When your body has an allergic reaction of any type it means your body is rejecting a substance that may be harmless to most people, but triggers a reaction in you. The offending substance, whether it comes from pollen, animal dander, mold, insect bites, food, or dust mites, is called an allergen. Your body counteracts these allergens by producing a chemical, called histamine. When histamine is released, it can cause several symptoms, including skin rash, sneezing, swelling, runny nose, headache, nausea, diarrhea, and more. Anaphylaxis is the most severe reaction and can be life threatening. What you can do to avoid adverse allergic reactions is to have your symptoms diagnosed and treated after allergy testing. Florida Center for Allergy & Asthma Care has an allergy testing facility in Miami that has helped countless patients manage their allergies, unprecedented or not.
Allergies that occur when you breathe in allergens mainly produce symptoms in your nose, eyes, and lungs. When you eat food with allergens, symptoms may manifest in your mouth, intestines, and stomach. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50 million people in the U.S. have some kind of allergy. An allergist can help determine the type, cause, and severity of the problem through allergy testing. Some of the most common allergies are:
Food allergies are most common in children, but they can develop at any age even with foods you have eaten many times before. Food allergy symptoms can be very unpredictable, triggering a mild reaction at one time and a severe reaction at another. As mentioned, anaphylaxis is the most severe form of allergic reaction. Its warning signs typically affect various parts of the body and can be fatal if not treated promptly with epinephrine (adrenaline injection).
Many foods can cause an allergic reaction, but there are eight types of food that account for about 90 percent of all reactions: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy.
Allergic reactions to foods may involve your skin, respiratory tract, cardiovascular system, and gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms may appear as stomach cramps, vomiting, wheezing and shortness of breath, swelling of the tongue that blocks breathing and talking, hives, and dizziness.
Contrary to popular belief, pet hair is not an allergen. People with pet allergies are actually allergic to a pet’s urine, saliva or dander (dead skin cells). It is possible to be allergic to cats and not dogs, and vice versa because they contain different allergens. You may also have a pet allergy reaction even if the pet is not in the room. Dander and other allergens can remain in the air for weeks, especially if the room is not properly ventilated. The main symptoms of pet allergy are sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. You may also experience shortness of breath and a skin rash. Allergy testing is the best way to determine if you have a pet allergy.
Rashes, bumps, redness, itching, hives, and eczema are all very common skin allergy symptoms, but could also be signs of a different allergy. Skin allergies are not easy to identify. They require specific allergy testing and a professional diagnosis. Contact dermatitis from soap, shampoo, and laundry detergent is another common allergic reaction. Some people have a reaction to certain costume jewelry, nail polish, topical medications, adhesives, latex gloves, and plants. Skin allergies can be very unpleasant, especially so in a place with warm climate like Miami.
There are many other substances that can cause an allergic reaction. Some people are allergic to certain drugs, mold, bee and wasp stings, and cockroaches. Undergoing professional allergy testing and receiving adequate treatment, will help you live a healthy and more comfortable life.