to allergens — harmless proteins — can happen in several ways, including from animals, chemicals, foods, and airborne particles. An allergic reaction results from your body overreacting to a specific allergen by attacking it and causing you to make antibodies and immunoglobulin E (IgE) to fight it.
During this reaction, you experience itching (all over or in the area affected), sneezing, runny nose, rash (hives), trouble breathing, and headache symptoms. Anyone can develop allergies, but you’re more likely to have them if you have a family history of certain types.
You can be allergic to several substances, such as:
Different allergy triggers can elicit different responses, such as swelling, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting from foods, sinus issues, watery eyes from allergens you inhale, and hives, swelling, itching, and shortness of breath from some medications or household items.
Here are some helpful tips on how to avoid and prevent problems with allergies:
The most practical step you can take to prevent an allergic response is to avoid allergy triggers. If you know certain foods, plants, animals, or other allergens that set off a flare-up, go somewhere else, don’t use them, and avoid ingesting them as necessary.
Once we identify your allergens and give you medication to help manage reactions, take them as recommended and avoid things that can trigger reactions.
Clearing out dust, wiping down counters, washing pets and cleaning up where they are most active, washing clothes, and clearing out mold are ways that cleaning helps to reduce allergens and lower your chances of triggering an attack.
Having a plan is important for severe allergic reactions that cause a condition known as anaphylaxis, which can lead to lightheadedness, trouble breathing, and loss of consciousness. Be careful where you go and what you eat but also have an emergency plan in case you suffer a severe allergy attack and need immediate medical attention.
Allergies can be challenging to live with, but it is something you can manage, and we can help. When you’re ready for allergy relief, make an appointment with Dr. Okafor and Sugarland Primary Care Physicians to live with less fear of allergies.