Allergies are a common cause of illness and can take us by surprise by flaring up without much warning. There are multiple factors that cause allergies, right from pollen to certain foods and medication.
An allergic reaction occurs when cells in the immune system interpret a foreign substance or allergen as harmful. This interpretation in certain cases makes the immune system go into overdrive. As a result, it may overreact to these allergens, producing histamine, which is a chemical that causes allergy symptoms, such as inflammation, sneezing, and coughing.
Pollen, dust mites, mould, animal dander, and insect stings are common allergens, which trigger a range of symptoms if you are sensitive to them. Mild reactions include skin rash, eye irritation, and chest congestion and severe reactions, called anaphylaxis, are life-threatening emergencies that throttle the whole body.
While mild allergic reactions are manageable with home-based measures and over-the-counter (OTC) medications, chronic allergies need treatment from medical professionals.
So, if you feel that an allergy attack is on its way, it is prudent to engage with it immediately to avoid the symptoms flaring up. A few measures that you can take to manage in-coming allergy attacks are as follows:
Be careful of seasons in which flowers produce pollen and ensure that you close the windows in such periods and avoid drying your clothes outside. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical and Experimental Immunology states that “avoidance measure is the most important part of treatment” when it comes to dealing with pollen allergy.
Additionally, damp areas like basements, bathrooms, and laundry rooms are where you can find mould, which is an airborne allergen. Ensure that you dehumidify, ventilate and clean your living space regularly.
Clean out your nose using a saltwater nose rinse as it can help clear out pollen and mould particles and other irritants from the nose. Consider taking a shower and washing the clothes after exposure to allergens. You can try ginger tea to soothe the congestion caused in the throat and chest.
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Research published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine notes that “because of potent compounds in ginger rhizome for inhibiting allergic reactions, it may be useful for the treatment and prevention of allergic diseases.”
Consider a medical practitioner prescribed nasal spray or eye drops. This will help reduce swelling in the nose and clear out irritants from eyes, helping in reducing itchiness and water retention. Decongestants, on the other hand, may also help to relieve nasal congestion. What’s more, a study published in Cochrane Library noted that saline water used as a nasal decongestant may bring about relief to those suffering from allergic reactions.
Allergic reactions that cause skin rashes and inflammation could manifest due to exposure with allergens found in animal saliva, poisonous plants, certain chemicals and metals. In such situations, apply an ice pack for 10 to 15 minutes to avoid inflammation and use a moisturizer to stop the rashes from flaring up. According to Harvard Health Publishing, you will have to stop exposing your skin to the allergen for your condition to subside.
Serious allergic reactions can cause anaphylaxis. This reaction occurs minutes after exposure and, if left untreated, can lead to loss of consciousness, respiratory distress, and cardiac arrest. In such a scenario, ensure that you immediately seek medical assistance even if you feel that your condition is improving after a few minutes.
Allergies are fairly common but can cause severe discomfort. Hence, it is better to tackle them before any serious flare-ups.