Allergies are a fairly common pathology throughout the world. According to statistics, about 20% of the population suffer from this disease. Such a reaction develops in adults after the ingestion of allergenic substances, particles or products.
The relevance of the pathology every year only grows, since the frequency of cases of allergic diseases increases. Scientists have been studying the mechanisms and causes of their development for more than a year, but they still cannot defeat the ailment. Therefore, it is important to know how and in what ways to determine an allergy.
How to recognize an allergy?
An inadequate response to external stimuli, which in the future causes the disease, is laid in the womb, at the time of the formation of the child’s organs and immune system. Allergy can manifest itself in different ways on any skin integument. Often it “disguises itself” as a runny nose, the duration of which can be several minutes or 2-3 days.
So how do you recognize and distinguish an allergic reaction from other diseases? To do this, you need to know the main signs of an allergy. These include:
- a rash on the skin that resembles a nettle burn,
- wheezing, cough, suffocation,
- itching and sore throat,
- prolonged runny nose, not associated with a cold,
- feeling nauseous or vomiting
- swelling in the lips, eyelids or other parts of the body,
- joint pain
- a feeling of pain in the eyes
The presence of the above symptoms is an occasion to be tested for allergies.
Allergies in humans, as a rule, occur on the coat of certain animal species, and also on various products, drugs, chemicals, dust and insect bites, as well as pollen. The following are symptoms and treatments for cold allergies.
Substances that cause pathology are called allergens. In some situations, such reactions can manifest themselves so weakly that a person may not even suspect that he generally suffers from allergies.
But despite this, the symptoms of allergies, on the contrary, can be extremely dangerous, life-threatening. People who suffer from allergies can develop anaphylactic shock, which is a serious pathological condition associated with an extremely acute reaction to an allergen. Anaphylactic shock can be caused, as already noted, by various allergens: medications, insect bites, and in addition, food. In addition, anaphylactic shock can occur as a result of skin contact with a specific allergen, for example, latex.
The most common allergens
To eliminate an allergy, you need to find out what exactly can cause it. Specialists distinguish 2 main groups of allergens:
- exoallergens - are formed inside the body from proteins,
- endoallergens - come from outside.
The most common are allergens that enter the body from the outside. These include:
- epidermal allergens: pet particles or dandruff,
- household: dust, household chemicals, cosmetics,
- pollen: pollen of grasses, flowers, trees and any plants,
- food: products, preservatives, dyes and any additives,
- infectious: fungi, bacteria, viruses, parasites.
To determine what an allergy is not so difficult, you just need to be a little more careful and observe the changes and reactions that occur in your body.
- if the symptoms of an allergic reaction appeared immediately after eating any food, then without a doubt the eaten product is the allergen,
- allergies in the form of a rash on the face are manifested due to perfumes, cosmetics and household chemicals,
- Allergic rhinitis in an adult most often manifests itself in the spring. In this case, the allergen is pollen from plants, flowers, or herbs.
Allergic reaction to cold
Symptoms of a cold allergy:
- skin changes occur quickly, within 1-5 minutes,
- the pathology is characterized by urticarian manifestations, similar to nettle burns,
- itching, burning, tingling,
- in the place of touching a cold object, edema is formed,
- severe redness (erythema),
- flat whitish or bright pink blisters, a small red rash is also possible,
- bruises in the areas of rashes in a day or two.
Symptoms manifest themselves to the maximum when warming the affected areas, when a person returns to a warm place, and allergies are not only in the cold, but also in wet weather.
Manifestations subside within a couple of hours. Symptoms and treatment of cold allergies are often interrelated.
Cold Response Therapy
To mitigate the manifestations of a cold attack, a comprehensive treatment is carried out, which involves the use of medications that eliminate various symptoms.
Itching rash, severe redness, blisters, swelling, and ointments, gels, sprays, creams (“Fenistil-gel”, “Protopic”, “Gistan”, “Elidel”) well remove. Hormonal ointments with severe edema, painful itching are allowed in short courses ("Hydrocortisone", "Flucinar", "Sinaf-ointment", "Gistan N", "Akriderm GK", "Celestoderm").
A food allergy is an immune response caused by certain foods. Such an allergy is accompanied by well-known symptoms. A food type of allergy occurs when the body mistakenly takes a product as a threat to itself and, in order to protect itself, launches the immune system to develop antibodies. At a second meeting with the allergen, the immune system quickly recognizes the “dangerous” substance, immediately reacting, and again produces the antibodies, in its opinion, necessary. It is because of these substances that allergy symptoms in adults are caused. As a rule, the food form is almost always formed in this way.
It happens that adults can pass allergies that were observed in childhood. But in the event that the reaction arose in an adult, it will be very difficult to get rid of it.
