There are certain ailments or health conditions that prevent us from enjoying the simplest things that nature has to offer us. One such condition that prevents us from enjoying a morning walk or eating delicious shellfish or simply munching on one’s favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich is an allergy. There are a plethora of different kinds of allergy, and each of these trigger different allergy symptoms.
Allergies are a result of an overactive immune system. The immune system’s function is to prevent the invasion of bacteria and viruses which are known to cause serious health issues once they infect the body. However, there are instances when the immune system reacts unfavorably towards harmless elements and releases histamines, the allergy-triggering substance which causes inflammation. The elements that trigger allergies are known as allergens, and what makes it a catch-22 situation is that there’s no escape from these allergens; they are present everywhere in the environment.
Before a full-fledged allergic reaction can set in, certain symptoms become evident, and these act as a warning sign of the imminent allergic reaction that is about to strike you. As mentioned earlier, there are innumerable allergens present in the environment. The most common allergens are pollen, food, insect sting, drugs, latex, or certain substances that one can come in contact with. When the individual comes in contact with either of these allergens, they display the following symptoms:
- Itching – One of the most common symptoms of allergies is itching. When the immune system goes into overdrive, it causes inflammation. This inflammation can cause the skin to itch. You would be tempted to itch the affected area, which would only worsen the condition.
- Hives – Hives are characterized by the appearance of rashes across the surface of the skin. The skin becomes red and itchy, and skin-colored welts begin to appear as a symptom of an underlying allergy. Hives last for around 6–12 hours and are a severe reaction to an allergen. Though these aren’t fatal, they cause severe discomfort since these welts are itchy and in certain cases can burn and sting as well.
- Rashes – Rashes are among the most common symptoms of different kinds of allergies. Rashes appear on the surface of the skin as a reaction of the overactive immune system. Rashes often develop when you come in contact with certain materials that do not react favorably with your body, or when you consume something you are allergic to. In most cases, these rashes are quite harmless, but at times they can be irritable and itchy.
- Nasal congestion – At times, when an individual comes in contact with an allergen, it causes nasal congestion. The mucus build-up in the airways would obstruct the flow of air in and out of the lungs. Nasal congestion is one of the prominent symptoms of allergy rhinitis which is often caused by pollen. Nasal congestion can be cured easily, but if left unchecked can lead to complications in the respiratory system.
- Itchy or watery eyes – Have you ever felt the desire to rub your eyes incessantly? Either you have an infection, or your body is reacting to an allergen it came in contact with. When you come in contact with an allergen, your eyes might start becoming watery or itchy, and you would be overcome by the desire to rub your eyes profusely. Itchy and watery eyes are amongst the prominent symptoms of an underlying allergy.
- Scratchy or a sore throat – A sore throat or a scratchy throat is another indication that you are allergic to something that you ate or came in contact with. Usually, sore throat is a sign of a common cold, but at times, changes in the climate or eating something that doesn’t suit your body can trigger this reaction.
- Nausea or vomiting – Mild allergies are quite harmless since they aren’t fatal. Thus, the symptoms too aren’t very serious. However, severe allergic reactions give rise to severe symptoms, and nausea or vomiting is amongst these. Usually, eating something that you are allergic can cause an upheaval in the body and give rise to nausea or vomiting.
- Tightness in the chest – Some allergens, when they enter the system, can trigger serious reactions. For instance, coming in direct contact with an allergen can cause tightness in the chest. The person might feel that some weight has been placed on his chest. Though there’s nothing really wrong with the body, it simply triggers a reaction like this.
- Swelling of the face or tongue – When you eat something that doesn’t agree with your body or if a bee or some other insect stings you, as a reaction to it, either your experience a swelling on your face or the tongue. This mostly happens in cases of insect stings and food allergy. Though these symptoms appear quite grave, administering an antidote to the allergy can help the swelling subside.
- Anaphylaxis – This is one of the most severe symptoms of an allergy. Anaphylaxis is life-threatening since it leads to swelling of the airways, obstructs breathing, and causes a sudden drop in the blood pressure.