What is allergy? Symptoms of allergy. Major allergens. How to distinguish a cold from allergies?

Allergy is the hypersensitivity to any foreign substance (antigen), that realized by immune systeme. According to scientific data, this feature is not inherited, but a predisposition to it is yes. In children whose parents suffer from allergies (especially if it concerns both of them), it may develop with a greater likelihood.

When we come in contact with an allergen, the body reacts in such a way as to block the access of “dangerous”, according to its data. This is expressed in inflammatory phenomena that arise due to the release of immunoglobulin E and histamine, a hormone that regulates various functions of the body.

Histamine causes tissue swelling, blood stasis in the capillaries, a decrease in pressure, causes the heart to beat faster – all these changes should help the body to deliver as many leukocytes (protective blood cells) as possible.

Excessive sensitivity of the body to the allergen leads to the release of an excessive amount of histamine. That`s why doctors prescribe antihistamines, such as Alerid or Allegra, for allergies.

What are the symptoms of allergy?

Among the common manifestations of this condition are the following:

  • runny nose;
  • sneezing;
  • cough;
  • itching;
  • rash or redness of the skin, eczema;
  • inflammation of the mucous membranes;
  • digestive problems – with food allergies.

What are the types of allergy?

The list of major allergens includes:

  • dust – it contains several allergens at once, from plant pollen and dust mites to epithelial flakes of domestic animals;
  • pollen – allergies can also develop to pollen of domestic plants;
  • pet hair and particles of their skin, as well as down and feathers;
  • fungal or mold spores;
  • food, for example fish, eggs, nuts;
  • insect bites – as a rule, these are wasps, hornets, bees, bumblebees and ants. Such an allergy occurs in 0.4 – 0.8% of the population. The organisms of these and other insects emit various poisons that can cause a reaction from urticaria or edema to seizures, diarrhea, asphyxiation and shock.
  • some medications. It is usually difficult to check in advance which drugs cause an allergic reaction. In addition, an allergy to a particular drug can appear at any time during its life, even if a person has not had it before;
  • latex – this allergy can manifest itself in very different ways and, as a rule, develops in people who often have to wear latex gloves, for example, doctors. Other risk factors include smoking, used household chemicals and industrial pollution.

How to distinguish a cold from allergy?

A cold passes – at the latest – within 10 days, and the allergy is constantly manifested.

Here are the obvious signs of allergy:

  • the discharge from the nose is clear and liquid, and not yellow or green and thick;
  • constantly sneezing, eyes are red, wet and itchy;
  • dark circles under eyes
  • nose is constantly blocked
  • breathes through a mouth;
  • dry cough;
  • skin is inflamed, reddened and itchy.