An allergic rhinitis, which experts call rhinitis or hay fever, is observed in one out of ten people, and often this phenomenon turns out to be hereditary. Symptoms of allergies in adults (photo presented in the article) are not limited to this.
People with asthma or eczema can also often suffer from allergic rhinitis. Similar allergies are mainly observed in women than in men. Against the background of an allergic rhinitis, symptoms may appear in the form of itching in the eyes and throat, and in addition, in the nose and in the sky, sneezing and nasal congestion are also possible. In addition, people can watery eyes, which will be accompanied by discharge from the nose, and in some cases conjunctivitis occurs. In more severe situations, an allergic rhinitis can provoke an attack of asthma or eczema. Symptoms of a cold allergy are also quite unpleasant.
What are the causes of allergies?
In some people, immunity can react sharply to certain substances, because of which the production of various chemicals begins. One of them is histamine, which causes allergic symptoms. A similar reaction from the body can occur when inhaled, and in addition, as part of skin contact or ingestion of an allergen. In addition to the allergens already listed, they can also be fluff, cosmetics or cigarette smoke.
Common Allergy Symptoms
Allergic reactions can occur on completely different parts of the body, and the symptoms themselves can be present up to several days. As a rule, the following symptoms are observed as a result of an allergy:
- The condition of the upper respiratory tract is complicated by hay fever or asthma.
- There is redness and tearing in the eyes.
- The appearance of pain and inflammation of the joints.
- The occurrence of urticaria and eczema.
- The occurrence of diarrhea, vomiting, and indigestion.
What complications can allergy symptoms cause?
The appearance of a particular allergy can be complicated by the following reactions of the body:
- The development of anaphylactic shock (an extremely severe allergic reaction).
- The appearance of labored or wheezing.
- The appearance of a rapid pulse.
- The appearance of cold sweat.
- Skin stickiness.
- The development of urticaria.
- The appearance of stomach cramps.
- The appearance of dizziness and nausea.
- The development of collapse (acute vascular insufficiency).
- The appearance of seizures.
It is important to note that the lack of medical care during the observation of a severe form can lead to death of the patient. Symptoms of a cold allergy are discussed above.
The consequences of an allergy are more than serious. An allergic reaction as a whole negatively affects the body and its legal capacity. Against the background of this condition, a person may increase fatigue, irritability appears, and in addition, the working capacity of the immune system decreases. As such, the consequences suggest the transition of allergic reactions to diseases in the form of hemolytic anemia, serum sickness, eczema, bronchial asthma, otitis media, chronic bronchitis or rhinitis, and much more. The reason for the appearance of such consequences is most often the untimely diagnosis of an allergic reaction or its incorrect treatment. For example, suppressing food allergies with drugs can lead to the emergence of a chronic pathology such as atopic dermatitis.
In order to avoid allergy symptoms in adults, it is necessary to consult a doctor in a timely manner and conduct the correct therapy of a particular reaction. It is important to note that the negative consequences are most often caused by the fact that patients self-medicate. Worst of all, this “treatment” is usually symptomatic, within the framework of which the symptoms of an allergy to cold are removed, for example, but their main cause is not revealed.
Anaphylactic shock appears to be especially severe, and at the same time a dangerous consequence of allergies, which, however, is a rather rare, but rapidly developing phenomenon. Anaphylaxis is a combination of several symptoms that develop rapidly rapidly:
- The occurrence of severe pain and itching as a result of contact with an allergen.
- The appearance of difficulty breathing.
- The appearance of seizures.
- Low blood pressure.
- Loss of consciousness.
- The appearance of Quincke's edema.
Reaction to an insect bite or medicine
Most often, anaphylaxis is observed as a result of an insect bite, and in addition, against the background of the introduction of a drug that causes an allergic reaction in the patient. Less commonly, anaphylaxis may occur due to a food allergen. It is important to note that such a phenomenon as anaphylaxis is a dangerous consequence, threatening a fatal outcome. In this regard, when the first symptoms appear, an ambulance should be called. The allergy symptoms in a child are especially dangerous (a photo of the manifestations of the disease is presented in the article).
These or other consequences can often be caused by the fact that the body’s susceptibility to an allergic reaction was not taken into account, and therefore there was no correct and timely therapy. Or this may be due to the fact that the wrong diagnosis of the disease was chosen along with self-medication. Given all of the above factors, it is important to note that each person must take care of their health without waiting for dangerous allergic consequences, which can be much more difficult to deal with than what they provoked.
What should a person do when an allergy occurs?
In the presence of mild allergic reactions, a runny nose may occur, eyes are watery, and in addition, other symptoms resembling colds appear. The appearance of a small rash is not excluded. In the event that a person often notes such reactions in himself or his relatives, it will be useful to consult a doctor.
