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Different Types of Allergic Reactions

Different Types of Allergic Reactions
Different Types of Allergic Reactions

An allergy is the altered susceptibility of a body produced by sensitizing dosage of or exposure to some foreign material. The term is most frequently used to the action of a particular foreign material or allergen, such as a food, a chemical substance or pollen. There are different types of allergies. Substances that cause allergic reactions can be roughly grouped into four categories: inhalants (such as pollen, grasses, and scents); ingestants (food & drinks); injectants (stings, bites certain injected medicines); contactants (chemicals, fabrics, cosmetics). There is evidence that a tendency to allergy is inherited, though the form may vary. Men are more prone to the disease than women, as are people of a highly-strung or nervous disposition.

Different Types of Allergies: Allergic Conjunctivitis

Allergic conjunctivitis is an allergy, usually to something in the air such as dust or pollen, which manifests itself in the form of conjunctivitis, i.e. inflammation mucous membrane that lines the inner surface of the eyelids and is reflected over the eyeball. If you suffer from conjunctivitis, see your doctor. If symptoms persist, he will probably refer you to a specialist for treatment to alleviate the condition.

Different Types of Allergies: Asthma

Asthma is a respiratory disorder characterized by paroxysms or attacks of difficult breathing, wheezing and gasping for breath. During an attack, spasmodic contraction of the smaller bronchial tubes and swelling of the tube lining cause the difficulty in breathing. In many cases the cause is an allergic reaction, often to pollen, some item of food, animal or bird hair, or even ordinary house dust. Many asthmatics also suffer from other allergic reactions, such as nettle rash or hay fever. Asthma tends to start in childhood (though in certain cases it does not manifest itself until middle age), is more common among men than women, and is frequently associated with and precipitated by stress for reasons which are still not totally clear. The taking of antihistamines, either orally or by injection, can help to ward off an asthmatic attack once the allergen or allergens have been isolated, but this may take a longer time as there are such a vast number. Inhalants which reduce the swelling of the bronchial linings may also help. Antibiotics may be used if the lungs are so congested that a bacterial infection develops.

Severe Allergic Reaction
Severe Allergic Reaction (Image Credit: wikimedia commons – public domain)

Different Types of Allergies: Cosmetic Allergy

Cosmetic allergy is best prevented by using products, usually called hypo-allergenic, from which any known allergens have been screened, although even these products may produce an allergic reaction in a few people. Occasionally, a person who suffers an allergic reaction to a cosmetic may feel like taking action against the producer, retailer or, in the case of a hairdresser, the salon itself, because she feels that the allergic reaction should not have occurred. In such case, the potential litigant should bear in mind that all cosmetics now carry labels listing the known allergens included in the product, and in the United States all the ingredients are printed on the label in descending order of priority. Also, the manufacturer of any cosmetic product is required to use only those substances and coloring agents allowed by the government and to carry out sufficient tests to guarantee the safety of the product. Medicated cosmetics must comply with additional regulations, since they are strictly speaking medicinal products. In short, there are laws governing the production, distribution, sale and use of cosmetics, and though an allergic reaction may prove to be idiosyncratic and not the fault of manufacturer or user. If you feel you have a case, take legal or medical advice. For instance, if a hair dye causes an allergic reaction and the mandatory test was not carried out on a patch of skin beforehand, you may be able to sue successfully the hairdresser responsible. If on the other hand, you use a product without performing an allergic reaction test yourself, when this was prescribed on the label, you have only yourself to blame.

Different Types of Allergies: Hay Fever

Hay fever (rhinitis) is an allergic disease which generally ‘attacks’ its victims in the spring and summer, when the pollen from various plants and grasses irritates the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat. The symptoms are similar to those of a severe cold or flu; violent sneezing, inflammation and swelling of nose and eyelids, watery discharge from nose and eyes, itching of eyes, a dry cough and sometimes asthmatic paroxysms. The reaction can be caused by allergens other than pollen, such as household dust, animal hair or feather pillows, but if the attacks occur regularly in summer the cause is almost certainly pollen. Ideally a person allergic to pollen should avoid it, but this is obviously almost impossible in normal life. Although precautions can be taken if weather forecasters predict a particularly high pollen count. Injections of vaccine prepared from pollen can be given in the winter months or antihistamine preparations in tablet or injection from can be taken throughout the season. There are generally effective, though they can produce side-effects, including drowsiness in some people. So care is necessary when driving or operating machinery.

Because of its multi-factorial etiology, holistic treatment is necessary to cure allergic diseases. Precise diagnosis is the precondition of starting any treatment. Besides, we must be care of our eating habits, and avoid such elements which generally cause allergic reactions.

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