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allergic reactions are a serious disease that many Americans face due to an abnormal immune response in the body, which in some cases can lead to death.
An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system reacts to a foreign allergen that is not normally considered harmful. A mild reaction may have minor symptoms such as inflammation, or more severe cases may result in anaphylactic shock. Allergy to certain foods, such as peanuts, is a common allergic reaction affecting a small portion of the population.
Read below to learn about the symptoms and treatments for allergic reactions. You should see a medical expert in serious or life-threatening cases. Anaphylaxis is the most severe result of an allergic reaction and can lead to respiratory failure, causing swelling of the skin.
What are the 4 types of allergic reactions?
Type I – immediate reaction to allergens this can happen after a few seconds or minutes due to pollen, insect bites, dust mites, or certain foods. This is due to a common allergic reaction to food and, in severe cases, can lead to anaphylaxis. Type 2 is when the reaction starts minutes or hours after the antibodies have had a damaging effect on the body’s cells.
Type III begins to show after a few hours when antibodies react to allergens, and is often associated with lupus, serum sickness, and Arthus reaction. The final and most advanced stage is type IV, which may take hours or days to develop, and is present in long-term infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and fungal infections.
British immunologists Robert Coombs and Philip Gell established these four types of hypersensitivity reactions in the body in 1963.
What are the symptoms and causes?
The symptoms of an allergic reaction vary depending on the type of reaction and the severity of the effect on the immune system. Typically, many people experience swelling, redness of the skin, sneezing, rash, hives, vomiting, bloating, pain, itchy nose, and watery eyes. However, the symptoms of anaphylaxis are more life-threatening and serious for the body, including a painful skin rash, shortness of breath, chest tightness, swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat, and abdominal pain. For those suffering from anaphylaxis, immediate medical attention is recommended.
Some allergic reactions can be caused by insect stings, molds, pollens, and certain foods and medicines.
How to prevent it?
To avoid an allergic reaction, a person must be aware of harmful allergens and actively avoid them. Many allergens are in the air, so a person should rinse their nose with saline daily to limit its effects on the body.
Various medications are manufactured to treat these reactions, including corticosteroids for nasal allergies, a corticosteroid cream for itchy rashes, and an adrenaline autoinjector for anaphylaxis.