It is important to know that in the event of anaphylactic shock, the resulting allergy affects the entire body. Anaphylactic shock, as a rule, occurs within fifteen minutes after taking the allergen, in this regard, urgent measures are required, namely calling an ambulance. You should also avoid foods, medicines and other substances that have ever been allergic to.
The development of allergies must be known to all friends and family members. This information should be shared with all specialists, including dentists, dermatologists, and so on. This also applies to prescription drugs, and also to over-the-counter drugs. Always, before taking this or that medicine, an allergy sufferer should carefully read the packaging and the attached instructions.
With a mild allergic rhinitis, decongestant drops should be used along with sprays designed to relieve symptoms. In the event that the allergy was caused by a drug, you must immediately stop using it and consult your doctor.
Antihistamines should also be taken, but only those prescribed by a specialist. In the case of taking antihistamines, which have a sedative effect, it is necessary to avoid driving a car, as these medicines can cause drowsiness.
What can the attending physician do?
The doctor must exclude the likelihood of other diseases, as well as perform tests aimed at identifying an allergen. After this, as a rule, patients are prescribed antihistamines and, if necessary, also steroids. In situations where an allergen has been determined, and contact with it is unavoidable due to certain circumstances, the doctor should administer a special vaccine to the patient in order to prevent and treat the deviation. Among other things, the doctor can recommend a special diet for patients who suffer from the development of food allergies.
What should preventative measures be?
As already noted, first of all, it is necessary to determine the substances that cause the symptoms of allergy (the photo of which is presented in the article), after which, of course, always avoid them. It is equally important to ensure that the house is constantly clean and does not fly dust or fluff, and besides that there are no ticks. In those periods when people sweep, vacuum, knock dust out of furniture, change linens and other such contacts, you should close your nose using a gauze bandage or a special mask. If you have an allergic reaction to pets, you cannot keep them in your home.
In the event that a person is allergic to medications, it is advisable to always have a special card with him on which it will be indicated which particular drugs there is a corresponding reaction to. Due to this, even when a person is unconscious or cannot remember the names of the drugs, he will be insured against the introduction of a particular allergen. Among other things, if a person has a severe allergy, he should inform his whole family about it, and besides his colleagues, and do not forget to inform the attending physicians about this fact.
We examined a disease such as allergies. Photos, symptoms and treatment are presented.
Different methods of allergen detection can be offered in the laboratory. Most often, skin tests are used. The allergen solution is administered by subcutaneous injection, the skin is scratched with a scarifier or slightly pierced with a disposable needle under a drop of the solution. After a while, the doctor determines by reaction whether there is an allergy to a substance.
More informative, but also more dangerous provocative tests. In a hospital, the patient is injected with an allergen into the body, after which the presence or absence of an allergic reaction and its severity are determined by changes in the composition of the blood. Provocative tests show a very clear picture, but are, in fact, a variant of the trial and error method.
All allergic tests are carried out during the period of remission of the disease. A few days before the tests, it is necessary to stop taking antihistamines and drugs from the glucocorticosteroid group. Contraindications to an allergy test are pregnancy, acute respiratory viral infections, tonsillitis and other acute infectious diseases.
How to identify an allergen yourself
How to find out what the allergy is, if there is no way to do testing in the clinic?
The easiest way is with food allergies. It is necessary to remove the acute manifestations of the disease, observing a strict diet, or even a little starving. Then the patient is transferred to a mono-diet, which includes only pure water and one product for which there is definitely no allergy.
After that, every 2-3 days, strictly one product is added to the diet, carefully fixing the patient's condition. In this way, all food allergens can be sequentially detected. True, this will take time, patience and careful observance of the diet.
If the allergy is not of an alimentary nature, you will have to keep a diary in which you need to record all the main events of the day and record your well-being. Gradually, a pattern in the manifestation of allergy symptoms can come to light.For example, hives on the skin appear after applying a sunscreen of a certain brand, or red spots form on the places where the perfume was applied. Or you will notice that with regular wet cleaning, your allergic child coughs less and breathes better with his nose, which means that it could be due to house dust.
But even if you detect an allergen, treatment should still be prescribed by a doctor. Especially if the child is allergic. Self-medication in this case is strictly prohibited. All you can do yourself is to eliminate or minimize contact with the allergen.
Basic diagnostic methods
If you do not know how to identify what you are allergic to, it is worth contacting an allergist. After the examination, the doctor will prescribe the necessary diagnostic examinations or tests.
The following methods for determining an allergic reaction in an adult are:
- Skin tests. The main advantages of this method of examination are ease of implementation, quick results and low cost. Moreover, the procedure provides information not only about the cause of the development of an allergic reaction, but also determines the type of allergen. A skin test is done by injecting a small amount of allergens into the skin (subcutaneous allergen injections). After that, the reaction of the body is evaluated and allergens are detected that cause an acute reaction in the patient. Most often, such tests are done on the skin of the inner forearm, but can also be performed on the back. If after the procedure symptoms of an allergic reaction appear, the test result is considered positive.
