Allergies can range from a mild seasonal annoyance to a life threatening condition. There are a number of different types of allergies that affect millions of people.
Some of the most common types of allergies are food allergies. The reactions to food allergies can range in severity. Some individuals experience an upset stomach or mild headache when they eat certain kinds of foods. Other people, however; have very serious reactions that can be life threatening.
Of the food allergy categories, shellfish and peanut allergies are quite common and can very serious, even leading to death. Many of the signs and symptoms related to food allergies include rashes, itching, nasal congestion, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, swelling of the lips, tongue and/or throat.
In very serious reactions, the individual may go into shock and experience a rapid drop in blood pressure. The airway may also begin to constrict, making it difficult for the person to breath. At this point, the allergic reaction becomes life threatening and emergency medical help should be sought immediately.
In many cases, food allergies can be caused due to a genetic family history. Many children experience food allergies in their younger years but then eventually grow out of the condition as they mature.
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Some individuals also suffer from various types of drug allergies. These types of allergies most commonly include reactions to the drug known as penicillin; however other types of drugs may also cause reactions. Sulfa drugs, anesthesia and insulin also cause allergic reactions in a number of people.
It is very important to let anyone treating you know if you suffer from any type of drug allergy. Many people who suffer from drug reactions and allergies also find it beneficial to carry some kind of identifying information with them to denote the allergy in the event of an accident.
While no one reacts well to an inset sting or bite, in some people the situation can become life threatening. These individuals usually begin to experience what is known as anaphylaxis when stung or bitten. Anaphylaxis is an extremely serious medical condition in which the airway becomes constricted and the person is at risk for dying if medical help is not sought immediately.
Other common symptoms related to impending anaphylaxis include swelling of the face and shock. Severe allergic reactions are usually associated with bites and stings from wasps, bees, hornets and yellow jackets.
Allergic reactions to latex are a problem that is not well known by many people but that can be extremely serious. Individuals can come into contact with latex in a number of ways and environments; both at home and at work. It is commonly found in many types of rubber as well as shoes, balloons, gloves, condoms and rubber bands.
The reaction related to latex exposure in a person with this type of allergy can range from mild to severe. As with all other allergic reactions, it can become life threatening if anaphylaxis occurs. Individuals who suffer from latex allergies develop it because they have been around and exposed to latex significantly at some point in their lives.
Considering that thousands of products contain latex, it may be difficult to pinpoint when and where this occurred. Some people develop the problem if they have frequent surgeries because of the fact that most surgical gloves are made from latex. If you suffer from a latex allergy it is imperative that you inform your doctor if you are scheduled for surgery.
Exposure to latex during a surgery can be quite serious, even life threatening. Alternate measures can be used if you inform the medical staff.
You may also consider carrying some type of allergy identification in the case of an accident.
Individuals who have life threatening allergies, such as some food allergies and allergies related to insect stings and bites may be advised by their doctor to carry a special medical kit with them at all times. This kit usually contains an antidote known as epinephrine and is commonly used as an =injectable. While the epinephrine will work as antidote, medical attention should still be sought immediately.
Dust mite allergies affect many people who do not even realize that the symptoms they experience are related to an allergy. Dust mites are small organisms that prefer to inhabit areas that are dark and warm. They are completely invisible to the naked eye.
Most homes have dust mites. The problem arises when someone is either allergic to dust mites or has asthma. Medical professionals recommend that you eliminate the warm and humid environments in your home where dust mites thrive. They are particularly fond of pillows, mattresses,
carpet and upholstery. Eliminating these areas in your home as much as possible can help to reduce the dust mite population and the possibility of allergic reactions.
Hay fever is an extremely common allergy related ailment. In some individuals the symptoms, including sneezing and watery, itchy eyes, appear all year while other people only recognize the symptoms during certain seasons of the year. Most people who experience hay fever at isolated times of the year, such as the spring or fall, are actually allergic to pollen.
Persons who have problems with hay fever all year are more than likely allergic to something inside their home. This might include dust mites as mentioned above or pet dander. There are a number of over the counter and prescription medications that can help reduce the symptoms of both seasonal and year round hay fever.
A small number of people are allergic to mold and the symptoms can be quite distressful. Black mold is a situation that has recently come to light and the results of being exposed to black mold have proven to be quite severe.
While not all molds are black, if you suspect that your home or office has mold of any type, it is well worth it to have a trained professional investigate the situation. Reducing the humidity in your home or office is an affective way of controlling all kinds of mold, as well as using a disinfectant regularly and keeping the air circulating.
A medical professional can determine if you suffer from any of the above mentioned allergies by performing blood work. Today it is possible to isolate numerous different types of food allergies as well as dust, mold, pollen and pet dander allergies.
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The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any disease.
Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any health care program.
About the Author
Emily Clark is editor at Lifestyle Health News and Medical Health News where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on many medical, health and lifestyle topics.
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