Allergies to pollen, dust, animals, and food are prevalent and more people are being diagnosed with allergies ever day. Some of the symptoms of an allergy may be mild, while others can be so severe that they become life threatening. Some people suffer allergies only during certain months, when pollen count is high. Others may be allergic to pet dander and may have an allergic reaction year round.
The root of an allergy is found deep within the Immune System. In fact, an allergy is basically that your immune system is reacting in a harsh way to a substance that otherwise would cause no reaction. However, these reactions may be mild such as red watery eyes, hives on the skin, itchiness, sneezing or a runny nose and they may be as severe as the inability to breathe, shock, and even death.
There is no way to predict if someone has an allergy, it is discovered after someone has been exposed to the “triggering” factor. A trigger is the substance that is causing the allergic reaction. There are however tests that may be taken to determine if an allergy to a certain substance is present.
The main test used to diagnose an allergy is a “skin test”. The Skin Test is performed by making a small prick in the skin with a minute amount of the potential “allergen”. This could be a small amount of pollen, etc. Within 30 minutes, the site where the test was made is checked for reactions such as redness, or hives.
Some of the symptoms of an allergy include runny nose, sneezing, redness and itching in the eyes, wheezing, asthma, coughing, hives, skin rashes, and eczema. Most people who know that they are allergic to a particular substance will avoid contact with the allergen. People who know they are allergic to pollen, will avoid going out during the times of highest pollen count and those who have food allergies will avoid eating that food at all costs.
Some of the most common substances that people are allergic to include plant pollen such as Oak Trees, Rag Weed, and Birch Trees, mold spores, peanuts, eggs, chocolate, milk, soy, seafood, bee stings, animal dander, cockroaches, and dust mites.
Causes of Allergies
The reasons why people develop allergies is a subject of debate. Some people believe that allergies are a product of genetics, basically, if your parents had allergies, you will too. Some look to ethnicity and has found that some forms of allergies are more prevalent in certain ethnic groups.
There is new research being done looking for a link between immunizations and allergies. The belief is that due to immunizations, the immune system becomes “depressed” and therefore shows this change by becoming “overly sensitive” to normal stimuli.
Aromatherapy can be very effective in the treatment of allergies. You can treat many symptoms as they appear and some herbs have natural immunity building properties that may help with allergies and their reactions. Some of the best herbs used with allergies include Lemon, Roman Chamomile, and Eucalyptus. If you feel an allergic reaction coming on, you can add these essential oils into a hot tub and soak for at least 20 minutes.