- A blood test for the presence of IgE antibodies. The purpose of this examination is to measure the amount of IgE antibodies in the blood. Their increased content indicates the presence of an allergic reaction. At the same time, individual products are additionally checked and a printout is issued with a list with the result for each of them. For analysis, it is necessary to donate blood from a vein. Results can be obtained within 1-2 weeks. But this diagnostic method is used only in cases where it is not possible to conduct a skin test.
- Application tests. With the help of such a study, the causes of allergic reactions on the skin, such as eczema or dermatitis, are identified. The alleged allergen is mixed with petrolatum and paraffin. Such a mixture is applied to metal plates, which also contain a mixture of various allergens. They are attached to the surface of the skin on the back. In this case, the back cannot be wetted 2 days before the test. This diagnostic method allows you to identify allergies to elements such as: chromium, nickel, neomycin, ethylenediamine, benzocaine, epoxies, formaldehyde, lanolin, and other perfume ingredients.
- Provocative tests. This is the most reliable and effective method to determine why or what a person develops an allergic reaction. This is the only way to guarantee a 100% result. The main goal of such an examination is to cause an allergic reaction in a person by eating foods and allergens, which, according to the doctor’s suggestion, provoked the appearance of allergies. But such a study is carried out only in a specialized institution under the constant supervision of medical personnel. The doctor applies a small amount of allergen under the tongue or instills it into the nasal cavity, after which he carefully monitors the body's reaction. If sneezing, coughing or tearing appear, it means that a person is allergic to this substance.
Diagnosis of allergic diseases: a review of research methods
In the treatment of allergies, it is important to identify provocative substances. For this, various diagnostic measures are carried out.
Analyzes for the identification of allergens are given in the allergological department of clinics. There are different methods for diagnosing allergic diseases.
Which one to choose, the doctor determines after examining the patient. Allergens are detected by examination of cutaneous reactions or a blood test.
Samples are divided into types:
- Provocation. A small dose of the allergen is administered to the patient and the reaction of the body is monitored.
- Direct research. Allergens are detected using skin tests without the introduction of an allergen.
- Indirect test. An allergen is injected under the skin, and then a blood sample is taken and examined.
If a person has a sensitivity to a certain substance, then the skin will come into contact with an allergen. Thus, you can find out which of the alleged substances is a provocateur of allergic reactions.
Several types of skin tests are performed:
- Scarification (notches, scratches). It is performed on the forearm, where allergens are applied (no more than fifteen), and then small incisions are made in these places. If the skin of one or more incisions has become swollen, it means that an immune response is provoked to these substances.
- Applique. Strips with allergens are applied to the skin of the hand and are fixed with a plaster. The reaction to substances is observed for two days. If it manifests itself within a few hours, then we can talk about the immunocomplex type of reaction, and if after a day or more - about a delayed one.
- Injection. Substances are injected under the skin and the reaction of the body is monitored.
With any immune response, specific antibodies are thrown into the bloodstream. To detect allergies, the blood is examined for the presence of IgE antibodies in it. In this case, the alleged allergens are not introduced into the patient's body, all studies are carried out after blood sampling.
Blood for the test is taken from a vein. Next, serum is separated from it and the material is placed in test tubes with allergens. If there are antibodies to the substance, then they come into contact. In the case of a positive response in humans, the allergic status is confirmed.
There are two research methods:
- Multiple Allergy Sorbent Test. A fluorescent dye is added to the studied materials, due to which a luminescent glow appears. The result is determined by a photograph of the material.
- Allergy Sorbent Test. A radioactive isotope is added to the tubes. Identification of the result is carried out in a special apparatus.
The results are interpreted according to the level of IgE antibodies. If it is within normal limits, then there is no allergy. A slight excess of indicators indicates the presence of an immunopathological process. If the antibody level is very high, then this indicates a strong allergic reaction. After confirming the diagnosis, the doctor prescribes treatment: prescribes antihistamines and talks about preventive measures.
Allergen detection at home
You can determine what you may be allergic to at home. But this method does not always help to obtain a reliable result. You just need to carefully monitor the reaction of your body and try to identify the allergen.
- keep a diary of observations for 2-3 weeks,
- write in it everything that you eat and drink,
- record the intensity, nature and duration of an allergic reaction,
- consult with an allergist or nutritionist, providing him with your notes and observations.
Allergy is a disease! It can not be ignored. Take the necessary tests, visit an allergist and determine which substance you are allergic to. By identifying an allergen and eliminating contact with it, you will get rid of unpleasant symptoms of the disease and alleviate your condition.